My head and my brain are still at the writing retreat, clicking away, processing vitals, etc. I hope they are enjoying themselves. I returned home with my son to a house packed with visitors both human and canine, dinner for 8 to prepare and an ailing husband who at 5a.m. the following morning ended up in the ER and at 10p.m. the following evening ended up in the ER (he is fine, just fine now, all better—mostly—thank you). I have not stopped moving and busying since we returned home, except for the occasional powernap, and now it’s Friday and all of Los Angeles is freaking out about Carmageddon. Here, I take a huge, deep breath: Carmagedblrrrrgh…
Head and Brain have sent me some wonderful images taken at the retreat—bits that fascinated me as I wandered hushed retreat rooms late at night, thinking, sipping a glass of wine, enjoying the quiet and the cool sea air wafting in through tall, vined windows. Sometimes I was typing at 1am, so no–I didn’t sleep much at the retreat. My son slept, which is beyond wonderful—I love to see him exhausted from mass exposure to Nature. But I didn’t. Sleep. Much. Which is, actually, when I really think about it, abso-f***inglutely fine. Yes, it’s been a chaotic week, but retreats are once-in-while treasures. Pardon me. It just felt appropriate to—****. (Currently, in my part of the world, the moon is full and everyone knows that when the moon is full, it’s high tide in your brain…)
I was so excited to be at the retreat, I was almost too excited to work. One freakout did occur—it had to do with my looming birthday (it’s not until February, yet it looms), not having a literary agent—YET—and there’s a particular tricky section in my first chapter—but see the lady in the cowboy hat and hip heels? She calmed me. Just studying her for 10 minutes calmed me way down. “Chill, honey,” she said. “Clink shot glasses with me and train your ears on ocean sounds wafting in through these slap-my-ass fabulous rectangular windows. Chill, Mama(cita). Just. Chill.”
As I sipped my wine and studied her I just knew she was the sort of woman capable of handling first chapter struggles, that, in fact, she’d stare down an entire manuscript until she had it tamed, and that nothing, certainly not a Carmageddon, could break her creative spirit.
Whoosh, went the ocean, drawing me to the windows. And then I played the piano and then I opened my laptop, just breathing everything in. Everything.
Hopefully my head and my brain will return this weekend. I’m ready for a showdown with my first chapter and the 275-ish pages beyond.