Why You Need to Fund Your Own Writing Residency

I’m currently sitting in Lyon, France in a sweet little apartment in the Croix-Rousse neighborhood. It’s as charming as it sounds. Even though I applied for four different residencies all over the world, and was accepted for two and declined one, I still decided to fund my own trip abroad to spend some quality time with my book. It had nothing to do with a revolt against the system or a declaration that I can do things better on my own. My decision came from an answer to a question that I asked myself when I sent off all of the applications in the first place – What if I don’t get into a single one? The answer – I’ll go anyway.

So I have. Here’s why you should fund your own residency too.

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Barbara Kingsolver: Flight Behavior

I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior and I thought it would be fun do a book review and talk about what I liked about the book from a writing perspective. My first reaction: I liked this book.

I could completely identify with the main character, Dellarobia. Kingsolver did a fantastic job of showing us her life without laying on the melodrama. This character was very aware of how her decisions had landed her in a stale marriage with two kids and a dissatisfying stint as a stay at home mom. She blames no one, she doesn’t feel sorry for herself, she simply lays out the facts of what has gotten her there and how she feels about her situation. Including how she feels when she runs toward, and wants to embrace, big mistakes. But that’s not all.

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Best American Essays 2015

It was one of those days. I had slept until noon, lounged in my pajamas until almost 4, and berated myself for most of those hours for not just getting my act together already. Which was all needless nonsense because when the lazies have hit, they have hit, and I have found that sometimes the best counter measure is none at all. I sprawled on the couch resolving to just roll with it. Who cares?! Take. A. Day. Off. Seriously, Type A. Chill.

Well, that was the idea until I got a note from Ann Pryzyzcki at Isthmus telling me that my piece, Diego Forever, had been listed as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015. While I can’t confirm the specifics of the following events, I have it on good authority that they went something like this…

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