Writing Refuge

Greetings from Mesa Refuge, near Point Reyes Station, California. I am here on a two-week residency, joined in a large house filled with windows by two-other writers. [caption id="attachment_3026" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes Station, California The Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes Station, California[/caption] Every day I walk from the house to the "East" writing shed. (The "West" cabin is pictured below. Mine is just behind it, hidden in cedar trees and facing northwest.) I listen to the bird calls, watch egrets take flight, and stare out at Tomales Bay, which goes from bay to wetlands and back, depending on the tide. This may seem like an odd setting in which to be writing a book on hula, but being in a place like this settles the soul and lets the imagination carry me to unexpected places. [caption id="attachment_3028" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Writing cabin Writing cabin[/caption] Finding stopping points like this is so essential to being able to sustain a life as a freelance writer, with its ups and downs, excitements and disappointments—and with the need to be constantly either hustling up work or hustling to meet deadlines. When I return to that life in San Francisco, I’ll be launching a new course that I’m excited to tell you about. UC Berkeley Extension, which has a rich palette of classes in writing and publishing, asked me to create an online version of a class I’ve taught “on ground” for years: Fundamentals of Freelance Writing. We decided to use video and to push the form of online classes a bit, since I believe in the Socratic method of teaching and in interactive learning. I will be sharing a few bits and pieces from the class with my readers, posting things in the appropriate spots on my Web site. For starters, I’ve posted my ideas on “Visualizing the Office of Your Dreams.” I’m also using “Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline” in the class. Now, acting on my own orders, I’m going to keep this short so that I can close my computer, let my mind wander free, and take some risks with this new book. [caption id="attachment_3298" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Desk of dreams? Desk of dreams?[/caption]      

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