Preparing for a DIY Writing Retreat

With the baby coming in 10 weeks, B and I decided that our “baby moon” this 6th time around would be something very quiet and isolated–our own writing retreat at the farm-cabin we have frequented this past year.

The farm-cabin is not for everyone–the closest any kind of restaurant is 20 minutes of driving through fields, there’s only phone /internet signal if you sit on the porch at the right time of day, and the view is fields and more fields. But for us this is perfect–we’ll only be a couple of hours away from our girls (and my generous mother who will be caring for them) so we could get home in a hurry if need-be, we’re not too far away from the hospital if I went into surprise early labor, and we actually enjoy quiet isolation and have our own writing projects that we’ve been slogging away on inch by inch.

My Packing List for our Babymoon / Writing Retreat:

  1. 3 BlueApron meals (so we won’t be going out to restaurants–but we will indeed have some fine dining!) and maybe some sort of guilty pleasure breakfast–like poptarts. We never eat/buy poptarts.
  2. Scrabble (because even novelists need to take a break)
  3. A dozen books–a mix of poetry, prompt books, and some fiction/nonfiction for fun. I’m mostly rereading some old favorites–Hirschfield, Oldes, Kenyon–but I have a new book by Molly Spencer as well! It has taken SO MUCH SELF CONTROL to not read that book before the retreat!
  4. My laptop for editing/revising Manuscript 3 and compiling Manuscript 4
  5. The printed-out version of Manuscript 4 so I can start arranging it

I’m really looking forward to playing around with the order of Manuscript 4. It feels wrong to me to have two manuscripts unpublished at the same time–what if the younger marries before the eldest?!– but when the manuscript is ready to form, and I have the time, then why not? I can always hold the second one back for a time.

I wonder too how with the state of the world if it is the right time for either of my areas of interest in my manuscripts–what do poetry readers need and want to read right now? The oppression of nuns and the mourning of a baby? I don’t know. I suppose I can’t help but write what feels important and alive to me. Perhaps these are questions to ask myself during the weekend at the cabin.

(and, for those curious, B is working on a novel!)


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