I’m thrilled to share the good news that my short story, “The Lola Channel,” won an honorable mention in the International Literary Seminar (ILS)-Fiction Contest Fellowship, with a tuition discount to their residency in Kenya this December as the prize. Very exciting!
However, after going back and forth for an entire week (and pulling lots of tarot cards for guidance), I’ve decided not to attend. It’s still out of my price range even with the discount, but more so, my beloved dog Basil is terminally ill, and I want to be here with him for his final months after so many years (15!) together.
I’ve also been moving into more of a homebody vibe these days, and while the idea of a writing residency in Kenya got me all amped up, I felt an internal friction when I envisioned getting on a plane, staying in a room, meeting new people. Winter is coming and I love the idea of nesting at home with my creatures and our art. I want to finish a draft of my memoir. I want to record two new songs I’ve been working on. I want to meditate and rest and take care of this body I’ve so often neglected in favor of going out on adventures. Dave and I also dream of opening our own art house one day down here in Brooklyn by the Sea and have been engaging in exciting conversations about art as community nourishment. I’m realizing that right now, I’d rather put my time and energy into my home and my neighborhood than into traveling.
Does this mean I’ve lost my adventurous side, that I no longer have a traveler’s spirit? Of course not! There will be future opportunities. It just means now isn’t the time for me to go.
Still, I wanted to be extra sure before emailing the organizers my declination, and so I returned to my tarot deck last night. The Queen of Pentacles greeted me. Do you know what she represents? Caring, nurturing, homebody.
I am on the right path for me at the moment. It has taken a long time to be able to even hear my instinct, much less trust it. I’m grateful to be in tune with myself now.
And I’m also grateful for this win! Declining the fellowship doesn’t mean I’m not celebrating. Cheers to me, and cheers to all my writer siblings out there!