Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hedgebrook 2015



My hotel bed, where I lay for many hours this morning with muddled, joyful thoughts




I can't persuade myself that writing is honest work. It's great fun and I love it. 
For one thing, it's the only way I can get to sit down. 


Shirley Jackson


A few months ago, a couple of my writer friends sent me notices about Hedgebrook and persuaded me to apply for a residency, so I did -- at the very last minute -- and took no notice afterward. Yesterday afternoon, in the middle of a lacrosse game, I glanced away from the game and opened an email that said this:


Elizabeth:
Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that the Selection Committee has awarded you a 2015 residency at Hedgebrook.  


Having narrowed the original 1466 applicants to a final group of 102, the committee awarded 40 residencies for 2015.  You are one of these select few.  


Reader, I burst into tears, stumbled down the bleacher seats and into the parking lot where I cried a bit then re-read the email and began to freak out. Here's the thing: I will be staying for THREE WEEKS in a cottage on Whidbey Island this summer, where I will find comfort, solitude, land to explore and nourishing meals from our own and other locally grown gardens. The email stated Our objective is to provide you with a place to continue your work. 

I am honestly stunned and have remained so for nearly two days. I woke this morning in the hotel room in San Diego where Henry and I were sleeping and had what I call morning madness, the thoughts that plague you in those dark, dark hours before dawn. How will I pull this off? There must be some mistake! Surely there are others more deserving? It might be impossible for me to accept this! What kind of a mother leaves her kids for three weeks to WRITE? Surely this is a joke! I'm selfish for being so excited. You know the drill, right? The lazy, bourgeois byzantine rambling thoughts of the morning hours. Then came three lacrosse games and a three hour drive back to Los Angeles.

Apparently, I actually did get a Hedgebrook Writing Residency. Holy mackerel! My gratitude knows no bounds, but holy moly! Thank you Hedgebrook!



35 comments:

  1. You earned it, you absolutely deserve it. Wonderful news! Congratulations!

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  2. This is absolutely thrilling!!!! You so deserve it. And you are a mother but you are an artist too and you must feed your artistic self too if you are to give your best to your kids so of course you must accept!!! Oh Elizabeth, I'm so happy for you.

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  3. This makes me believe in magic. This makes me believe that sometimes, that which is deserved truly happens. This makes my heart rise up in joy for you, Elizabeth.
    You don't know how many times I've cried, thinking of you in this place. I am crying again now.
    Yes and yes and yes and yes.
    It is time. And it will happen. And the universe has smiled and said, "yes."

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  4. I truly cannot think of one more deserving and I have to believe that the stars will align to make it not only possible for you to go, but for you to go with a free and clear conscience regarding the kids!

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  5. That's fabulous Elizabeth!! FABULOUS!!! What a gift, and it's one you deserve.
    x
    y

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  6. AWESOME.

    So happy for you I can't stand it!

    And tell that BS "what kind of a mother" bitch on your shoulder to STFU.

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  7. I am so, so happy to hear such good news. I love your writing and often think it needs a wider audience. I am thrilled for you.

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  8. I've been going to the summer residency at Whidbey Writer's Workshop just outside Coupeville on Whidbey Island since 2008. There is something about the location that turns on my narrative voice. Here's hoping that your stay at Hedgebrook will help you get current projects moving and will generate lots of new work. Somehow things will work out for you to get there. You deserve this time for you. x0 N2

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  9. ...and you deserve it. I am THRILLED for you! Let me know how I can help - airport ride, etc., etc. xoxo

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  10. It's a magical place, and you are so deserving. Congrats!

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  11. So so so so pleased for you!

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  12. You will leave your indelible mark there. Congratulations. Write hard.

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  13. Yaaaaaay!!!! That's amazing! Well done, Elizabeth. I can't wait to read some of what you produce during that much-deserved time. :)

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  14. Tears here too, but I am not an ounce stunned. You are so deserving. I am shaking with excitement for you. xo

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  15. Oh, I'm SO, SO, happy for you!! (and more than a little jealous!) You so very much deserve this. I'm so excited! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  16. Are you kidding? You are a brilliant writer and this is just what you need girlfriend.
    Walk through open doors. It's our policy.
    And your family will be okay.

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  17. Ahhhhhhhhh! This is amazing news. Of course you got it. And of course you cried. And of course you deserve it. So happy for you.

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  18. oh, elizabeth! do you hear someone jumping up & down & cheering for you on the East Coast? my husband just said 'what happened; i told him. he said, wow! (he's from Seattle, so knows where youre going..) hip-hip-hooray!

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  19. This thrills me so much I keep coming back and re-reading it. (so don't worry if it looks like Homeland Security is monitoring you again!)

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  20. That's wonderful Elizabeth.

    What mother leaves her children for three weeks? Normal mothers, that's who. You'll figure it out. I would care for Sophie for one of those weeks it that helps.

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  21. Congratulations! Affirmation is the best, most wonderful, thing... three weeks of solitude to do whatever you want is a close second. So happy for you!

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  22. Congratulations on this long overdue recognition! I can't wait to read your Hedgebrook writings.

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  23. Congratulations! This is well deserved!

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  24. I love that you applied and I love that they acknowledged you in this way. Congratulations! I know many people who have been there and love the depth of the experience. I can't wait to hear about your days spent there being pampered and writing. So thrilled for you!

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  25. I am so damn happy for you. Holy shit! Yay!

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  26. Hooray for you! I live on Whidbey and am always promoting the Hedgebrook residencies. The place and people are all magical. So glad to "know" someone who will be coming this summer. Karen G. introduced me to your blog, I love your writing. This is a well deserved accomplishment. Congratulations--spectacular news!

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  27. How absolutely fantastic and wonderful!
    yippee woohoo hurrah bravo yay and every other joyful exclamation, what a beautiful setting and inspiring situation to be able to experience! many good wishes!

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  28. Ditto Fullsoulahead! I am "that kind of mother," and you think nothing less of me, right? This is a win/win of the highest degree.

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  29. That's major and cool. Will you get to play Quiddich or whatever it's called?

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  30. Ah man! Shoot!

    I just found this blog while doing a random google about hedgebrook emails because I applied for a residency and haven't heard from them yet. So this is how I learn that the people who did get in have already received their notifications. Ouch! LOL!!!

    Ah well. I applied on a whim and knew it was a veeeerrrry long shot for me. But while i was here I thought I'd just pop in and say congratulations!

    Have a great (and productive) time!!

    Melissa

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