Sunday, September 18, 2011
This Writer's Retreat -- Home From the Hills
The 2011 autumn Writers-United retreat to beautiful North Conway, New Hampshire has concluded. Our new retreat house was quite lovely, though not always equipped for the number of us who attended. But trumping the lack of elbow room at the dinner table, adequate extra seats, and a working can opener were: almost zero sturm and drang, tons of delicious food and an endless fountain of fresh coffee, Muses that played well together and were quite generous to all involved, and a quiet corner beneath the shadow of Mount Cranmore still close enough to walk into town.
The Muse pulled me into a tight embrace almost from the start -- within an hour of arrival and brewing a fresh pot of coffee, I was plunked on a cozy overstuffed chair and writing. As my wonderful co-writers turned up, pages flowed and then a delicious dinner of homemade meatballs, asparagus-basil soup, salads, and other amazing dishes welcomed us to our new temporary home. Friday morning, the wealth of fresh pages continued. Long literary story finished. Offbeat zombie story begun and finished. Prime rib dinner (enough to feed all but the vegetarian among us) followed, along with incredible side dishes and salads made from garden produce, blueberry pie and a variety of cheesecakes for dessert. On Saturday, I began work on a police procedural murder mystery, then moseyed into town and had a wonderful afternoon finishing the 3,000-word story at the MET Cafe, a place I've wanted to visit in the four years I've retreated in North Conway. The MET serves exquisite coffee and pastry, the walls are covered in for-sale artwork, and among the purple velvet sofas and chairs are tall bistro tables perfect for the dangling of feet. Walked home, enjoyed my lovely co-writers, and wrote some more.
(Saturday in the early afternoon, September 17, 2011 -- with completed stories, WRITER button, and favorite coffee cup)
There is always a sense of melancholy at leaving a retreat, but also the joy of knowing another will be upon us in due time. In fact, a month from now, I and one of my favorite writers, also in attendance these past four days, will be departing for a week of quiet writing time, during which I plan to complete the first draft of a novel. Keep creating!