I have been sitting on this news for a few months now. And a writing residency is something that I have always wanted to do but felt too scared to project far enough into the future, afraid to get rejected, afraid to have my work and career compared to others who have published more than I have. I've applied for other writing residencies and not get in. I also saw that there are literally a dizzying number of writing residencies that exist worldwide, in the far reaches of the globe for months, perched on the side of mountains, smack in the middle of an ancient ruin, and arctic tundra, up to a year at a time. It seemed a little too reclusive and hermit-ish which made it a bit intimidating for my tastes. What if I "lose it" while writing alone without human contact? And as ridiculous as this may sound, I need to remind myself that a writing residency or retreat mind you is not an isolation chamber. There are often opportunities to interact with other writers and communities. Some writing residencies very little, having me wonder if the potential income could cover my expenses and debts and others nothing, and others had me scratching my head. Complicated by the fact that I am a full-time teacher during the school year, it is challenging to take off six months or eight months at a time for a huge income cut. It's one of the dilemmas that I experience when I have to choose between my writing career and my teaching career. Nevertheless, I decided to apply to the Joy Kogawa House Writing Residency. Partly because I have had an interest in trying out life in Vancouver (for a few years now) and the fact that a shorter residency of three months was offered, I thought I would give it the "old college try".
Well, it worked!
I am proud to have been selected to be a writer in residence at the childhood home of one of Canada's well-loved children's book authors, Joy Kogawa.
Just think of it. The salty Pacific air and the damp humid rainforest, long summer days and mountains, and the creak of wooden floors in a cozy cottage. I will be drinking a mug of tea, the warm glow of a lamp, and a circle of writers clutching notepads and laptops. The grey sky and beads of rain on the windowpanes... I close my laptop and ride my bicycle to buy a righteous organic locally-grown and sourced rice bowl with steamed tofu and nori and lots of vegetarian fare (because I'm vegetarian.) Sigh! The west coast. I digress...
It's predestined y'all!