Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I went on a writers' retreat this weekend. It was an easy and inexpensive trip – I never left my house.
It started out as a kind of favor to my good friend, the wonderful writer, Ann Parker, who blogged about it yesterday. With too many distractions at her house, which fits pretty much all of us at one time or other, she needed a quiet place to get back into the zone of her third novel in the Silver Rush series. I invited her to stay in our guest room for the weekend. She brought her flash drive and lots of chocolate (she knows me well) and my IT husband set her up with a computer, streaming classical music, and a couple of TV trays for a desk. I promised I wouldn't bother her except to call her for meals.
We have no view of the ocean or rolling hills, just our newly tan-barked front lawn. But maybe that's a good thing when you're trying to create your own fictional environment.
For Ann's sake, I gave up things I would normally do on a "free day." The washer/dryer is right behind the guest room, so no laundry work for a couple of days. I usually take a TV movie break in the evening, but that would be too noisy right outside her room. Our house is not that big, so I felt I shouldn't have long telephone conversations, as voices carry.
Also no errands, in case my guest needed something. And certainly no vacuuming, or other noisy housework.
Finally, it didn't seem right for me to be reading at leisure while Ann was working. So what was left?
I had to write myself. So, like most "favors" the giver got more than the receiver.
The result was an enormous output for both of us and a promise to do it again. We recommend the practice!