Saturday, June 22, 2013

Going on a Retreat . . .


This afternoon I'm headed to a monastery (I assume that's what you call the place the nuns live) to do a writing retreat.  It's just one overnight to see if I like it there.  The fee is only about $50 a night, and absolute quiet is guaranteed. 

I'm a little worried that the absolute quiet might be too absolute.  I'm tempted to bring a copy of The Shining with me, but that might send me over the edge.

I'm trying to set a reasonable goal for myself for writing this weekend.  I am changing the point of view in my first historical fiction novel.  I have the first two chapters completed. 

But the point of view for chapter three is tricky - it's a first person telling of the part of story he didn't witness - basically a first person telling of a story in third person if that makes any sense.  I haven't touched it in more than a month.  My impulse is to work on something else, to outline, to do anything else, to watch some movies, go for a walk, paint the walls, do the dishes, anything.  Yesterday I vacuumed the carpet three times and repainted a wall I painted earlier in the week.  I definitely need to be in a space where there's nothing else to do.

If this works out, I may spend the next few weekends with the nuns - well, in the silence with the nuns somewhere sitting quietly in building or on the grounds somewhere. 

I think a reasonable goal is to outline the first third and rewrite five chapters.  It's an Appalachian coal mining kind of novel - must buy some 1930s Carters tunes for my iPod. 

17 comments:

  1. I think getting away to a place where you have nothing else to do but write is a good idea. (Unless you'd rather come paint the walls at my house.) Take something else to do, but not so much you are distracted.
    I bet you'll get a lot more done than you think!

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    1. I'm on my way to paint your walls. :) I walked on the grounds and weeded the gardens just because. It's 7:15 - I think I've reached the limit of the silence I can endure. I have gotten a ton of work done.

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  2. Good luck, Tonja. That seems unique for a writing retreat at a monastery. I hadn't heard of that before. It would be a strange place to write horror or paranormal stories. Sounds like a good deal.

    I had to rearrange the first five chapters of my scifi and it took a lot of work, but the result justified it. Funny how we can procrastinate, but perhaps it's brewing in the background.

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    1. I'm writing historical fiction - I wouldn't feel right writing something paranormal after all the blessings I've received this afternoon. :)

      I agree that the work is worth it, and the brewing is necessary.

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  3. Get thee to a nunnery! Ha! Well, I do hope you get some writing done. I usually find when I'm stalling like that it's because I've taken a wrong turn somewhere in the story. My intuition tells me to stop going forward until I figure it out. I wish a productive weekend! :)

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    1. My kids were sick for about 6 weeks, and I just got out of the groove. And there are so many walls to paint.

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  4. Enjoy the retreat. It sounds like a really great idea and I hope that you get everything done that you wish to get done. It just shows that you are committed to your writing. Best of luck.

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    1. Thanks. I'm at the point where I feel like the silence is going to swallow me whole. I have a whole end of the place to myself. It's like a very tidy dorm for nuns. I'm hanging out in a very large kitchen right now.

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  5. That sounds fascinating. I would love to have that much silence and time to myself. Good luck, and I hope you get a lot of writing done.

    P.S. thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  6. This sounds wonderful. I hope you enjoyed it and had a very productive weekend.

    Plus I have to say you made me laugh about bringing The Shining with you!

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    1. I had one end of the building, which was apparently a dorm for new nuns, to myself. Only the bedrooms had window ACs - and mine hissed, an evil hiss. It was way too quiet. I got my work done and bailed.

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    1. I got a lot done. And I weeded the gardens. Twice. And visited the fresh graves of nuns - there was a huge nun cemetery next to my room.

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  8. ooh Sounds like fun! Hope you left your copy of the Shining at home. :D
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  9. I totally understand the terror of tackling the next bit of revision. My God, I put mine off as long as I can. I think, in part, I just hate having to "re-do" stuff. It's annoying, you know? WHY CAN'T I GET THAT JAZZ RIGHT THE FIRST TIME?????????? :-D

    Maybe I should get myself to a convent, too. God knows I've got the celibacy thing down pat. :-D Oh, wait... :-(

    ;-)

    Some Dark Romantic

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