|(Writing on the big porch)|
Normally, I'm meticulous about these grand events. I have my bags packed well in advance, have mapped out the projects I want to work on, and leave nothing to chance. But this time, with my attendance pushed back to the Eleventh Hour, clothes got tossed into my overnight bag at the last second, and I decided I would write whatever called to me once we landed, no preconceived expectations. After paying the mortgage and shopping locally for Friday night dinner (I was asked to cook the Thursday night welcome meal but was, on Thursday night, in bed feeling lousy), I hopped in Doug's car, and we drove steadily north through the mountain landscape. The foliage was stunning, and our conversations on the writing life beyond inspiring.
We arrived and, after greeting my fellow scribes, I camped on a rocker and began work on "Hibernation", a novella that has haunted me since the previous winter. The fresh pages flowed fairly quickly, and I stopped only to make a luscious dip for chips and vegetables. Then I capped my pen and cooked dinner for the gang -- a massive boneless pork roast, mashed potatoes, salad, and apple sauce. While dinner simmered, I snuck in a few more pages, sipped raspberry-lime seltzer, brewed a pot of coffee, and luxuriated in that rocker beneath a maple tree dressed in a cloak of bright pumpkin-orange leaves.
|(Group photo, minus Doug)|
For lunch, it was suggested we take a walk to the local barbecue restaurant down the road. My lunch consisted of an amazing apple cider-brined brisket, fries, and a kale/Brussels sprout slaw. After we stuffed ourselves, we moseyed down to Rangeley Lake. A moody gray mist hung over the surrounding mountains, and the foliage seemed to glow against the gloom. We returned to the retreat house, wrote, and I grabbed a quick afternoon nap while the night's dinner slow-cooked: boneless lamb and vegetables. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of lamb, but it was beyond delicious and added that proper decadent note to our last big meal of the weekend.
|(Saturday afternoon on the lake)|