February at Storyknife

The day has been bright and very cold. At Storyknife, I shoveled, turned on the hot water, flushed toilets, and checked each cabin and Eva’s House. A couple sets of moose tracks have been punched into the crusted-over snow in front of Eva’s House and heading down the path that loops to the little pond. Evidence of other little critters abounds, ermine tracks and vole tracks, and ever-present squirrel tracks. Flocks of pine siskins move from one group of spruce trees to another. I shoveled to the deep calls of a couple ravens that were flickering in and out of the nearby valley.

And in each cabin, I warmed my hands and feet in front of the stove. Storyknife is heated with natural gas, and the little stoves make the cabins toasty and cozy.

In the past month, I’ve been communicating with the women who had been scheduled to come to Storyknife last year, but who will be arriving starting in June this year. We’re taking all precautions and hoping that everyone will be able to be vaccinated before they travel, but we don’t want to put off residencies any longer.

One of the things I’ve learned as I’ve talked with these women writers is that despite what the whole world seems to think, they’re not getting much writing done during the lock-downs. There are children to help homeschool and entertain, meals to be prepared, a thousand meetings on Zoom, and a general lack of the mental and physical space that helps writers concentrate. More than ever, they just long to focus on their own work, their incubating novels, their sketchy poems, their barely imagined screenplays and scattered essays.

And so we prepare to make Storyknife welcoming and their time here blissfully productive (though we suspect there might be some naps and time spent staring at the mountains).

June will be here before we know it. Keep watching for our open application period for 2022 that will open in the summer.

Stay safe and take care,
Erin

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