Sunday, February 27, 2005

Retreat Treat

Imagine this: Four women writers, non-published writers but writers nonetheless, holed up at a country house for two days. No husbands, no kids, no dogs-or horses. No phones to answer, no newspapers, no televisions to suck away the time, no news and the only weather outside the window. And no worries except those brought along. Yes, 3 of my writer friends and I enjoyed such a weekend and what a treat. One brought lasagna, one brought salad, another brought sangria and lunch , one brought bread and breakfast and beverages. All brought their desire to write. We talked a lot of course about many things but we did write. Not as much as we wanted but we encouraged one another and read what we had written and made suggestions to each other and read books on writing. And we came away vowing a repeat of our writers retreat. T.C. Boyle's , in his book East is East, describes a sylvan writers colony, an absolutely enchanting writers environment but Steven King in his book On Writing suggests, nay outright says, such retreats do nothing for your writing. He is probably right. "You might not learn The Magic Secrets of Writing but it would certainly be a grand time..." . Yes, Stevie it was.

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Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.
Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)