Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
Try Not to Breathe - Jennifer Hubbard
The Demon's Lexicon - Sarah Rees Brennan
Shadowed Summer - Saundra Mitchell
The Literary Handyman - Danielle Ackley-McPhail
So…here we are at the end of another week. The retreat last weekend was fruitful. We had some rainy weather but a lot of food and a ton of alcohol. Nothing helps writing more than mimosas at breakfast, bailey’s with coffee throughout the day, and sangria at dinner!
All joking aside, I spent the entire time reading through Small Town Ghosts, making notes, and reviewing the edits made by a friend. As I said to a few people, it’s funny what you notice once you’ve had some time away from your writing. A few things I noted while reading:
I suppose the up side to this is, of course, that I (and my beta readers) noticed these things and I am correcting them, along with other story revisions. If any one would like to help me with my query letter (read it once written and provide feedback), I would appreciate it J
With a full-time job and a 5-year old in preschool/daycare, I neither have the time nor the funds to go on expensive, week-long writing retreats. At the same time, there’s nothing like having several days to dedicate to writing. Luckily, fellow organizer of the South Jersey Writers group, Amy, is kind enough to organize semi-annual weekend writing retreats at cabins in local state parks.
This weekend, eight of us will gather at a Pennsylvania state park to write and reconnect with our creative selves. It’s not glamourous but it does give several of us the time to get together, make food, enjoy some wine and dessert, and of course, write without the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Plus a cabin in the woods? What a wonderful way to connect with nature and take some time to meditate and recharge!
Off the top of my head, here are some of the benefits of getting away if you’ve never done so:
Downtime Family and work life can be stressful and even a little break will help you recharge when you remove yourself from the routines and demands of daily life. Depending on where you go, you can recharge with nature or with a bustling city life.
Camaraderie Getting away with a few friends helps you grow or reinforce your friendships with other like-minded people (in this case, writers).
Focus As anyone with family obligations knows, anticipating uninterrupted writing time is like waiting for Christmas or your birthday. It may seem like it will never come but once it arrives, you want to slow down and enjoy every minute. Having the time to focus solely on writing or editing your writing is a gift – no need to wait for the muse!
Have you ever taken the opportunity to get away? What has it been like for you?
(x-posted to Wordpress)
Thank you all again for your well wishes and support. I saw my mom last night and she as awake and in better spirits. Still annoyed that she was in the hospital in the first place for what was supposed to be a same-day procedure at the surgical center, but feeling better. She even wanted ice cream so my sister and I went out for that and we all had ice cream together J
I’m hoping that she will be released tonight or tomorrow morning but I havent heard from anyone today, and no one is answering their phones (not unusual in my family) so I don’t know what the deal is as yet.
Some of you know that I drive to work, which can be a real pain. Unlike my public transportation-bound co-workers, I have no time to read or sleep on the way to or from work so I do a lot of thinking and making stories up in my head while Im driving (I mean, I could pay attention more but I live in NJ, work in PA – no one actually pays attention when driving) and I had a *great* idea yesterday on the drive home (great as in maybe not so great but I like it for now). While writing and revising Small Town Ghosts I obviously discarded a lot of material about minor characters. I really want to work on a series of stories related to the novel’s setting called The Wychwood Ghosts series. I have no idea whether any of them will sell individually or if I should compile them and then try self-pubbing them just for fun but I think it would be a really cool idea to explore, especially as I may get stuck from time to time on Novel #2.
Does anyone have any experience with a similar project?