This week my editor and a group of her writer mentees are gathered on the banks of Calkins Creek not so far from Honesdale PA, home of my publisher.
The place is likely not as warm as my backyard and the trees probably aren't popping out in green leaves as they are here. But other than that, Calkins Creek is so the place to be.
Carolyn (my editor) is leading a writing retreat - as far as I'm concerned it could be called a writing treat - 7 glorious days of focusing on nothing but writing! The last time I did one of these I came home with some great research and seven chapters in my brand new novel.
What a great way to jumpstart a story - with to-die-for food prepared by Chef Dominck, one-on-one critiques with Carolyn, group critiques with writing friends, quiet moments by the creek, and a charming cabin to hole up in and write to my heart's content!
Alas, it just didn't seem wise for me to go this time. And the August retreat is full so I guess I won't be there until next spring, at least.
But the good news is, that the 7 chapters I wrote the last time have expanded into 30 some - in fact - today, I'm writing the last chapter in that first draft.
So, in some ways, even though I'm not there physically I do feel I am with those dear folks. And just knowing what they're doing keeps me on task here at home. It would be easy to put writing off today - to go outside and pull weeds or mow grass and just enjoy the fabulous weather. But I started a book and by cracky it is time for me to finish it even if I'm not on the banks of Calkins Creek.
Hopefully, I will still have the Calkins Creek name on the spine of the novel - the one I started there and finish here at home - today. How cool is that!? Today, I am finished!
(And then again, there are months of revisions - but we won't think about that until tomorrow!)
Oh, and one benefit of not being at the writing retreat? Well, always after such a fabulous experience I find myself coming home to the real world and a 2 or 3 day let-down. (The higher you go the harder you fall!) There's a lot to be said for staying home and on an even keel.
That is a treat in itself!