In June I went to the Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency. It was the first year they had the residency, which was located on Cuttyhunk Island, near Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. I’d never heard of it before.
Along with 14 other writers, I studied with the author Paul Harding. I also wrote about 50 pages in my new book. We stayed at The Avalon, a lovely old inn. Here’s a picture:
The residency was a new experience for me. It made me think a lot about class and how its intersection with literary fiction fundamentally blocks our ability to achieve diversity in literature. Part of my reaction was due to the fact that Cuttyhunk Island is so clearly a place for rich people. Of course, it’s a beautiful place.
I didn’t get a decent picture of my room, so here’s one from the Avalon website.
My room had a balcony where I did a lot of writing. The view from the balcony was also great.
One night, there was a double rainbow.
The beaches are rocky and loaded with wild roses.
East Coast insects hate me. I was stung by a wasp, bitten by spiders, and devoured by mosquitoes. This never happens in California.
There were ticks everywhere. I went down this path, and when I came out the other side, seven ticks were crawling up my legs.
I keep thinking I want to move to New England, but it’s really not for me. It was nice to visit though.
Back in New Bedford, I went to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where Herman Melville set part of Moby-Dick. It was a fascinating, weird place. I took pictures with my phone. This is my favorite.
The horrified face of a northern fur seal once it realizes it must spend eternity as taxidermy in a whaling museum. pic.twitter.com/zw5QnqQfez
— Joy Lanzendorfer (@JoyLanzendorfer) June 15, 2016