My Time at Hawthornden International Writers’ Retreat

2015-05-12 13.05.28I have written an essay for Lit Hub about my time at Hawthornden Castle, in Spring of this year. The essay is also about the poetry of Sir William Drummond. I’m really happy with this bit of micro journalism, and I have a link to it, here:

My essay on Hawthornden.

Hopefully, I will return to Hawthornden in five years. But — until then — I will only have my photographs to look at. I wrote much of my new book, there. It is a wonderful refuge. I think that the ability to work in silence is something that we get less and less, in our modern, iPhone saturated world. There was no internet, no cell phone reception. All was peaceful (and cold) at the property just outside of Edinburgh. I felt blessed.

What has been going on in my life, otherwise? I ran a half-marathon. Here is photographic evidence. 12109275_990432887435_6605317107049264998_nWell, okay, this isn’t exactly photographic evidence — it certainly could be some kind of bizarre forgery — but that would be a strange kind of madness, don’t you think?

The half-marathon was quite a challenge. I staggered the last two miles — barely making it in — my shins aching and my vision going blurry. But I did it. And I can only improve on my time, right? Right? Right! Thank you. Why did that take you so long to say?

I’ve also written an essay for the Spring 2016 issue of Tin House — which will be the “faith” issue. And I’m working on short fiction. My story, “The Diplomat’s Wife,” received a Notable Story citation in the 2015 Best American Short Stories. So: Lots of writing, some running, and daily MASSIVE doses of coffee.

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