Thanks go to Lisa Katzenberger for this week's profile. After reading, you must check out Lisa's great blog, Fiction City. And for those of you on Twitter, follow Lisa here.
1)What do you consider most valuable about your time at La Muse? For me, it was proving to myself that I had the drive to be a full-time writer. I had decided to quit my corporate job and dig into writing with all my heart, and I jetted off to France from Chicago two weeks after my last day of paid work. I used the discipline I built up in twelve years of working and put it toward something I was passionate about: writing. The schedule I developed there -- waking very early to write, going for a run late morning, revising in the afternoon -- is still what I follow at home a year later.
2)Tell us, in a sentence or two, about the project you were focused on while at La Muse. At La Muse, I finished my first novel, about a family who has a transgender child. I'd been working on it on weekends for probably three years and needed to give it that final polish before I was ready to submit to agents.
3) What advice would you give future attendees? Remember that the retreat is work, not a vacation. No matter how much wine I drank the night before, I was up at 7:00 and went down to the library to write, just as if I was going to the office. I wrote Monday through Friday and took weekends off to hike around the area. And while it's tempting to stay in touch with friends and family at home via emails and other online distractions, the best gift you can give yourself is to shut those venues off and soak in the quiet and community that La Muse provides.
Lisa's wild-card question contribution is below. Thanks for adding to our growing list, Lisa!
5) What if I don't speak any French? That's okay! I didn't know any either. I was very worried about this but it was never an issue. When someone spoke to me in French, I responded in broken Spanish, which didn't do much good. When the bread truck guy comes by, just point to what you like, hold out a handful of Euros, and he will smile and grab the proper coins.