Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Writing Retreat Renewal

photo by Helen
Recently I invited a few writer friends up to my country place for a winter retreat. We call it Idea Farm (as opposed to my Idea City blog, which I usually write while in NYC). A writing retreat is something I need to do every 6 months. In the summer, a bunch of us go to a bigger retreat, so I wanted to return the favor. One person was sidelined by gall bladder trouble, so our troop was down to three people who trust each other and work well together. Shawne is a talented novelist writing about family ghosts and Helen writes short stories, novels and reviews.

It was a perfect time to get some serious work done because it was snowy and icy outside and the wind was howling like a rabid wolf. Inside, we kept the fire stoked. I should say Helen did because I suck at arranging logs and kindling.

Our schedule: wake at 8 am and imbibe multiple cups of coffee while we gossip, talk shop, and run details of our WIPs and ideas by each other. This includes what we should name our characters and how steamy the characters and love scenes can get. Lots of belly laughs and unconditional support. Before work, we trundle off to my studio, while trying to stay aloft on the driveway aka skating rink. Once there, Helen does yoga while I use my weights, rebound trampoline and do about 75 crunches. Shawne, the sensible friend stays in the main house.

Pond view from my porch,
photo by Helen
Next it's writing time, each person to their own station. Mine is by the fire. Shawne's is in the kitchen, Helen works in a small room to "contain her abundance of energy".

I get 5,000 words done. Seems like a pittance. BUT, I'm so fired up that I finish a 65 page novella the next week! Shawne is struck by cosmic inspiration and devises a genius structure for her next novel, while Helen revises, revises and does creative strategizing for her writing-related business.

In the evening we cook (salmon, pasta, veggie curry) and read the Tarot for each other. We don't take it seriously, but I do love my new Breugel deck! Check 'em out here, they're absolutely stunning! One of us may meet a new business partner, someone else should not get overly impressed by her boss. And hey, my "outcome" card was the sun, which made me happy (sun card= vitality, success, positivity)

Incredibly blurry but kinda cute photo of us!
I'm already looking forward to our July retreat by a beach in New England. In the meantime, I'm refreshed and on fire.

For a view of my messy writing space read Nutschell's Wednesday Writers' Space post! Also, I guest posted on Beth's 52 Blog about my thoughts on Show Don't Tell (Or as I put it, Evoke, Don't Bludgeon) . But first, don't forget to leave a comment! How do YOU renew your writing passion? Any great tips?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rebel Writers' Creed-Take the Pledge!

SA Larsen over at her blog Writers' Ally is a constant source of wisdom and inspiration. Today, she's written her first official post of the new year. BTW, Happy New Year, all! 
She wrote a post about the Rebel Writers' Creed 2013 Pledge.
What's that? It's a series of promises below, about writing and living.
Want to take the pledge? Click here to add your name and grab the banner for your blog. In addition to Sheri's list, I have a few of my own that are important to me:

Cultivate and fully use my imagination.
Always write with my heart and soul engaged.
Write the specific stories I was born to write.
Connect with my readers and fellow writers.
Jump in, no excuses, no hesitation!

What pledge(s) are you making to yourself this year?