My week at Djerassi wasn't my first workshop/retreat but it was the longest one I've had the opportunity to enjoy. I'd never participated in one longer than a weekend before Nova's class. I've benefited greatly from weekend workshops, but having an entire week away from home added depth to my experience in the downtime, the beyond-the-workshop hours, that I couldn't have fully anticipated. Did I miss my home, my family, and my pets? Beyond measure. But I did make the most of my time there. I made great headway on a novel revision and even expanded the opening to a whole new project I had no intention of working on while I was there.
And here are some visual highlights:
|I stayed in the building known as The Artists House and this plaque greeted me every time I returned.|
|Let me just admit this isn't what pork chop night looks like at my house.|
|Chef Dan cuts into his life-altering vegan fruit tart we enjoyed on our final night (while his buddy, Lucy looks on hopefully).|
|You can't even imagine the deliciousness.|
|Our panoramic view from inside the barn as we worked from writing prompts one evening.|
|Movie night in the barn! The movie was Adaptation.|
|And Surprise! The Simon & Schuster Summer Lovin' Tour 2.0 featuring Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, Jody Casella, and C.J. Flood came to us on Friday afternoon. Wow. Still shocked and incredibly grateful this fell into place.|
|"Fall of the Celestial Axe" by Drue Kataoka. My shot doesn't capture it well but every flat surface is covered in mirror mosaic. The reflections are stunning.|
|This way to David Nash's work.|
|"City of Salt" by Nicholas Kahn|
|Orpheus from "Orpheus Coyote and Friends" by William King.|
|Coyote from William King's "Orpheus Coyote and Friends"|
|"Dialog" by Roland Mayer|
|"Link" by Aristotle Georgiades|
|"Ouroborus" by Sebastian Mendes|
|"To Market To Market" by Ann Weber & William Wareham|
|A view inside The Old Barn|
|Wire oral contraception package scupltures done by Brittany Powell in the Old Barn windows were inspired by Djerassi's founder, Dr. Carl Djerassi , known as the father of the birth control pill|
|These "State Certified Fact" plaques by James Chinneck are such fun and will make you think twice about what you believe on a bronze plaque.|
|"Proof" of the "State Certified Fact" featured above.|
Then there is the raw beauty of the Djerassi grounds that inspired the artists:
|Redwoods. Ahhhh . .|
|The remarkable stretch of the views|
|The magical mist|
|The path from The Barn to The House|
|My favorite tree|
|The Old Barn|
And a real life Hank the Cowdog, along with his human, Tom, keep things functioning. They are both pretty great, but only one of them will fetch a pinecone. But then again, only the other one can drive you around the property for a motorized tour on his Gator four wheeler.
And I owe a huge shout of thanks to Laura and Celia. Thanks, ladies! For everything! These two staff members, who are also artists, provided transportation, shopping, conversation, and just overall did everything possible to make us feel at home. I didn't get pictures of either of them, but you can trust when I tell you they are lovely.
Another lovely lady I need to thank is Margot Haliday Knight. Margot was my very first contact to Djerassi through her warm emails. She was every bit as warm and welcoming in person when she sat with us and shared Djerassi's history and purpose.
And all good things must end . . . but not entirely. I'm no longer at Djerassi but I think it will always be a part of me, and I know it will always be a part of the manuscript I workshopped while there. And the new one I started. And the fun writing pieces spurred by writing prompts. And, just and and and and and . . .