Funny how things work in the writing life. I will skip over the family life details and get right to the pertinent part. This upcoming week, I get an unexpected writing retreat, as I get to join Skye at Camp Grandma for the better part of next week. One interesting thing about Camp Grandma is that it does not have internet, so I will be mostly off the grid for days at a time. Oddly enough, my first concern was for the pets in my Sims Free Play game, but I will be connecting with at least one friend in the area, for lunch and an internet fix, so cyberpets should be fine, while I focus on the in-person, fuzzy one.
Though time away from Real Life Romance Hero has not been high on my list (especially when there is people vet tie involved) the idea of time spent with my story people, without the lure of Facebook, Google, and all the rest, is pretty exciting. Not going to lie, the first day will likely be spent taking cat naps near an actual cat, and I am bringing a good supply of books, art supplies, and the charger for my Kindle, because part of this retreat is going to be one heck of a well-filling session. I need it. I have been in the empty, and I have been in whatever it is that lie beneath the empty. Not every day, but there have been some doozies, and the prospect of hanging out with my mews and concentrating on nothing but sending stuff down to the girls in the basement, so they can play with books and movies and sparkly pens and pretty papers and all that, then send some good story stuff back up to me.
Laptop and lap desk are coming, too, as are notebooks and pens, and at least one legal pad. Yes, there will be lists and bujo spreads about what I want to bring on this retreat, because this will not be the only such instance in my lifetime. Retreats won’t always mean Camp Grandma (especially when we are in Forever Apartment, and Skye is with us every day) but the thought of a whole chunk of days, where there is nothing to do but concentrate on story, both the writing and reading of same, that’s too good to keep to a one time deal.
I have never been on a “real” writer’s retreat, as in pay money, go to lovely, picturesque place in the mountains/by the shore/etc, where there are other writers for socialization, brainstorming, and talking about the writing life. Not that I am opposed to that kind of thing, but, as of yet, that has not been possible. On the other hand, the last time I went on this sort of retreat, I apartment/dogsat for musician friends, and, at their kitchen table, two rescue dogs standing by, I wrote what would be the beginnings of Orphans in the Storm.There’s a precedent here, and I like that.
Being an extrovert, the internet is great. A whole world of people, only keystrokes away, 24/7, and special groups for people who like things I like? Godsend. Also distraction. I’ve been thinking about trimming down my Facebook feed, to cut down on extraneous noise. Once again, it’s clean slate, more layers, and I am looking forward to that. I don’t have page count goals (but let’s say more than two) or concrete plans on what scene in what project will get the bulk of my writing focus, but the thing I do know is that there will be something. There will be fiction.
Over the last few months, with the move, and some health challenges for RLRH, and assorted happenings, I have done a lot of free writing in various notebooks, in various places. Laundromats, motel rooms, friends’ apartments, fast food places and coffee shops, waiting rooms (oh so many waiting rooms) and, as much as I am grateful for those times, and all the pages I have filled with the stuff inside my head, fiction is still my first love Especially romance .Especially historical. That has taken a back seat to other concerns, but, when I first knew this retreat was going to happen, my heart skipped.
Yes This. Take in some good stuff. Put some good stuff back out. Play with the kitty. Nap on the sofa. Hang out with a writer friend, when there is no time one of us has to dash off and handle domestic concerns. A few days is a good stretch of time. Respite. Palate cleanse. Catch breath. Gain strength. Regain sea legs, as it were. Try new things, and revisit old loves, to give them new life. Let them give me new life, in return.