After an 18-day writer-in-residence retreat at Ragdale, I got to spend an extra night to attend a workshop held there Saturday afternoon: “Finding Home―Writing & Publishing in the Global Community.” Those 5 hours flew by as fast as the previous 18 days. A panel with Heather Buchanan, publisher at Aquarius Press/Willow Books; Ralph Hamilton, senior editor at RHINO; Danny Parra, editorial director at 7Vientos was moderated by the Director of the Guild Literary Complex John Rich.
Fascinating to here about editorial decisions from “their” side, and lots of useful information about queries, multiple submissions, cover letters, all those concerns writers fret about once completing the words they want to send. The poetry workshop was moderated by Angela Narcisco Torres, prose by Angie Chuang, both winners of Aquarius Press’ first emerging writers’ contest.
|Orchids waited to bloom.|
My experiences at Ragdale couldn’t have ended better. I’m still not sure it wasn’t all a wonderful dream, like if Frank Baum had Dorothy navigate her greatest fantasy before waking up in The Wizard of Oz.
But Dorothy didn’t have my family and the most adorable little pip-squeak in my granddaughter, who is the very best of her mother, my oldest, and who idolizes her aunt, my youngest and is as excited to see me and as I am to see her.
My husband can’t replicate the monastic quiet that stirs creativity for Ragdale’s residents, but somehow he managed to bribe one of my orchids to wait for me before blooming. And he didn’t have every horizontal plane covered with papers, nor did he screw pictures into the wall, willy nilly. In fact, the washer/dryer was repaired, and the corner where his desk allegedly sat at last reveals the desk―a project that must have taken every one of those 19 days I was gone.
Yep, I’m back in the real world again, no question. But I’m not the same person I was when I left. I’m a writer now. Thank you Ragdale for the time and confidence-building, and thanks to my family for their happiness for my opportunity.