Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day One of Writing Retreat

The accommodations are a little more ‘rustic’ than I anticipated. The musty smell slightly more prevalent. These units were probably closed up for most of the winter. I expected them to smell stale and unused. I unpack my scented candle and put it to work before I unpack anything else.

At the sight of the Out of Order sign on the fridge, I gulp, until I notice the portable unit right across from it. I quickly pull open the door. Good. It’s working. Hauling my soft-sided cooler closer, I unload all my goodies into the little fridge. When I stand up, I crack my head on the corner of the cupboard. Staggering back a couple of steps, I press my fingers on the tender bump and look for blood. No blood.

Anxious to get set up, I reach for the case with my printer. I brought power bars and extension cords but it looks like I’ll be okay without them.

The small square table is the perfect size for my laptop and printer. I’m in business.

I think I should start with a cup of tea. I put water in the kettle and…the cord is too short to reach the low receptacle. I check the bathroom. Yes, a receptacle…but it doesn’t work. I hit the reset button a few times and manage to get the power back. No problem.

Rubbing my arms against the chill in the room. I decide to close the windows, which are all open, presumably to air the place. I turn on the heater. It looks brand new and it works great.

Though it’s late afternoon before I actually start editing my book, I complete two chapters and print hard copies for that final, final edit. I can’t say that the creative juices are flowing. Everything seems strange to me and I’m not fully settled in.

With every sound I hear, I rush to the window. Much like Lex at home. I tell her it’s none of her business when someone pulls into the neighbour’s driveway. Stop barking. Now I know how she feels. One can’t ignore something like that. Only I don’t bark. But I do use it as an excuse to grab something to munch. Work progresses slowly.

Fatigue set in around 9:00. Unfortunately, I’d been up since 4 AM. It was just one of those mornings. It happens. Pulling back the bedspread to do that little black-speck-around-the-edge-of-the-mattress check, I discover that though the room smells musty, the bedding smells freshly laundered. And, oh yeah, there are no black specks.

I can’t sleep. My throat closes up. The stale air is making me feel ill. I am up several times before I open a window. There’s a rush of fresh cold air. I feel guilty that the heater ran all night long, but I had a decent sleep.

So now, it’s morning. My first morning here. I prepare my hot water and lemon and somehow the place looks better than it did yesterday. Quaint even.
Think I’ll toast a blueberry bagel, make a coffee, and do what I came here to do…focus on finishing this book.


  1. I'd never have thought to bring a scented candle along with me, and a blueberry bagel to get things started...sounds like a winner!

    1. So true. Next time I'll bring more chocolate. A gross miscalculation on my part. :(