Sniff. The lovely Heather Hughes, the first Queens Writers Fellow, has left us, gone on to graduate from her yoga program and is now conquering things left and right and having champers poured for her. No one deserves a drink more than she.
She had this to say after she left the upstairs desk:
When I entered the Conquering Lion Yoga teacher training program, I was prepared for the physical intensity that awaited. What I was less prepared for was the number of written assignments. There were monthly assignments, weekly assignments, and, yes, daily ones. I had a background in writing: MFA in creative writing, stints as a copywriter for an infamous men’s “fashion” catalog (ruffled poet’s shirts and underwear with built-in cock rings were just two of the best-selling items, although probably not due to my prose) and as an editor at a magazine about books. But I had gradually fallen out of the actual practice of writing.
Left to my own devices, in my own apartment, I wasted a lot of time gazing out the window or finding new ways to rearrange my bookshelves (grouped by author and then alphabetized by title? grouped by author and then by publication date?). Your fellowship arrived at the perfect time and helped get me on track and actually writing.
I’m indebted to you and Peter for all the generosity and hospitality (and food—I’d definitely be remiss if I didn’t mention the crack ham, the sourdough bread, the giant deep-fried grasshoppers…) you’ve provided me, not just over the past few months but over the past few years. The world is considerably richer for having you two in it.
Gah! Right back at ya, Heather!
Since she left, we’ve managed to dry our tears a little, and although we haven’t had a full-time steady person here, we have had a couple good visitors. The exemplary Kate Payne spent a couple of days here recharging mid-book-tour. (Check out her totally inspiring Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking — more details in a bit.) She didn’t wind up doing much writing, but she did intern with Peter on knot-tying (not what you think, people!), and to prep for her book event in Philly, she made some pretty cool chore wheels. (I’m proud to say she used our 7-inch of the “Dukes of Hazzard” theme song as a template. I mean, how else do you draw a perfect circle if you don’t have records lying around?)
Sara Markel-Gonzalez has popped over a couple of times as well. Sara’s a regular contributor to Serious Eats, and she’s finishing up a program at NYU. And she’s currently working under a serious deadline, which is not actually the end of the school year: It’s that she’s pregnant and due to give birth…oh, this week. So I don’t expect I’ll be seeing her again for another few months, but I’m glad we got to meet. And she did come over and totally buckle down to work. She is a model for us all!
Going forward, I’ve got a few more weeks here (till May 21) until I hit the road to Morocco. Any and all Queens-y writer-y types welcome to come over and work whenever I’m home. Drop me a note!