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Writing Retreats Are For Lovers

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To Dr. Suresh for all of the mentorship and guidance I could possibly need these past six years. Thank you for encouraging my curiosity (and reminding me that there is a limit to how many books someone should check out of the library at one time before they start writing). More broadly, thank you to all the faculty who were so generous with their guidance and teaching along the way.

To the librarians at NCU for, every so often, helping me to ignore that advice in their generosity with ordering new books for me as I followed all the footnote wormholes I could possibly dream of following.

To my mother, my father, my Aunt Astra, and everyone else I’ve lost over the years, thank you for more than I can ever put into words. You are in my heart and in all the work I do.

To Alex and Eliza Danvers, you made me a part of your family when I was lost and grieving and gave me a place to call home filled with love and warmth. Thank you for modeling the kind of curiosity and love of learning that helped me get to where I am today.

To Cat and Carter, you’ve welcomed me with open arms into yet another family and made me feel at home with you. Thank you, Carter, for being my snacking buddy and helping to remind me to take breaks and have fun, even at the most stressful moments. And thank you, Cat, for finally getting that whole “a good dissertation is a done dissertation” thing to stick and for valuing me and my work enough to use your prize-winning editorial talents to improve this dissertation immensely. I love you both (and sorry for writing it here before telling you in person…hopefully I’ll rectify that before you ever start reading this acknowledgments page).



To my son Carter, without whom none of this—the book, CatCo, me—would be what it is today. May you grow up to see a world filled with potential sprawling out in front of you, my brilliant boy.

Many thanks are due to my publisher, my agent, and the staff at Back to Nature Writing Retreats, who helped shepherd this book along from the germ of an idea to an edited volume.

And to the newly minted Dr. Danvers, thank you for reminding me that there is joy in writing and for not taking it personally when I made you sleep on the couch for three days after you offered constructive criticism on the first full draft of this book.