Monday, November 26, 2012

My Home Writing Retreat

It started out badly. Migraines. Need I say more? I spent half of both Mon and Tue in bed with my pets beside me for comfort. I took the dog for a short walk during the day and then let her run around in the evening … I was grateful for the quiet. 

I made a decent outline, looked through old pages, cringing at the thought that five years ago I believed the first half was in “pretty good shape.” NOT. Oh, there were good parts (scenes). But lots had to go (summary). I also spread out all my research papers, books, and notes to immerse myself in the period and the story. That was probably the most fun part, just reading and soaking it all up.

Wed. morning I woke up to my normal self. Praise God! By evening, I hit a writing stride. It was fabulous to be able to revise old pages and write new scenes. I had three big writing sessions per day. In between, walks for the dog and me, prayers, goof-off time, reading time. Books are like good friends, always there. Stein on Writing kept me company, as well as encouragement from writing friends.

I had tasty leftovers for the whole week, some frozen food (I can highly recommend Udupi Masala dosa), cups and cups of minty tea, and you bet I helped myself to the kids’ Halloween candy! They don’t realize what a favor I’m doing for them, trying to save them from rotting teeth.

So, did I finish the book? Nope. My grand total – 80 pages revised. I already had 60 done over the past six weeks. I’m nearly at the end of Act II and I’m confident I will reach the finish line before Christmas. It's great having my family home again ... 


The writing retreat ended badly. Very badly. I decided to clean house, including the hamster cage. And I lost this little guy …

Stay tuned.

8 comments:

Marcia said...

Oh, he's so cute. Hope he makes it back okay.

SO glad your week from Wednesday on was so much better. Doesn't it feel great to know your goal (done by Christmas) is within reach?

Faith E. Hough said...

Oh, no! Was he found?
In terms of the writing progress..it's always good to remember that any progress is better than none at all. I tend to be afraid that I'll only get a little done and thus avoid it altogether. You're quite the strong woman, working through your pain.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Oh no, what drama, Vijaya! So glad that you will meet your goal. And I do hope you found that little guy safe and sound.

Vijaya said...

Marcia, just knowing I'll make it, even if it's slow going from now on, makes me feel better. It'd be perfect if we found the little guy.

Faith, alas, No. It's been two days now ... and I fear the worst. I'm hoping the other pets will sniff him out soon.

Agreed about progress. What really helped was the ability to immerse myself into this world. Like you, I was used to writing in the cracks, but for many years now, I've had a good two-hour chunk to write in and now find that the threat of interruption can freeze me. So a week alone was a huge luxury. I'm surprised that you would avoid the writing altogether.

Ruth, drama is right! The kind I don't need. Though a story of the Christmas hamster is already percolating in my head. I will work on it AFTER I finish this round of revisions :)

Mirka Breen said...

Oh, wow. I feel for your Hamster and you.
I was riding high on your post until that last paragraph. Your retreat sounded wonderful.
Now I want to read the update. Fingers crossed.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

UGH! Headaches! But I'm glad you finally got to some writing and had a productive day. I love that picture of you and your cat.

And I hope your hamster turns up. He's so cute!!

Vijaya said...

Mirka, you know the happy ending ... I guess I can write a cliffhanger or two ;)

Amy, those headaches slow me down, but cannot stop me! Thank you so much for praying for me.

Anne M Leone said...

So much good news--a great writing day, getting closer to finishing your revision, and such beautiful pets! AND a found hamster! Yay!