5 Things We Did at a Writing Residency

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We’re back at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony this month. Read some other posts about Writing Retreats HERE and HERE.

Gen Space Cover FINALWe began the residency by going through the copyedited manuscript of Generation Space: A Love Story. That sounds rather tedious, but we found it exciting. Not only did we get caught up as writing nerds in the minutia of comparing Chicago and NASA style, but we felt motivated, knowing that this stage leads to the next stage, to book production and galleys. With daily distractions removed, we turned the manuscript around fast, within a few days.

And then we moved on to other projects. We’re both revising book manuscripts. Anna is working on Conversing With Cancer for the Language as Social Action from Peter Lang; her co-author handed over the manuscript right before we headed out. Doug is revising his novel, a spy story set in Los Alamos and on the Santa Chief during World War II. Both books are completely drafted, but revising is usually as time consuming.

OL tumor visuals2Anna is also drafting Tumor, which will appear in the Object Lessons series at Bloomsbury in fall 2017. Doug’s major revision and Anna’s drafting of this book have been difficult to manage much at all in the midst of classes and meetings and laundry. As much as we’d like to have year-round daily writing habits, that’s difficult for us and, we imagine, for many other writers. Our goals for these two projects were put on hold these last few months. That’s why we remain incredibly grateful for the opportunity for residencies these last several years. Knowing that we’d be at Dorland for August, we could put these two projects on hold without putting them aside or at risk.

Dorland1.jpgWe kept up with the blog. Admittedly, we queued up some posts ahead of time so that we could focus on writing and revising our big projects, but this post is written at Dorland in the very spot that this photo documents. And these Dorland photos are current. If you want to see a tarantula and a lizard at Dorland, take a look at a previous visit HERE.

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Anna’s writing shoes (glow-in-the-dark constellations by Toms)

We also read, ate, exercised, and slept. In other words, we took care of ourselves. At a writing residency, we’re more aware of the choices we make (the choices we are able to make) about how to spend our time. Here, we’re conscious and appreciative of a good book, a good meal, a good sweaty trek up the hill, and a good night’s sleep. (And also of what we wear, including good writing shoes.)

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