I am delighted to be a new Hamline blogger this semester, on the faculty since January 2008. So many aspects of a residency are stimulating – workshops, lectures that look deep into the craft or creative process, discussions over meals. The theme of this residency was setting.

What makes the setting so riveting for me? Hope and joy. Laughter permeated even the most serious of presentations by students, faculty and guests. I love to laugh. I don’t do enough when I am writing – alone. Music. I can’t listen to any music while I am writing, but other times of the day it lifts me up. I wish that Kelly Krebs could rev me up every afternoon with a medley of show tunes on his keyboard. A walk on the trails near our new home fills me up and gives me hope when horrifying footage of Haiti makes me wonder what is the point?

What fills you up for the next session of writing? Checking in from Spokane, Claire Rudolf Murphy