Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

A Writer’s Retreat

I’ve never managed to pull my act together enough to schedule what you’d call a "writer’s retreat," but one fell into place for me over the weekend and it was just amazing. Mom asked me to house-and-dog-sit down at her place from Saturday afternoon to lunchtime Sunday – 20 acres of woods at least a half-hour’s drive from the nearest significant town, just me, four relatively maintenance-free dogs, six feed-’em-and-forget-it cats and no Internet access.

This was coming off a week in which I pitched for a freelance assignment I didn’t get and was more disappointed than I was prepared to be. I told myself that in the two weeks I would have had to write this proposed 2,000-words-and-change piece, I would instead throw myself back into my Star Wars memories series like I’ve been meaning to do for awhile.

Didn’t come easily at first – I fed the pets, started some laundry, set up my writing shop by a big window facing north and …. couldn’t get going. Looked through some old boxes of photos and family history that mom had sitting out on the kitchen table. Made myself a bowl of soup. Read some of John Varley’s "Red Lightning."  Switched the laundry to the dryer, started another load. Put "Star Wars" in the VCR as background noise – which I figured was OK, since I couldn’t see the television from where I was, um, supposed to be working.

And then finally made myself sit at that laptop and get cracking. Started slow, sorting through some hastily-typed paragraphs I’d left sitting stale too long ago, but pretty soon hit my stride and was in The Zone and having a blast. I only took few short breaks to switch the laundry loads and follow up "Star Wars" with "The Empire Strikes Back."

Oh, and I had to go outside at one point and fill the wood burner to heat the house. Cold and brilliantly clear sky. Chucking the logs into the wheelbarrow and then into the burner, I really felt like I was on a movie-scripted "writer’s weekend away."

Went to bed just shy of 1:30 p.m., read some more "Red Lightning" and fell asleep watching "Firefly"

My goal of clearing that 2,000-new-words plateau over the next couple weeks? Put it behind me Sunday morning with a post-breakfast writing stint. Mentally, it felt like I do when I’m finished running. A little winded for a short while, but awfully damn good not long afterward, and that’s the feeling that’s still with me.

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February 4, 2008 - Posted by | Books, Current Affairs, Film, geek, Ohio, Weblogs

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