September 2, 2016 by Petrea
Expecting the Unexpected
The Angeles National Forest, partnered with the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, is hosting six artists in residence this summer: a graphic artist, a wood carver, a photographer, and three writers: a poet, a screenwriter, and me. Each of us gets time alone to work, and in return we share our work with people who visit the mountains.
I was originally supposed to do my residency right about the time of the Blue Cut Fire, so plans had to change. The forest will do what the forest will do.
Now that I’ve been rescheduled, I’m so excited to go that by Wednesday I had nervous tummy (in a good way). Time alone in a mountain lodge is thrilling and terrifying all at once. Like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you take that bottle down from the shelf—the one with the tag that says “drink me”—and you drink, not knowing what the results will be.
I’ll work on Grave Goods (working title), my new novel, about an archivist who finds a photo that changes who she thinks she is and puts her life in danger. I’ve got a couple of other writing projects to work on, and I look forward to the time to think about them. I could get a lot done in a week. That or go crazy.
I’ll also teach two writing workshops called From Brain to Page. Come on up! It’ll be fun. UPDATE 9/7/16: THE WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELED.
Internet access will be spotty but I’ll approve and respond to comments as often as I can. I hope you’ll weigh in. Have you ever been on an artist’s retreat? Do you have a favorite spot?
What I expect for the coming days is to hike, take photos, read, do yoga, visit Wrightwood, hike some more, and write, write, write. What I don’t expect, I’ll tell you about when I get back.