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I’m on writers’ retreat in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.


I began the day (after breakfast, ablutions and giving some thought to where my boys were at that moment and what they might be doing) with making a To Do list. It seemed smart to start with an idea of what I’d like to accomplish for the day. You know, give myself some direction. The list done, I dove right in.


I summarized my notes from the conference workshops I had attended over the weekend and made lists of how I could apply the techniques and tools I’d learned to my various projects. I then tackled my WIP. One of my goals this week is to get the darn thing finished. First draft that is. Just five chapters to go. I think. Sometimes it heads off in directions I hadn’t envisioned and hey, just like that, I end up adding a couple more chapters to my outline. I wrote for about two hours, even though I REALLY didn’t feel like it and broke for lunch with Kelly [info]kellyrfineman  and Jenn[info]writerjenn


After lunch, to get rid of that I-so-NEED-a-nap feeling, I went for a walk. I brought my camera along and took photos. In my WIP a lot happens in the forest, so I took a lot of photos of trees and other woodsy stuff. I kept Cynthia Lord’s tip in mind and looked for the surprising details and engaged all five senses. I hugged trees, stroked rocks, sniffed some weirdly blue gooey tree sap, listened to the voices of the stream, the birds, the wind, and photographed lichen, bark, cones, tree trunks, ferns, branches and anything else that I could use to help establish setting in my WIP. That left taste. Hmm. I thought about it, but chickened out. I wasn’t going to taste the soil, the leaves, the ants (they’re peppery, you know. I ate a couple when I was a kid.) Yes, I'm yella.


With my arsenal of surprising sensory detail I tackled the afternoon writing session and was pleased as punch to finish up the late afternoon and two of the five chapters.


I enjoyed dinner with my fellow retreaters and then knocked out another session working on the rest of my To Do list. By 8:30 I was able to check off everything for Day 1 (and choirs sang) and settled down to watch Sense and Sensibility before catching some z’s.


By all accounts, a great first day.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
You sound amazingly productive! The idea of retreat after conference sounds perfect. I'm nowhere near you in terms of getting back to writing, but I think I'll try to follow your idea of taking conference notes and putting them right toward some of my writing goals.
Apr. 28th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Re: wow!
I'm afraid of forgetting all the valuable information from the conference if I don't think now about how I can apply it. Retreats are a wonderful way to really focus on your project. Maybe sometime in the future we can organize a larger group retreat. I liked Cynthia Lord's idea of renting out an inn for the weekend.
Apr. 28th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
The retreat sounds like it is working for you! Wish I were there!
Apr. 28th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
I wish you were here too. You kind of are. I've been using the tips and techniques from both your workshops on my WIP. I also made a list of books on writing recommended by LU. That's you!
BTW, do you read many Elizabeth George books? I love them.
Apr. 28th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
I wish you were here, too.
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
Mmmm! Brownies.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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