Keep this between us

May I tell you something? It will only take a minute and I’m just dying to share it with someone.

I’m pinning some hopes on something special and … what? I’m not sure I want to say just yet. You’re right, that’s a bit cruel. Hmm, I’ll tell you what it is but not where it is. OK?

Last summer, while working at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, I got to know a wonderfully talented artist, Lane Kendrick. She opened my eyes to the possibilities of securing an artist residency. Yeah, writers are considered artists.

I finally did a bit of research this winter and found there are quite a few scattered around the world. Generally, each offers a place to stay from a week to six months free of rent. Some include food and some a stipend, but mostly they are opportunities to get away from it all and concentrate on writing.

OK, I promised to be quick. I’ve already been rejected by one program. It really didn’t interest me an awful lot and I knew it was quite competitive, so no big deal.

However, I filed my second application packet yesterday and this one is different. It is in an incredible location and lasts for one month this fall. Leah is allowed to accompany me (that was a requirement on my end) and we’ll be almost isolated. I’ve already worked up a promising angle for a JP Weiscarver story set in that location … something different but I think you and I will find it a rewarding tale.

While putting together my application, I made contact with someone within the sponsoring organization to clarify a couple of issues and we became engaged in a lovely email conversation, which excited Leah and me even more.

She didn’t come right out and say so, but my impression is they have not received a ton of applications. Part of the reason for that may be all of the warnings they listed. Not only will we be isolated much of the time, but there will be no telephone, TV or … shudder … online service for a month. Oh, yes, we need to carry in a month’s worth of food, but water and electricity are provided, though we have to learn how to maintain the solar generator and operate the reverse osmosis magic water maker.

Sound like fun? I’m supposed to hear back from them by early July. I’ll tell you all about it then. For now, keep your fingers crossed.

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