So it has been a while since I posted. But following my awesome experience with a new offering affiliated with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, my mindset has changed and so too, my actions.
I was one of seven aspiring debut novelists selected for a writing workshop/retreat led by Heidi Durrow, author of the soul-stirring “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.”
After reading her exquisite debut novel several years ago, I told Heidi, via Facebook, that her book made me tear up my manuscript and start a major revision. Just days ago, we discussed my revised manuscript during the workshop, which turned out to be even more fabulous than I anticipated. Heidi is not just a terrific wordsmith, she is an insightful teacher. And she is funny, kind-hearted, relentless and brilliant to boot.
Durrow fostered a safe setting for seven strangers to bond and in the process forge a tribe of writers determined to polish and publish our novels. We all felt validated by the fact that the only way to get to the cinematic landscape that serves as home to the program is by invitation.
My private writer’s studio had a majestic view of the coastal grasslands, rolling emerald hills and Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Trails wind throughout the property past towering Redwoods, babbling creeks and dozens of stunning sculptures created by the program’s visual artists.
The workshop/retreat is a new entity for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, internationally recognized as one of the best artist residency programs.
I left Durrow and Djerassi feeling like one for the first time. And now that my mindset has changed, so has my energy. That is why last Saturday, I spent the afternoon attending the area’s first FLOW Collective, a series of inspirational speakers from diverse occupations who shared how they engage “in a vibrant space of creating, living and producing.”
Speakers such as Kym Grinnage inspired me with his daily morning ritual of thanking the universe for what he has and moving on from there. He operates from “an attitude of gratitude,” said the vice president and general manager at NBC 12.
The stimulating program, which organizers plan to make annual, was also interactive. So I pitched my FLIPPER GIRL screenplay and caught the attention of a successful director. We’ll see where that goes. And if nowhere, I will keep trying, because my work, my novel and scripts, which all deal with adolescents struggling with identity and finding their voice, have something important to say in my signature style.
I am an artist.