Sun, sea, sand.
Three words that bring me joy in January.
Add to this trio communing with kindred spirits and the joyful picture is complete.
This year’s Seminar theme was Desire.
For three hours each morning I, along with 10 other writers, grappled with how to tell true stories in engaging and meaningful ways. We considered subject, form, voice, detail, conflict, momentum, and dramatic arc.
We read and critiqued each other’s works-in-progress and learned strategies for creating compelling nonfiction. We discussed the writing life and shared our life stories.
Doing this among strangers takes courage, but it wasn’t long until we bonded over our shared passion.
Being in the physical presence of fellow writers for the first time in over two years, was at times overwhelming. In a good way. Sometimes you don’t realize what you are missing until it arrives.
Many literary luminaries wrote in Key West including Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Bishop, Shel Silverstein, Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams, Wallace Stevens, Anne Beattie, and Judy Blume.
Writers continue to draw inspiration from this unique place. If you visit, make sure to take the Literary Walking Tour.
The arts abound in the Key West. The island is only 5 square miles, easily walkable and bike rentals readily available. The place is full of color and character. I found the locals quite friendly.
The stars truly aligned for all this to happen amidst the Omicron threat. I am grateful to the Seminar committee for granting me a fellowship, along with the lovely accommodations at Eden House.
This break in routine, change of scenery, socializing, and inspiration all served to jump-start my creativity and motivation.
I gained the direction and focus needed to complete the essay I’d struggled with for many months. “The Bridge That Fell Down” is now ready to send out into the world.
I hope you, too, can find ways to experience this much-needed rejuvenation, big or small, in anyway possible.