It’s been a good first week here at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, a laid-back community filled with natural beauty and small-town charm an hour from Omaha and Lincoln. Productivity comes easily here. It’s quiet and relatively distraction-free, and I’m in the company of some amazing women artists: my apartment-mate Ahn-Thuy, fellow traveler and Californian Erin, Jennifer, and writers Sheba, who left this weekend, and Amanda. We’ve done some fun things together when not holed up in our studios (or cafes, or the Library Lounge), including visiting a local bar (we were the only patrons until a man came in an hour later. “Look! It’s a person!” one of us said), getting to know each others’ work on open studio night, and taking a road trip to Lincoln for First Friday, when galleries are open late. After my week here, Lincoln felt like a big city (Trader Joe’s!). My favorite place in Lincoln was the Mad Men-esque Starlite Lounge.
I’m working away and yet always feel like I need to write more. Hoping a draft of my new novel will be done before I leave here, even if it means burning the midnight oil or skipping one of my favorite places, the local fitness center with its big indoor pool and relaxing hot tub, for a day or two. I’m waiting for some news this coming week and hope to be able to announce something soon.