Into the woods

This weekend I’m off at a writing retreat. Well, I hope there will be writing, or at least a little anyway. I have a new idea I’m dying to tackle (maybe I need to do Janet’s BIAW? Sans fruit, of course!). But a friend who makes her own wine is coming, with several new bottles. Plus there are hiking trails, a swimming pool, horses, and lots of people to get caught up with–you see the problem. πŸ™‚

The place where the retreat is being held is a beautiful, “rustic” lodge on a lake, totally different from the noisy town where I live. Internet and cell phone access is complicated, and there are no shops or restaurants to distract. I’m really looking forward to the getaway–and I really have to start packing! So, I’m going to turn to Miss Austen for help on this post. Here are some of her thoughts on town vs. country:

“One day in the country is exactly like another” —Northanger Abbey

“…the influence of London is very much at war with all respectable attachments” —Mansfield Park

“They come from Birmingham, which is not a place to promise much, you know, Mr. Weston. One has not great hopes from Birmingham” —Emma

“…I have heard that there is a great deal of wine in Oxford” —Northanger Abbey

“I am quite convinced that, with very few exceptions, the sea-air always does good” —Persuasion

“She sighed for the air, the liberty, the quiet of the country” —Sense and Sensibility

“…to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment” —Mansfield Park

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” —Pride and Prejudice

And now I’m off! I’ll be back next week with a report on the proceedings. Where would YOUR ideal retreat be?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Diane Perkins
16 years ago

Your retreat sounds pretty ideal, Amanda! I must admit, though, that I’ve often thought how wonderful it would be to be in a beach house on the ocean with nothing to do but write.
Add good writing friends and some wine and it would be heaven!
Have a terrific time!

Cara King
16 years ago

My ideal? A bunch of comfortable, sunny little cabins, by a sea or lake, or in the hills. I’ll be in one, and all my best friends in the others. Work part of the day, then come out and relax together for the rest. And s’mores round the campfire — you know, the kind that don’t have any calories. πŸ™‚


Megan Frampton
16 years ago

What are men to rocks and mountains

I thought men WERE rocks and mountains! Happy writing, Amanda!

Elena Greene
16 years ago

Sounds like you’ll have a great time, Amanda!

A couple of writing buddies and I have had annual writing retreats for the past few years. We rent a cottage by a lake, bring our laptops and plenty of wine, chocolate, bagels, chocolate, casseroles, wine, fruit, and more chocolate. Then we leave each other alone for hours of writing, getting together for meals and in the evening to socialize.

We always get a lot done. It must be the chocolate!


Keira Soleore
16 years ago

Oh, Amanda, what a great topic. I dream of a cottage with an English garden by the beach on the outskirts of a small village with sunny temperatures hovering around 70-dgrees year around. Nope, I’ve never been to such a place, but Hawaii might have such a spot.

Elena, your writing retreat sounds fabulous: lots of work, laughter, friendship, and of course, chocolate.

16 years ago

When I was a kid, my extended family and friends would rent a house on the beach (usually Cape Cod or Cape May) for a week or two in the summer. Lots of walking on the beach, going to Provincetown or along the boardwalk; playing frisbee or whiffle ball; a lot of time to read. Reading plays aloud in a group.

Other times, with different relatives, we would get a cabin or house by a lake and go swimming and boating and fishing. Do jigsaw puzzles in the evenings.

So my ideas of a retreat have always been shaped by those early experiences–a bunch of friends or relatives sharing a house by the beach or a lake, with plenty of time to do your own thing and plenty of time to do stuff together.

For a week or two. Until I start going crazy and need to get back to the city. πŸ™‚


16 years ago

My ideal place. . . Mars. You don’t need air conditioning and you don’t have any neighbors. Perfect! πŸ™‚


Janet Mullany
16 years ago

Any place where someone cooks for me.
And realistically, somewhere without an internet connection!

Amanda McCabe
16 years ago

Well, now I know why I live in town. πŸ™‚ Killed a scorpion in my bathroom Friday night and had to lock the patio doors against skunks Saturday night!!! But it was great to spend time with friends and get a new story all plotted.

Keira, a cottage by the beach sounds wonderful! When I was in Hawaii, I fell in love with this little beachside bungalow. No doubt it was a hugely expensive piece of real estate, but it had this wonderful, ramshackle island look about it, with hamocks in the yard and surfboards on the porch. I think I could really get some writing done somewhere like that! Or maybe not. I would probably end up lounging in the hammock all day. πŸ™‚