I haven’t blogged in a few days because I haven’t been able to think of anything worthwhile to blog about, not after something as significant as the presidential election. And especially not after reading the ugliness spread across social media. I have a severe case of election fatigue. Are you feeling politically weary, too? I’ve decided the best way to wade back into the blogosphere is to focus on this week’s specific goodness.
I have to believe doing a little good here and there adds up to a better, more positive place. More goodness.
This week brought lots of goodness in the form of good people, yummy food, and inspirational ideas. And it all happened in Piggott, Arkansas.
For the past few days, I’ve been holed up in Piggott, Arkansas, attending the fall Hemingway-Pfeiffer Fall Writer’s Retreat. I’ve blogged about Hemingway-Pfeiffer before—I believe this to be my fifth year attending. Yes, Ernest Hemingway wrote in the barn-studio here. This is the place where I first felt like a writer, the place I wrote the first and last lines of my novel, two years apart.
I’ve had a productive week, met new writers and spent time with writers I now come to think of as friends. I’ve felt somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. That’s probably a good thing.
For a writer, spending time with other writers is comparable to a bicyclist drafting off another rider. The energy and conversation and ideas being shared, those light bulb moments, the encouragement—all these things feed the writer’s imagination and soul. Having dedicated, uninterrupted time to write is priceless. And especially this particular writer retreat—the mentor charged with guiding us, Andrea Hollander, knew how to help us reach inside, dig deep, and pour it onto paper.
Mercy sakes. We are fed very well at this retreat. For those of us staying at The Inn at Piggott, our day starts around the dining room table with a delicious breakfast. Lunch is catered at the education center. Supper, not that we are hungry by supper, is on our own. While Piggott doesn’t have too many choices, we don’t need many. The week always includes a trip to Strawberry’s a few miles away in Holcomb, Missouri, which if you live anywhere in the bootheel area of Arkansas/Missouri, you know the amazingness that is Strawberry’s. Pork steaks as big as your head. The restaurant’s motto = You can smell our butts all over Holcomb.
While spending a week at one of my favorite writing spots, we had wonderful fall weather, more typical of May than November. Piggott has a charming new coffee shop on the square (also owned by the owners of the inn). Piggott City Market makes excellent lattes and also serves scones, cinnamon rolls, quiche, etc. Having a fabulous coffee house is a plus. (Pumpkin latte, y’all.)
So to those of you who are reeling from the election, look closely and you’ll find goodness. Still. It’s all around. To those happy with the election results, be gracious. We all have a stake in this. I, for one, will pray for our country and our President-elect and continue to look for goodness.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
RIP Leonard Cohen.