The Intimacy Interviews

Last year a friend told me that the above picture should be the cover of my first book. I answered her the way I've been answering others for quite some time when I am asked when I'm going to write my book. "Soon. I just don't know what it's going to be about quite yet."

A month ago, on my 39th birthday, I began to work on a project I am loosely calling 'The Intimacy Interviews', which I plan on turning into a book.  I am interviewing one woman every week for a year; asking her to tell me her story about love, heartbreak, intimacy and all the little things that exist in between those things.  The responses have been incredible.  I've heard from women of all ages, geographic locations and backgrounds.  The stories they want to tell me are widely varied and run the gammut of human emotion.

Throughout this year, I will be taking a bit of a personal journey.  I have taken a vow of absolute celibacy in an effort to figure myself out a little.  Why is healthy love a locked door that I have not been able to find the key to?  Who can I be when I invest all of my energy in myself rather than going-nowhere relationships? 

Romantic relationships seem to be the thing that confound and confuse so many of us.  My theory is that underneath all of these stories, I will find a common thread.  My hope is that together we can start to figure some things out.  And it's about healing too.  When we tell our stories, with absolute openness and vulnerability, we are able to strip away the power that they hold over us.

So here's where I need your help.  Last week, I spent an hour and a half on the phone with Laura Munson, author of the New York Times best seller "This is Not the Story You Think It Is."  I read her book nearly six years ago and it made a huge impact on my life; so much so that I wrote to her back then asking to use a phrase from her book in the subtitle of my blog

After my talk with Laura, she offered me acceptance into her nationally recognized writer's retreat in Whitefish, Montana.  I will be one of seven writers taking part in a five-day workshop. Not only will this retreat help me hone my voice as an author and craft the arc of my book project; but it will also place me into a community of influential individuals that will hopefully help this project see the light of day.

The cost of this is not cheap.  It's $4200 plus what I will be paying to make the journey out west.  But it is certainly not over-priced, given what it grants visiting artists.  After speaking to Laura on the phone, I had a feeling of absolute knowing that this retreat will be such an important step for this project that I feel so passionate about.  Otherwise, I would not be asking for help from my friends and readers of my blog.  I spoke to Laura about my project and not only did she give me some great advice already, but she already has a few plans for me.  She is psyched about The Intimacy Interviews.  Trust me, that was a pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming moment.

Over the course of fundraising, I will be offering some rewards.  And though I can't promise that this book will go to print, that is my goal and one that I won't stop until I've done all I can to make it so.  And those who donate will definitely get first printings for what it's worth.  You might have to be a little patient though. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  Thank you for reading the things I write, thank you for believing in me, thank you for backing my dream.


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Ashley Skeen 
Huntington, WV
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