Saturday, December 25, 2010

Writing retreats

This afternoon I'm packing for a writing retreat. Headed up to Whidbey Island to one of my favorite places on earth for 9 days of writing and community with 5 other writers. I do this at least twice a year and sometimes more. I find I write best with others around me on task, and the energy of creativity and risk that builds up over time is really delicious.

I had thought I might get some time this last week to finish the first draft of the novel I'm currently working on. But there turned out to be plenty of paid work and social events and Christmas projects to complete (including a wonderful large collage for my sister) so I didn't get any real time to think about the story. And in a way, that's fine. I'll have several known chapters to embark on right away and lots of thinking and planning to do to complete the draft so I won't feel at loose ends around the project.

The other writers going along are deep in their own projects. They've been to the retreat center before and are eager to go. We have one potter going along this time. She's writing a grant and hopes to complete it in the intensity of our cauldron. I think she will.

And I've been to this retreat center to write once or twice a year for the last 8 years, so much so that my creative self shows up right away and the Muse comes calling before much time has past.

I'll keep you posted as to my progress. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Treadmill: This writer's tool

Friday I spent writing two of the remaining chapters. I've got a couple more to write before the big final showdown and I more or less know what needs to get accomplished, if not exactly what is going to happen. But although I know how the killer gets there, I'm still trying to sort out his motives and connections with the dead bodies strewn across the country.

So there I was yesterday, walking along, listening to Savage Garden and trying to decide whether to do five more minutes of speed or five more minutes of incline, when a whole bunch of information just dropped into my mind, like a branchload of snow that gets too heavy and showers you with cold, wet knowledge.

It was a bit like walking past the card table that holds the jigsaw puzzle and suddenly clear as day, you see the piece you've been searching for, the one you were sure was lost because you'd looked everywhere.

I still have a few more things to resolve and I don't think that will happen until next week as I won't probably get much writing time between now and Christmas but I'm so excited to know the killer finally. Clearly, exercise is good for the imagination as well as the body!