I take it as a good sign that I haven’t posted on the blog recently. I’m currently in residence at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, and I am spending my days working on a new novel.
After a wonderful weekend in Indiana for the Indiana Author Awards, I came up to Chicago and got settled into my room/studio in the Ragdale House, pictured here. The house is one of two main buildings on the property–the other being the Barn House. My studio is on the second floor and has a great view looking out toward the Shaw Prairie, which extends all the way out to the Skokie River and nature preserve. It’s a beautiful spot.
There are eight other residents at the moment, about half writers and half visual artists. Several are from the Chicago area, but others are from New Hampshire, London, and Minnesota. One more, from Florida, is due in a few days.
The residency works a little differently from others I’ve been to. For one thing, the writers live and work in the same space. It’s a large room, though, so that’s okay. We’re also on our own for breakfast and lunch, although we have access to well-stocked kitchens, so we don’t have to buy food. The culinary highlight, though, is that we are served fabulous meals 5 nights a week. We gather at 6:30 and enjoy delicious food prepared by Chef Linda.
I’m making progress on my new novel. I hope to finish a draft of the book by the time I leave here. That’s ambitious and I might not make it, but my word count currently is 56,000 words and I’m thinking that the book will be short. So . . . maybe. In any case I hope to establish a good rhythm with the book so I can finish soon after returning home. I’ve got two weeks left here, though, so . . . we’ll see.
The residency sounds great, Cliff! Hope you are able to post once in a while about the progress of the book and the experience at Ragdale!
DV H just told me you are in the area and in residency up north of the city. I hope this means that when you need a break from writing you will come down and see us city folk. Sounds like your location may be a bit too idyllic to write the action thrillers that we expect from you. Let me know when you want to come down and see the rough scramble world of Chitown.
Indeed I am here in Lake Forest, but haven’t left my space here at all. I’ve only got one week left, though, so I’m not planning any excursions. Hope to be back soon, though! Nice to hear from you.