Residence at Write On Door County Productive

September 23-29

I spent a productive week at Write On Door County, a fantastic non profit organization that supports writing and the arts. The week there was part of my Hal Prize award for my poem “The Obligation.”

During the day the quiet, respectful staff worked in their office spaces, while I inhabited “my space” in the house where I spread out my work at the kitchen table. From there I had a view of the deck and the back yard. I went to Door County with the intention of finishing my second novel, On Summit Road. Except for an epilogue chapter and a couple of tweaky things, I accomplished that goal, working about six hours a day.

But I did not chain myself to the computer. Every morning I took my coffee outside, at noon my lunch, and when I needed breathing space, I walked the trails on the Write On property. In the northern woods, a poem began to write itself in my head.

One day, after the hot weather had moved out, I took a picnic out to The Coop, the coolest little writing space (once the personal writing nook of Door County’s best known writer, Norbert Blei). While out there I returned a wasp to the wild instead of ending its life, I ate my picnic lunch, and I worked out details for the climactic scene in my book. I wished there had been a padded bench, for besides writing, the little coop with a woodsy breeze blowing through the screens would have been an excellent place for a little nap.

I met three very nice Door County poets at their monthly gathering in Ellison Bay and spent a second evening in Ephraim at my friend’s condo, where she was entertaining three friends from home. Both events were fun, but it was my solitary time that I cherished the most. Each day I did not fail to remember what a remarkable gift I had been given.

But by Saturday I was ready to come home. I had accomplished what I had set out to do.

Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY!

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