Weymouth Center
Weymouth Center

I spent part of last week at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, North Carolina working on my memoir.

There was a sign on the door, DO NOT ENTER, WRITER IN RESIDENCE, which led to the hallway where I and another writer had accommodations. My room was the Paul Green room and the second was the Thomas Wolfe. None of the other quarters had plaques on the door or I would’ve searched for a female author designation. Virginia Woolf where were you?

At Weymouth I felt like a writer. I worked like a writer.

Typical day:

Breakfast* on the veranda. I watched birds dart by and listened to a deep guttural sound, more like an improperly functioning piece of heavy equipment, which I imagined might have been a frog. The sound came from a stagnant pond nearby. I didn’t feel the need to investigate.DSCN0737

Back to my room to write.

Paul Green room
Paul Green room

Lunch in the small kitchen solely for use by writers-in-residence.

In the afternoon, I worked until I got hungry.

Dinner at my desk.

After dinner I wandered into the library to connect to the Internet and check and send emails—okay, I did glance at emails on my I-phone while I worked. Hard habit to break.

North Carolina Hall of Fame James Brody Library
North Carolina Hall of Fame
James Brody Library

In the evening, with a glass of Merlot, I sat on the balcony, writing in my journal and watching the sky turn crimson and transform to a deep blue. When it grew too dark to see my notebook, I ambled back to my room to reenergize my gray cells with a New York Times fiction bestseller.

*I went grocery shopping on my first day, stocking the refrigerator in the writer’s kitchen with salads, soups, yogurt, granola, carrot slices, hummus and a bottle of red wine.

And what did I accomplish? I did address the issues raised by my beta-readers. I dropped the slow, plodding first chapters and incorporated sections as flashbacks throughout the book. And a fast paced chapter, which served as my first chapter a few revisions ago, became my first chapter once again. I came home with a new outline, clear areas for expansion and a goal to complete this version of my manuscript to give to my second round of readers by the middle of this month.

Thank you Weymouth Center.Weymouth Center

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


  1. What a lovely setting in which to live and work! Best wishes as you continue your revisions at home and send them off for review. Looking forward to reading your book sometime soon!


  2. Sounds like a most productive writer in residence retreat, Marianna. I look forward to hearing more of your revisions and I love your description of your Weymouth day. Ah bliss.
    Thanks for including the snaps.


  3. So happy for you and can’t wait to read the new version! Felt your renewed excitement for it…


  4. in an essay by the American Catholic novelist, Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964):

    Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, in instructing catechumens, wrote: The dragon sits by the side of the road watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. No matter what form the dragon may take, it is of this mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will always be concerned to tell, and this being the case, it requires considerable courage at any time, in any country, not to turn away from the storyteller.

    I was reading today on mystagogy and found this. Writing a memoir takes courage.


  5. Delightful, you put me right back there, Marianna, complete with sound track and pictures. How well your time was spent. I so look forward to reading your story anew.


  6. I am envious!! Love the descriptions and the evidence of writing progress. Now if only we kept ourselves glued to our chairs at home…think of what we could accomplish. But the laundry calls, a coffee date calls, the gym calls–why there’s a cacophony of sounds out there calling me right now away from my desk:):):)!


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