Notes From the Writing Life

Posted on by Sandell Morse

My blog resurfaces, here at the the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). It’s taking a new form– less formal, more like musings. For the month I’m in residence, I will post notes from the writing life. 


I have spent the last two days letting the well fill up. The well. A reference from Virginia Woolf. I suppose she meant letting the subconscious seep into consciousness. For me the well is both internal and external. Yes, the subconscious along with every cell in my body. The well fills as I sit in my studio staring out a window at the red soil, the metal roof of a wooden barn, two horses in a pasture, fills as I read, essays by Phillip Lopate, fills as I read The History of Anti-Semitism, Volume 3 by Léon Poliakov, a French historian who died in 1997. I’ve been interviewing Germaine, his widow, now 95, and Aline, his step-daughter, a woman about my age. When I arrived here, I thought I was writing a love story about Léon and Germaine. Now, I think I’m writing about Jewish identity. Soon, I hope, the work will let me know. In the meantime, I’m filling the well, thinking, writing notes, words, phrases–and I’m staring out that window letting myself feel the fullness of emptyness. 

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5 Responses to Notes From the Writing Life

  1. Beautiful post, Sandell. Enjoy VCCA. xo

  2. It’s been so long since I saw a post by you. Welcome back, I hope you’re here for a while,
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. Ah, the fullness of emptiness indeed. Lovely.

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