I’m in Day 2 of three-day writer getaway with a friend (we’ll call her Marcia). We’re at an old inn about an hour from each of our homes. It’s our second visit; we came here this past spring for a two-day getaway that we both realized was not quite long enough. We chose this place because it’s roughly halfway between our homes, it’s affordable (thank you, Living Social deal!), has pleasant surroundings, good food that somebody else fixes, and is far away from the distractions of home (I’m talking to you, laundry/dishes/yard work/groceries).
There’s a Mirror of Erised in my room! However, as Older Son observed after my previous visit to this inn, if the mirror’s attempting to reflect my heart’s desire, either it needs a tune-up or I need to seriously up my game.
I arrived Monday afternoon, test-drove the in-room whirlpool first thing, watched a couple of sessions of an online video about plot and structure*, and went with Marcia to the Chinese restaurant up the street. Given that it was Monday in a small Wisconsin town (population 5,093), this was our best option from What Was Open. It worked out: the fried rice was the best I’ve ever had, and the message in my fortune cookie was: Act as if it were impossible to fail. Definitely a Win all the way around.
After I came back to the room I lay down for a short nap and slept for 13 hours (not a typo). I feel 300% better now than I did yesterday at this time, although yesterday at this time I was not aware that I was operating below capacity.
I spent this morning re-watching a couple of the classes from yesterday so I could take notes, since what was being discussed was exactly what I need to learn for the novel I’m plotting now. It’s exciting when things fall into place, as they have been ever since I returned to this particular Work in Progress (hereafter known as the WIP).
Last week, for instance, I peeked inside one of the Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood and found the exact book that influenced the main character of this novel. I took that as another encouraging sign.
Things aren’t perfect. When I made the reservation I neglected to ask for the room I had previously, and I’m finding this one to be a bit short on natural light. The desk faces the wall, for starters. I’d move it to the window, but the window faces the brick side of a building across the alley. I did know this going in–this is the room Marcia had this spring–but Marcia managed to do just fine here so I decided that this was the room I was meant to have. It’s working out OK, but I do miss a portal to the outside world.
Update: 2 PM. Amazing thing just happened. One of the rooms on this floor is being renovated and today’s the day the crew showed up to put down the new flooring. With nail guns. Loud nail guns.
It was noisy but nothing I couldn’t live with, especially since I had my earbuds on listening to the videos, especially for the price I’m paying! However, an hour ago the innkeeper apologized for the noise and offered to move both Marcia (who was on the other side of the renovation) and me to new rooms.
And…one of the choices was the amazing room I had last time! I packed up in, like, nanoseconds, and then spent considerably longer unpacking and re-organizing. I now have both a desk at a window overlooking a not very busy side street AND…ta da!…a REFRIGERATOR! The latter is very helpful, because I brought a cooler of breakfast, lunch, and snack items and the ice is melting faster than I expected it to.
As I said, things seem to be falling into place.
*The online video class is a semester’s worth of lectures on Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, with author Brandon Sanderson as the instructor. Links to the classes are here (they’re all on YouTube, apparently with the permission both of the instructor and the university, and they’re easy to navigate). Although my WIP is neither SF nor fantasy, the techniques he discusses for character, setting, and plot are applicable to any work of fiction, and as a long-time reader of science fiction, I’m finding the world-building and sub-genre discussions a welcome bonus.
© 2014 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go