I'm at Ragdale. This is writer Nirvana. A room of my own and long stretches of time to work. An angel in the kitchen to make lovely dinners for the eight of us in residence: a photographer, a mixed-media artist and six writers, including a poet and the novelist Elinor Lipman, who is charming and funny. And me.
I'm revising and composing and cutting in my pretty yellow room with its rose quilted bedspread and ergonomic chair. For inspiration I have a view of a crab-apple newly in bloom and on the wall, a framed Lynda Barry work in colored pencil. "For Ragdale," she inscribed. "With an arrow shot straight from the deepest street of my heart."
Randy has the girls, of course. A series of patient sitters play with my little ones before and after school. The separation is my only difficulty - I have never been away from the girls longer than a weekend. I will sneak away tonight to meet them at Key Lime Cove, then sneak again to return to this quiet and beautiful place.
I am so grateful to be here, grateful a place like this exists to support artists and writers, grateful that my dear dear husband supports me in my work.
Last night at the dinner table I read a rough draft of a chapter/essay I'd been honing all afternoon. The working title is "Does This Life Jacket Make My Butt Look Big?" and the warmth with which it was received felt very good.
Wish me luck and I wish the same for you.