Wildacres was intense. It's way up in the mountains. Like, the last big portion of the drive up there involves a bunch of hairpin turns. I spent one week living alone in the Owl's Nest, reading, researching, and writing poems. My days were long, many of them rainy. I slept in, ate meals at the lodge with the staff and other residents, walked around in the woods, and spent a lot of time reading poems out loud because there was no one around to mind it.
The rainy days were the most productive, I think. I managed to produce several drafts. I read a lot, which was very needed. I spent a lot of time in books of poems. I did a lot of pretty eye-opening research about Midland and the desert, creatures, plants, weather, historical events. I've got lots of new ideas for where the project is going. I feel good about my progress overall.
The staff was delightful. They were welcoming and kind, patient with me locking myself out of my cabin and fretting over the many critters I shared it with, including mice. They were all creative in different ways themselves. It was a privilege to get to know them a bit over the week. Also, the other residents, two musicians and a fellow poet, were lovely people. I was happy to meet them and share the experience with them.
Little Switzerland was the nearby town. It was something out of storybook, I thought. A cafe, a general store, a bookstore, and a town hall that hosted an arts and crafts fair during my time there. There was a wedding going on that day at the chalet, so there were lots of fancy-dressed folks around. I really enjoyed the little town.
Here are a bunch of photos from my stay:
I am so grateful for this opportunity. I learned a lot. Solitude is strange. It's taking me some time to adjust to my everyday world. I think I gained some much-needed perspective, on my project, on the things I'm researching, on myself as a writer. All good things.
For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, here's a video I made of "Residence or Refuge," a poem from Still I thought was fitting to my adventure: