poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘at home writing retreat

Six requirements for an At-Home-Writing-Retreat

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I planned to attend a writers’ retreat this week, in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. In the end, it was cancelled – too few participants. My arthritis is having a flare-up, so perhaps it is just as well I am at home. But I refuse to miss my creative writing time. So, I will do what I have done before. I will have an at-home-writing-retreat.


I have done this twice before, so I know what works for me.


For this retreat I need:

1. A room in my house where I don’t usually work, with a desk and a place to relax. My guest room is clean and quiet, ready for a session each day. Actually, quiet is not necessary … years of working in a big office with lots of activity and other people have made me immune to ‘noise.’

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2. Six days with no appointments or outside obligations. Since I had set aside six days for the Saint Andrews Retreat, my calendar is cooperating. I will also keep my emailing and social media time to a minimum.

3. Six days with few domestic obligations. I already have reduced expectations when it comes to domesticity! To help with the retreat I have planned easy meals and each day I will do one thing to help us keep ahead of the mess … for example, today I filled and ran the dishwasher.

4. A cooperative husband. No problem, he is always supportive!

5. Goals for the week. I am in the middle of revisions for my next book in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series: ‘Something the Sundial Said.’ I also want to work on the map I include in all my mystery novels. By the end of the week, I want to be able to send for the Proof of the book, complete with map. I also want to create three blog posts, including two new poems.

6. Physical exercise. I do stretches and bike on my stationary cycle every day anyway. This week, I’ll spent some deliberate time walking outside, taking photos and feeding my need for nature, the basis of my creativity.


Today is the first day of my retreat. I took a walk in the rain and some photos for Wednesday’s blog. I did 70 pages of revisions (17,000 words); this sounds like a lot but this is the final revision before the Proof (will get editing and a beta-read). This afternoon I wrote the draft of a poem and started the map for ‘Something the Sundial Said’ (I use GIMP to draw my maps). The retreat is underway!


Here is the first draft of the map for my book. The book is set in a fictional community in Nova Scotia.

Something sundial said


All my best,


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