In creating on materials to support the June 2017 launch of my book Hundred Miles to Nowhere, I came across an introduction I made to my first online writing class in 2010, when my book was just a glimmer in my mind. Revisiting myself in a prior guise is a treat, especially as I now anticipate the release of a book that I had only hoped to write at the time. I feel for the person I was then, and long to tell her that it will happen, but it will take much longer than I think it will, and happen in a way I don’t expect.

Hello classmates,

I’m a singer-songwriter, writer, composer, and performer.  I write songs and perform under the name Elisa Korenne.

In 2007, I moved from New York City–where I was born and where I lived for ten formative years–to rural, west-central Minnesota.  I had come here in 2006 for a month-long artist residency at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, and I fell in love with one of the program’s Board members.

I moved out to New York Mills a year later to be with Chris, and I’m now married, living on 6 acres in the middle of deer-hunting country, and doing strange domestic things like knitting, gardening, and canning.

Prior to choosing the artistic path, I was an international development professional and international technology policy consultant, and after many years of travel and cross-cultural living, I thought that moving to the rural Midwest would be a piece of cake.  I was incredibly wrong.  The fact that moving to New York Mills, Minnesota was harder than living in Europe, Africa, or Asia made me to decide to write a book about it.

The book is provisionally titled “How to Move to the Middle of Nowhere.”  The subtitle is still up in the air:  “From New York City to New York Mills”?  “One Girls Journey from International Development to the Rural Midwest”?  “Finding a Home in Transition”?  I am not sure if I want to write it as a memoir or, with a nod to sellability, a how-to book (for moving to the country? For dealing with transition? ) with memoir elements.

During my first year or two in New York Mills I wrote weekly articles about what it was like to be here after coming from New York City that I thought would turn into a book.  Upon looking at the articles with an eye to putting a book together, I realized that most were completely wrong, as they had been written for the local small-town audience with a point of not offending anyone.  So now I would guess I have about 20 pages of usable material.

I had already set myself the goal of finishing a complete draft of the book by the end of 2010 when I saw a post about Mary’s online course, and I jumped at the chance to put some structure around my goal.  I look forward to working with all of you on our book projects, and learning from your writing and feedback.

Have you had an experience of time travel? Have you revisited an old version of yourself? What would you like to tell that person now? Please let me know in the comments section.


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