Antigua, AWP and Abiquiu

Curtain Bluff from aboard Sentio for sundowner...

Curtain Bluff from aboard Sentio.

Ready for a reentry rumination? After nine sublime days in the Caribbean, I’m swapping swim trunks and sunscreen for conference kit and desert camo. Here’s a sneak peak at the exciting adventure behind and ahead.

West Indies

Each winter I join my bride and in-laws for a pilgrimage to warmer climes, gentler rhythms and an extended opportunity to catch up. This year we escaped to Curtain Bluff, an intimate resort in Antigua that felt familiar from the moment we arrived. In fact, we were so smitten with the welcoming staff, the gracious guests, the understated decadence and the endless-but-effortless opportunities for recreation that we unanimously voted to return next year, locking in our reservations before departing yesterday afternoon.

The character of Curtain Bluff is truly unique among luxury Caribbean resorts. Its boutique scale and dramatic real estate (two magnificent beaches divided by an elevated promontory permitting accommodations and spa sensational ocean views) provide two important ingredients for their magic formula, but by far the most critical is the people. Simply put, the staff and guests at Curtain Bluff create the most compelling marriage of any resort I’ve ever known in the Caribbean.

@ Thank you for staying with us! We can't wait to welcome you back to Curtain Bluff next year!
Curtain Bluff

It’s not a stretch to talk about Curtain Bluff as a “family”, and not just in the varnished, Technicolor brochure way either. I made new friends virtually every day, friends who work at Curtain Bluff and friends who vacation at Curtain Bluff, friends who have already been in touch and with whom I’ll keep in touch, friends who I look forward to seeing again. Fortunately we’ll see many of them again next winter on vacation. And some we’ll see even sooner. Two different members of the staff have already made arrangements to visit us in the Adirondacks this summer! Watch e-Marginalia for a more contemplative reflection soon…

Windy City

After trickle charging my batteries in Antigua, it’s now time to sharpen my pencil and get back to write write writing. To jump start my creative editing and revising juices I’m heading off to Chicago for The Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference which takes place from February 29 to March 3 and which boasted over 9,000 attendees last year. I’m hoping for a slightly tidier affair this year as it is my first AWP foray, but even if the ranks are once again swollen I am encouraged by the insights of friend and fellow scrivener Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson):

However Borgia-like academic politics in general can become at times, the AWP universe is genteel, tame, even sleepy by comparison to the sharp-edged high-stakes market-banging battles being waged right now between bricks-and-mortar bookstores and the rise of the biggest digital retailer-publisher in history; between traditional publishing and digitally enabled self-publishing; even between centuries-old paper media for reading and the burgeoning popularity of e-readers and tablets. (We Grow Media)

The literary orientation of the AWP Conference & Bookfair will be refreshing after the recent Writer’s Digest Conference, and an appropriate springboard for my monastic month in the desert.

Abiquiu, New Mexico

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert (Wikipedia)

Remember St. George and the dragon? I won’t pretend saintliness, but I am heading off to the desert Southwest with my vorpal sword in hand to slay the manuscript dragon.

I’ve been honored with an opportunity to sequester myself for a month at the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert, originally architected by another George, George Nakashima, the Japanese-American woodworker who inspires my brother’s furniture making creativity between diplomatic postings. Tucked into the rugged canyon lands that enchanted Georgia O’Keefe, surrounded by high desert wilderness in all directions, along the banks of the Chama River, in the company of web-savvy, self sustaining, solar power harvesting, beer brewing monks, I will dedicate myself to revising and editing Rosslyn Redux. One month of quiet. Of solitude. Of focus. I can’t wait!

Thanks for your patience during my Curtain Bluff hiatus. More of the same in March, I’m afraid, but I’ve scheduled some interesting posts to appear during my cenobitic Southwestern sojourn. Although I won’t have web access during the week, I’ll venture in to Santa Fe for a few hours each weekend for provisions, I-miss-you-telephone-calls to my bride, and a short wifi fix.

7 Comments to “Antigua, AWP and Abiquiu”

  1. Dan Blank says:

    Sorry I won’t be seeing you at AWP. Enjoy!

  2. Patrick Ross says:

    Kudos on making it to AWP! You’ll definitely enjoy it.

  3. virtualDavis says:

    I’m sorry too. Was muchisimo impressed with the AWP preview that you and Porter whipped together. Upped my anticipation factor plenty!

  4. […] of tomorrow I’m at the halfway point for my desert retreat in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Eleven days in; eleven days to go. That’s 12+ hours/day, six days a week editing, revising, […]

  5. […] and old friends. When asked which of the trails I’d hiked and ruins I’d explored during my stay in Abiquiu I surprised myself by responding, “None.” Not a single adventure! And despite the […]

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