Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Writers at Soapstone: Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman was one of Soapstone’s first two residents, in 1998. She wrote this to us about her residency:

“It was a writer’s sweet, secret dream: seven days in a remote cabin with one like-minded companion and no distractions. It was also the stuff of my writerly nightmares: that, given space, time and no excuses, not a decent word would come. Besides, I’m a city girl, Philly-bred, and the woods make me jumpy.

“What I remember is writing—a lot, in longhand on yellow pads, following a voice that barged into my mind until it opened into a short story called “I Seen Some Stuf Horabl Stuf Lisen.” At night, Elissa and I read to each other and learned to find lullaby in the woods’ rustle. We had no cell phones. We were some of Soapstone’s pioneer residents, and I left feeling the way I imagine pioneers did—plucky, thoughtful, appreciative, alive. Back in Portland, the city seemed to be shouting.”

Besides “Horabl Stuf,” Anndee worked on other short stories at Soapstone that became part of her collection Anatomies: A Novella and Stories (Picador USA, 2000). Her first book, Everyday Acts & Small Subversions: Women Reinventing Family, Community and Home, was published by Portland’s Eighth Mountain Press in 1994. She has written for O, the Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, Working Mother, Health and Cooking Light. These days, she freelances for The Philadelphia Inquirer, works as a teaching artist in New Jersey and Pennsylvania schools and teaches memoir to adults, including at her annual Heart & Craft workshop in Mexico.

You can find out more about Anndee on her website.