Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Prepping for a Four-Day Writing Retreat at Home

I have cleared almost everything from my schedule for the next four days (Thursday through Sunday) so I can work on my novel. Since I hope to finish the first draft by December 31st, I need to focus. Setting up a couple of "home retreats" seems like a smart move, especially since we are not having company nor are we traveling over the holidays.

The four days will not be totally web-free, but I will be taking shortcuts. My blog posts will be introspective and relatively short, so I won't need links or photos. I will visit a few blog posts but will not leave many comments. E-mails will be answered next Monday. The one thing I won't give up is my reading time for the ReBooWee Challenge, but I've chosen to finish reading a book on writing by agent Donald Maass, The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great.


1. Purchase one bar of Lindt 70% cocoa intense dark chocolate. (Priority -- Done)

2. Finish the four things left on my To Do List that I consider urgent. (In process)

3. Scheduled for this afternoon: A relaxing massage to take away all distracting muscle aches and that annoying computer ache in neck and shoulders. (Note to self: schedule an extra massage this month. It will count as my Christmas present from Santa Stoltey).

4. Make certain I have all the ingredients for a giant pot of vegetable soup that will, hopefully, last at least three days.

5. Warn husband that my office door will be shut for extended periods of time and that I must not be disturbed when the door is shut unless there is an emergency. Prepare a list of "emergencies" versus "non-emergencies" and post the list on my door.

Can you think of anything else?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Turn off the phone? That's what always seems to mess me up when I'm on a writing roll.

Good luck!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I'm envious. Sounds great, wish I could copy you. Right down to #1!!!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm thinking I can't imagine doing this in my house, much less during the holidays. Kudos to you.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at, prepare a list of "emergencies" versus "non-emergencies" and post the list on my door.

Where does "I can't find blah, blah" or "Have you seen ..." fall under? :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Carolyn, it depends. If it's, "I can't find the peanut butter," I don't want to hear about it.

However, I definitely want to be informed if the question is, "Where's the fire extinguisher?"

Kay Theodoratus said...

Good luck in writing lots of words. Make that pertinent words ... and maybe, impertinent ones too ... for laughs.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love #4 :)

If it were me, I'd have to make sure I had enough tea and music available.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds great except for #1. Only one bar. You're talking about a 4-day retreat, got to have at least 2 bars.

I'd highly recommend 4 bars that way you can reward yourself each day for all the progress you've made.

Good luck.

Terry Odell said...

Good luck! Back from Colorado, and I'll be 'locked up' as I try to catch up on everything. It's going to take a while to get back to my regular blog crawls.

Karen Walker said...

Sending you good wishes and good luck, Patricia. You make me laugh!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Looking forward to your report of progress made. Here's hoping it will be considerable.

Best Wishes, Galen.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks, everyone. There was a small hitch this morning when the workers arrive to roof a neighbor's house. Pounding, pounding, pounding... But I was able to tune it out.

Then daughter and baby granddaughter Skyped in, and there was no way I was going to miss that. All in all, however, the writing day has gone well. I'm in the zone.