|(Ghostly mist surrounds the retreat house on Saturday, October 27, 2012)|
October kicked off with an incredible trip to Rochester, Vermont. I was among a handful of scribes who won a free stay at When Words Count Retreat Center, a new high-end destination designed to pamper writers and help them to achieve their dreams. As described in previous posts, my stay was above and beyond magnificent. Truly, my time there will forever rank as one of the most enjoyable of my adult life. Words flowed, as did a level of creative energy too rare in this era where publishing is being transformed before our eyes. WWC is a gift I intend to give myself again, and the relationships I established with the retreat center's director and owners, by all outward signs, will lead to several exciting and mutually-beneficial work opportunities in the near future and down the pike.
|(A favorite chair -- and pillow -- in the Stein Salon at When|
Words Count Retreat Center)
Two days after returning from Vermont, I found myself back in the car driving north to give a reading at the Barley House in Concord, New Hampshire. I and several contributors from the fabulous line of anthologies published by Rick Broussard, New Hampshire Pulp Fiction, entertained a significant crowd of devotees with samples of our stories. My tale of Combat Science Fiction and sacrifice, "The Moths," is slated to appear in the latest release. Rick asked me to read from the very first volume, Live Free or Undead, which contains my story "Road Rage." Quite a few of my Wednesday night writer's group's members showed to support me, and I took to the stage amid thunderous applause. I dedicated my reading to, "The courageous men and women of Moonbase Alpha" and was then asked to stick around to help judge a flash fiction contest put on by the fine folk at The New Hampshire Writers' Project.
|(Reading from "Road Rage" at the Barley House)|
Beds and accommodations at that house are wonderfully comfortable, the owner, Maureen Parziale, a delight -- hence the annual return. And my creative output was no less solid than during my two previous retreat stays on Star Island and at When Words Count. I put the nib of my fountain pen to page and dashed off the last two chapters of my modern Gothic novel full of grand guignol and dark family secrets, Blinders. On Monday, I had a long and thrilling phone conversation with WWC's Jon Reisfeld regarding one of the possible writing work opportunities looming on the very near horizon, and then received an email from an editor seeking multiple short stories of mine for a new anthology he is putting together for German book publisher Bruno Gemuender. On Tuesday, I woke from a haunting dream and began to pen a new short story based upon the dream's quite solid bones. Later that afternoon, I returned to the novel -- close, so very close, to its THE END.
|(My novel in its first draft)|
On Saturday, I penned the entirety of "Mourning Doves in Limbo," a 2,500-word short story already promised to an editor. Our last night culminated with a reading from our works-in-progress, peanut butter cookies, and a late retiring to bed in preparation for an early start. By ten on Sunday morning, the 28th, our happy writing retreat lodge sparkled after a solid cleaning, and we were on the road, headed south for home. But the adventure was hardly ended because, as I type this on Monday, October the 29th, Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on our little Granite State. The lights are still on, and all is snug and secure, though outside the windows and the happy lights in my office, the world is gray and tremulous. It's been one hell of an October!