A residency, an anthology, and goodbye, Tucson

So much has happened in the last couple of weeks. I finally (finally!) finished my novel rewrite and honestly, I wrote and rewrote that book so much I have no idea if I improved it or made it worse. Okay, okay, I know it’s improved, and by quite a bit but still, if you haven’t figured it out by now, writing can kind of suck sometimes (other times, it can really, really suck).

I also found out that I was awarded a spot at Wildacres Residency Program in North Carolina and head there in late September for a blessed week of uninterrupted writing time. I feel honored to have been chosen, and I cannot wait to cozy up in the cabin and let my mind roam free.

Ahhhhhh–in six months I’ll be sitting here, furiously working on my next book.

My flash fiction piece Portland II released in Flash Fiction Magazine, Issue 2.

And we also left Tucson last week. It was so bittersweet. We spent almost three months in a cozy little casita with the most wonderful outdoor space. It was the perfect location, within biking distance to the Himmel Park Library (my favorite library of all time), two outdoor lap swimming pools, Reid Park, the River Trail and Trader Joe’s (I love Trader Joe’s almost as much as I love the Himmel Park Library). Except for the weekends, when we rented a car to go run in the mountains, we walked, ran or biked everywhere and I loved the freedom of not having a car. Life slowed down, and we slowed down, and it was so lovely and beautiful and perfect.

I stayed off social media as much as I could and instead, I read. I read like crazy, and I wrote like crazy, and I ran like crazy, and then I ate like crazy because the fruits and vegetables in Arizona are to die for, especially after the sad excuse we refer to as vegetables in Alaska.

I’m in Philly now, visiting with my sister, and tomorrow we head to D.C., for my sister’s work conference. I’m hoping to visit some museums, run along the river, soak in the history and just, you know, be an irritating American tourist for a few days. I should be back in Alaska (home!) by mid-April.

Until then, here are some scenes from around Tucson, which I already miss. I’m totally infatuated with the desert. I love all of the moods, from the winter thunderstorms to the dry heat to the cool nights and the big fat moon rising over the mountain ridges.

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12 thoughts on “A residency, an anthology, and goodbye, Tucson

    1. Thanks, Kev! The revision went very well, or at least I think it did. It’s hard to know these things. Anyway, thanks so, so much for your help. I’ll write a review on your editing website as soon as I get back to Alaska and settled in my writing room (trying to write without “a room of one’s own” for the past three months has been very, very difificult). Cheers and take care.

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    1. Luanne! I was hoping to get up and visit with you but it was a crazy and unexpected time trying to rewrite my novel while living with my partner in a 500-square-foot casita, lol.
      We’re heading back next winter and hope we can get together then (we’ve already reserved a house–yippee!). Though, of course, once summer hits in Alaska, Tucson will be the last thing on my mind. Summer is fickle that way.
      Cheers, take care and happy writing. P.S. I saw a black widow spider on our kitchen wall a few days before we left and I was so excited. It stayed there all night as I wrote, and before I went to bed I carried it outside in a glass. I so love the desert.

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      1. GF, you did WHAT? Black widows are not your friend! You are not Jo March with her pet wild rat. I know people who have gotten very sick from bites of a BWS. 500 SF with a partner, I couldn’t do that for 3 months. Not with the gardener. Unless he gardened away from me all day long! OK, next year for sure!

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    1. Thanks, Marie. I’ve slowed down a bit. I’m in Philly visiting my family and haven’t written a word in over a week. It feels good to take a break. Hope all is well with you. P.S. My partner took the moonshot photo, I think. Or maybe I took it with his camera. Whatever the case, it is magical, isn’t it?

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  1. Congrats on the residency! Looks like a fantastic spot! (And, yes, lol, writing does kinda suck sometimes and really really sucks at other times.) Hope you had a good time in Philly and are safely back home now.

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