Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Writer's Weekend Away


 Ever hear about a place and think, “Gee, I would like to visit.” When my friend Linda Gordon Hengerer and I heard that David Bishop was giving a talk on book marketing, the perfect opportunity to visit Mt. Dora, Florida, presented itself.

Lake Dora and Mt. Dora were named for Dora Ann Drawdy, an early settler of the town.


The boathouse at Lake Dora.

The elevation here is 184 feet above sea level, giving rise to the amusing tee shirts proclaiming, “I climbed Mt. Dora.” But mainly, this place is known for small town charm, a quality it has in abundance. The downtown is filled with tiny, one-of-a-kind shops, and dining places tucked away in nooks and alleys.

Linda and I ate dinner at the Goblin Market, which pays homage to the Christina Rossetti poem, and has a romantic/gothic ambiance. 

In truth, the poem is a thinly veiled reference to the temptations of self-indulgence, and I showed a similar lack of restraint when it came to ordering fried green tomatoes, braised pork loin, and caramel crusted cheesecake.

Inspired by the new surroundings, we dragged out our notebooks and cameras. Ideas flew at us like bats rush out of a cave! We managed several character sketches and plots for a new series.

A selfie that I took while Linda was making notes.

The next day, David Bishop shared a practical and well-thought-out assessment of how to sell more books as an indie author. He was generous with his knowledge, and we tried to share what we’d learned.


This weekend was a tonic. I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and excited. I can’t wait to get home and back to my writing!

Tell me, what rejuvenates you? Please share your ideas with me! I'll choose one lucky commenter and send him/her a copy of my newest book Love, Die, Neighbor.

23 comments:

Sue Turnbeau said...

Given the current atmosphere of our country, I am inspired and rejuvenated by random acts of kindness - whether on the giving or receiving end!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds like a delightful, productive visit to a delightful town!

Jess said...

There's a place I love going out on the Olympic Peninsula. I live in Washington state. There are cabins right on the Pacific Ocean. There's no tv, no phones and no cell service. It's a wonderful place to recharge and rejuvenate. Even my dogs love going there and running in the sand!

Patti said...

I enjoy making greeting cards and love using different mediums. I will look at something unusual or different and my mind is working of how I can make a card out of it.I Can relax as get all the items needed for a card and sit down to create. Sometimes they are good enough to frame.

Sharon said...

I am rejuvenated when I go up to our cabin in the mountains where I can walk in the woods, smell the pine trees, watch the animals (elk, deer, squirrels) and birds freely exploring nature. I am in touch with my spirituality when I get away from the city and enjoy that which God has created. I am rejuvenated even if I am gone for only a few days, away from the stimulation of TV, Internet, constant phone calls and, consequently, I return a much more relaxed person.

Becky Lee said...

I get rejuvenated by laying in a hammock in our backyard reading a book.

Ginny Dahlberg said...

Some time alone in a quiet place, preferably near water and preferably also some soft lovely music playing. I get relaxed enough to really sleep well, and wake up refreshed and eager for whatever the day holds! (Don't get to DO this very often, but...) :D

ceblain said...

Normally, I am home a lot due to not being able to walk well and other medical things, but when we get to do a mini driving trip with an overnight stay it is like a two week vacation for me. When at home for many weeks my happiness and enjoyment comes from my three grandchildren especially my 5 year old granddaughter who has the most marvelous personality and who rejuvenates me more than almost anything else in the whole world. Thank you. Cynthia

Mary Lou said...

i am rejuvenated by photographing the beautiful country I live in. I'm blessed to live in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains so have this beauty close by but have visited almost all of the 50 states. The beauty is not only in the landscape but also the people and their stories. I follow these journeys up with photo journals or scrapbooks.

Lisa Ansell said...

I am part of a group of women, we've coined ourselves the Crafty Chick's, and we get together 3 times a year for long weekends to catch up, craft, and enjoy each other's company. We scrapbook, quilt, bead, read, drink wine, watch movies and share great food. These weekends mean so much to me and I always feel rejuvenated after them. We laugh, cry, listen and pray for each other. I would not be the person I am today without this group of women in my life. For this I am thankful!

Joanna Slan said...

Even though I was rejuvenated, I was also exhausted. After posting this, I drove home, went to bed for four and a half hours in the middle of the day!

Joanna Slan said...

Sue, a random act of kindness always invigorates the spirit, doesn't it?

Joanna Slan said...

Linda, I keep meaning to congratulate you on your new puppy. Hurrah!!!

Joanna Slan said...

Jess, when I close my eyes, I can imagine that place. I hope to see it on an Alaskan cruise in August.

Joanna Slan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna Slan said...

Sharon, that sounds so idyllic and peaceful. I feel rejuvenated just reading about your cabin in the woods.

Joanna Slan said...

Patti, I plan to have a card-making weekend with a few girlfriends. Want to come?

Joanna Slan said...

Becky, that reminds me that I should put up our hammock and take time to rest in it more often. Thank you.

Joanna Slan said...

Ginny, I can't imagine you NOT being eager for the day ahead. You have such a natural zest for life. (Give John a hug from me. One for you, too, of course.)

Joanna Slan said...

Cynthia, I look forward to being a grandparent for the reason you shared. Many hugs to you!

Joanna Slan said...

Mary Lou, I love the Smokies, and yes, I think the folks who live there are mighty special.

Joanna Slan said...

Lisa, if you email me at jcslan@joannaslan.com, I'll send you gifts for the Crafty Chicks. Please do!

Joanna Slan said...

Sharon, you win a copy of Love, Die, Neighbor. The random number generator chose you! Email me at jcslan@joannaslan.com so we can get you a copy.