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writing retreat

Having been told to take as much of our vacation as possible now, while simultaneously being told that "everything is top priority" on the current task list, the entire team decided to take Friday off. 

So after work on Thursday I headed for the hills of barado6, to give it a 24-hour test drive as a writing retreat.  It turns out to be a spectacular writing retreat, in large part because there's no internet:  when I get to something that needs background investigation, I just insert a few reminders in brackets and continue writing what I can, instead of going down Google's rabbit hole.  Also, I did not turn on the television, or think about work, nor was I surrounded by piles of my own chores, unfinished projects, and CSA boxes in need of preparation.

I'd brought along a few books.  Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Michael Swanwick's The Dragons of Babel have some similarities, yet I liked one and didn't so much like the other.  But the one I liked less is the one that has more commercial success (American Gods).  I want to investigate this further, but I didn't get around to it, as I was actually writing. (!)

When not writing, I perused Nancy Kress's Beginnings, Middles, and Endings.  And I walked in the woods.  Occasionally I ate Indian food. 

The end result:  I wrote actual new words for the current primary story, rather than just polishing old ones.  And I wrote an outline that didn't repulse me.  I have trouble with outlines:  they are by definition so much less than what the story is.  The outline implies that the story-in-my-head has no major gaps.  I do need to flesh out two other locations and groups of characters, with the same level of detail I used for the first group.  And I know what I want to add in to flesh out the parallel theme, but I'll be able to do that after the first beginning-to-end version is done.  Actually, that will be a good time to do it, as writing it will be enjoyable and intriguing, and will motivate me to undertake the re-write. 

I feel a little hopeful about writing again; that's huge.  And I still have most of the weekend in front of me, although part of it will involve yardwork, toilet repair, and laundry.  Ah, reality....



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
I would love to find a place like that. I, too, end up falling down the rabbit hole when I have an internet connection.
Aug. 11th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
Google Books is my current weakness. So many obscure texts....

I lucked out, as my friend bought her dream house on the edge of civilization, then was kind enough to share. I was considering an actual retreat (meditation center, hermitage, etc.); that could work, but most are about the same price as a hotel. So far, the only price my friend has quoted is a vague threat of future yardwork.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.

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