Most years we have only one group picture. But at breakfast today Jane Shepherd (seated in the middle next to me) gifted everyone with a Jane Austen tattoo!
Here’s a close-up of mine, taken by Foust.
And then Charlotte Morgan introduced us to her Frog “King”–i.e., Elvis. Charlotte is the author of the novel, Protecting Elvis. She worked on that book at Nimrod the same summer I worked on a first draft of “Love Me Tender” (published earlier this year).
Even after the room was empty and the car loaded, we chatted on the front porch of Square House.
So I said goodbye to Jimmy, the man who provided such great food this year.
And goodbye to Nimrod, comforted to know it will be waiting for us next year.
The last day at Nimrod is always bittersweet. All the paths not walked. All I won’t see come to fruition–like this rose in the Square House flower box.
And the naked ladies are just coming on. There will be a huge display, but searching now reveals only spears of varying heights, rather like an asparagus bed in spring. I guess the summer heat here is recent.
Away from here I won’t walk before breakfast. When will I again notice a toad or see a katydid?
But what I’ll miss most is the focus on writing with other writers, discussing ideas, process, and progress–not to mention book recommendations! Of course there is always some of that in my life, but it’s scattered and intermittent.
Nimrod is addictive. One of the writers from last week, Molly Todd, drove over from Richmond for a few more days–and brought her husband!
Except for being the last, it was like every other day. We talked writing before dinner, and after everyone read for five minutes. I read three pages from my new novel, developed this week.
Cathy Hankla, this week’s writer in residence is wonderful. She’s been working her magic here for more than twenty years. Cathy has published eleven books–short stories, novels, and poetry–so far. She’s won numerous prizes and is the Susan Gager Jackson professor of creative writing at Hollins University.
Charlotte Morgan, a novelist, is the writer in residence for Week 3, but she’s also the coordinator of the Nimrod writing programs. Anyone who comes during the first two weeks gets a two-fer, for Charlotte gives generously of her insights and support. Her laugh is famous!
And so I’m wrapping up, having just headed back to Square House in the dark that is so much darker here than in the city.