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.
One of my favorite walks up Nimrod Lane passes this tiny graveyard. Three members of the Smith family are buried here–gone and forgotten?–and several mornings each summer, I pay my respects.
I’ve always loved graveyards and cemeteries. I have a favorite tree in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA. In fact the main picture on my website was taken there, in the first garden cemetery in the US. And as some of you may know, my story in Virginia Is For Mysteries is “Death Comes To Hollywood Cemetery”— which is in Richmond, VA, and is the third oldest garden cemetery in the US.
But enough, before I get carried away sending pictures of my skull jewelry. BTW, skulls are also a symbol of transformation.
My work today had nothing to do with death or cemeteries, though my new novel will have much to do with transformation. I spent the morning trying to apply the structure used for “Brokeback Mountain” (by Annie Proulx, in Close Range: Wyoming Stories) to my novel. In that story, only 30 pp, I saw how a story spanning decades can be compelling while (by?) leaving out a lot.
The two writers “on” today were widely divergent and wonderful.
Foust is a writer, cartoonist, and print maker who lives in Richmond, VA. She is seen here on the Square House side porch with her two new books. Six Of One, Half-Dozen Of The Other is a book of cartoons. Sins of Omission is a collection of stories. Foust specializes in short-shorts, so many of these are only a couple of pages with enormous punch.
Amelia L. Williams is a prize-winning poet from Afton, VA. Her language is both lyrical and gripping. She has done–and is continuing to develop–an amazing installation of in situ art with integrated poems.
This picture of Amelia was taken shortly before her workshop and reading. Obviously, Nimrod writer weeks are pressure cooker sorts of events.