April 4, 2014

"Whatever place you might find yourself in at the moment a residency commences, at MacDowell, they will scoop you up and put you gently down..."

"... in a beautiful little cabin in the New Hampshire woods, with a desk, a window and very likely a fireplace—a screen porch, even. And total silence all around...."
I was given a separate place to sleep in, a ways off, but I loved my writing space so much I only spent one night there. All the rest of my time at MacDowell I slept on a cot in my writing cabin, making the half-mile walk through the woods, or on dirt paths, on a nice, old fat-tire bike provided to me, for breakfast and dinner at the main lodge. Lunch was delivered to my cabin every day—quietly so as not to disturb my work—in a picnic basket set on the porch....

Dinners were spent with the other artists in residence—many of whom lived in tiny Brooklyn studios the rest of the year or worked in dark cubicles whose only contact with the outdoors was a fire escape.....

7 comments:

Lydia said...

Not one word in the piece about the lovely "quiet space" J.D. Salinger provided when she spent several months living with him in his house in the woods, and then used it to springboard into her writing career. Now I call that ingratitude.

madAsHell said...

at MacDowell, they will scoop you up and put you gently down...""

Have you ever observed an amoeba eating?

Trashhauler said...

It must be nice to be rescued from one's own period of mediocrity and treated as one would like to believe is one's due.

Certainly, she is no Daughter of Martha.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Enh. I have a friend (a composer) who spent two stints at MacDowell, and loved it.

m stone said...

For Maynard, it was reclusion at MacDowell that released her expression. Others toil in noisy spaces and find inspiration in a simple conversation, a dream, a walk, and God.

The DarkRoom software was actually the most worldly tool that enabled me years ago as a writer. It is almost indispensable.

David said...

Finally, a writers retreat where everyone isn't there to get laid?

Maynard gets a lot of flack. She is an easy target in some ways. Always on the edge of some desperation. But she's kept at it as a writer for a long time, knowing that she is likely always to be remembered, if she is remembered at all, for the year she was 18 years old. I give her credit for that.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

So this is a get out of jail free card? Or is jail not a place one could be in?

Must not be any deployed authors who get swooped up as that seems like it would be against regulations.

I prefer accurate pithiness to wordy, pointless micro-observations.