Jentel Artist’s Residency and a cross-country trek.

This summer I spent July 15-August 13th at the Jentel Artist’s Residency in Banner, Wyoming. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it was to concentrate on my writing for a month with no dogs, no dirty dishes, no chores. I missed my family, until they sent me this picture and then every time I started to miss them, I remembered this:

Mom has been gone for ten days.


No dirty dishes here at Jentel.



The writing studio. Behind the tree to the left is the artist studio.
A panoramic view of the main floor. We all made our own meals. Mostly that meant beans and rice for me, but I was very impressed with the other artists” culinary skills.
You had to walk down the road for cell phone reception. Not this way, unfortunately. The other way–up a big hill.
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=Thanks to Bryn Chancellor for this photo of the Sunrise studio. Here is where I wrote 30,000 words over the course of one month working from 9-5 every day. Of course, 3/4 of that was pure drivel, but that was pure drivel I might never have produced without Jentel.

The Other Artists at Jentel

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Marisa Adesman Marisa is only 28! In fact, she turned 28 during the residency. This is the view of the table from underneath and according to her, it was quite a feat maintaining that perspective.
Shoshana Akabas, fellow writer and awesome person finished her novel at Jentel! :
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Christian Ruiz-Berman and Marisa Adesman were working on a film for an upcoming show in London.
Sueno Del Contador Enamorado by Christian Ruiz-Berman
Artist Gina Kamentsky (see picture below) made an amazing animated film at Jentel and this was one of her handmade props.
Gina Kamentsky
See her award-winning film, Silo, here:

ED Taylor, artist

E.D. Taylor was working on embroidery for a project while she was at Jentel, but she is also a performance artist. Check out the link below. It will blow your mind.
Her amazing video:


Jentel on a cloudy day.

I started to think I could be an artist and create a series of shadow portraits, but that notion was short-lived.


This majestic cloud turned into a tornado watch the last day at Jentel.
You don’t see many people in Wyoming, and I think they like it that way.
We got out once or twice: This is the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming.
On the wall: some of the permanent residents of the Occidental Hotel.
The reason I don’t take selfies. My college bestie, Heather Rue, and I met up in Livingston, Montana for a night. I enjoyed our stay at the Murray Hotel in Livingston, Montana. It dates back to 1904, and Anthony Bourdain apparently loved it as well, but I did take this photo below. of the hallway….

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I went through the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone on my way home, which made me cry a couple of times, it was so splendid. The only regret? I was too chicken to get out of the car.

Unlike these peeps. The next day someone was gored, and honestly? I’m not surprised. Look at this guy sitting out there like he’s not a little out of his weight class.
On the way back, I hit Custer State Park, which is my favorite park by far. This is Needle’s Highway, and here I am threading the needle. It was a little disconcerting. If you have anything bigger than a jeep, forget about it.
Custer State Park
Needles Eye Tunnel. This woman ran out to warn me not to try it until her friend drove through. Only room for one in this minuscule tunnel.


Camping cabin; Custer State Park.
Interior of my camping cabin at Custer State Park. $50 a night and very comfortable. The door locks (mandatory) and it even had heat and/or air conditioning. The bathroom is very close by and we have had a slide show later in the night about climbing.
Um, as I mentioned I didn’t get out of the car, but apparently some fool-hardy folks….

If you have any questions about Jentel, feel free to contact me. Thanks to the amazing benefactor, Neltje, and the staff: Mary Jane, Lynn, Melissa and Chris. Jentel meant the world to me.

Also, if you want suggestions for your own upcoming road trip, I have some ideas–Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Badlands, Sioux Falls, SD, Madison, Wisconsin, I hit them all.

I wish I was still out there roaming around. Honestly, is there anything better?