For perhaps a year, Richard has been encouraging me to apply for a fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Richard went twice (as many times as it is possible to apply), in 1976, when we first got married, and in 1990, when Jeremy was not quite one year old.
Artists and writers in this program must live in a converted chicken coop in Provincetown, MA, on the beautiful tip of Cape Cod for 7 months (fall, winter, and spring). They get a small stipend and free rent, and the freedom to work on whatever artistic endeavors they wish.
The major criterion of the program is the quality of the work, and the idea that this should be an "emerging" artist/writer. Richard argues that despite my age, I really fit that criterion since I am only now really beginning to publish and do serious work on my writing career, having spent the rest of my life teaching and taking care of other people (the fate of most women).
I can certainly write very happily right where I am, in my wonderful new house on the cusp of the Southern California hills,as well as going to yoga class and synagogue, but, once unemployment dries up, I would not be able to collect a stipend for doing this. So he imagines that we would leave the house to Jeremy and a couple of trustworthy friends of his we would lease it to, with Jeremy here to keep an eye on things, and go live in the wintry dunes for nearly a year.
I don't know about this. I know Richard would heartily enjoy this. And it might be a big boost for my writing since I could do readings in Boston and probably New York and would enjoy going to many readings and art openings, etc. But on the other hand,
would it necessarily do anything for me that staying right here and continuing to write and possibly applying for an NEA grant of another type wouldn't? And doesn't Jeremy still need our help, particularly since he is going to transfer to a 4 year school next year? I have my doubts about that.