Risky Regencies


Rest and Writing, that is.

Neither of which has happened much this week, which started with one of my kids getting an ear infection. For those of you who don’t have children, or are fortunate enough not to have gone through this, ear infections generally mean interrupted sleep for everyone until enough violently pink bubble-gum smelling antibiotic has been slurped.

Needless to say, progress on my Mess-in-Progress has been painfully sloooowwww.

The good news is this weekend it’ll be my turn for a retreat. Each year a couple of writing buddies of mine and I get away to a lakeside cottage, bringing laptops, notebooks, inspiring music, munchies, wine and chocolate. During the days we focus on solitary writing, breaking only for meals or the occasional thinking walk (or paddle, depending on whether a canoe is available). In the evenings we chat and watch romantic movies–this year it’s the newest adaptation of JANE EYRE which I’ve been dying to see.

Anyway this retreat could not come at a better time. It’s been a tough winter for writing and this latest ear infection felt like the universe telling me I should give it up. But I won’t. I’ve got friends who won’t let me, for one thing! For another, I know that all I need is some decent sleep and a good shot of writing time to get the mojo flowing.

So my Risky friends and visitors, when you’re at the brink of despair, what pulls you back?

Do you go on retreats and what sorts?


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Megan Frampton
15 years ago


I’ve been spared ear infections, thank goodness, although this year I’ve seen more than enough ERs.

R&R? When the son has finally gone to sleep and the Spouse and I are having a beer watching the Daily Show.

I don’t do retreats, but this weekend I am doing an RWA-NYC event, which will be nice.

And baths are good, too, although those are even more infrequent than the beer and Jon Stewart thing.

Have fun, Elena! I just saw that version of JE, and loved it.

15 years ago

Ooh, I always loved getting that antibotic when I was a kid! I mean, it’s bubble-gummy! 🙂

I guess I retreat into my books and computer. . . don’t have the ability to retreat. LOL 🙂


Cara King
15 years ago

That retreat sounds delightful!


Janet Mullany
15 years ago

You know cats get the same flavor antibiotic? It makes them even more enthusiastic about taking their med. On the other hand I don’t think kids would go for sardine-flavor.

My idea of a retreat? Simple. No internet, peace and quiet, excellent food available when I wanted it, and the opportunity to plot with other writers.

The WRW Retreat, although it’s called one, is more of a mini-conference crossed with a high-school reunion. It’s not a time for shutting yourself up and focusing on writing.

Diane Perkins
15 years ago

I’ve never done that sort of retreat, Elena. It sounds like heaven. Occasionally I am able to do this for a day with friends, but I have often felt a whole weekend would be wonderful. Especially in some scenic location like lakeside or oceanside.

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Oh, Elena. We have three ear infections one year. And that year, someone or the other in the house was constantly sick. So we’ve been there; just hold tight; this, too, shall pass.

Writer/Reader blogs and boards, such as RR, have helped me tremendously this year in keeping my head above water, when all I wanted to do was sink into my chronic pain.

I’ve discovered that shared laughter with friends is the best antidote.

The second is sitting at the beach alone watching the surf break at the sand. Sun in the sky. No clouds. A cool breeze. A deck chair. A good book. A mai-tai. (in the reverse order of importance)

I’m here for any support you might need. Just write to me. (And write in your WIP.) Aha, you knew the support comes with a string attached. I want to read your book. 🙂

Elena Greene
15 years ago

Keira, you’re so sweet. Yes I know this too shall pass but it’s nice to talk to other mommy writers about this. We know husband and kids come first on the priority list and writing comes second. We have no problem with that–except when the writing drops off the list entirely.

I think that’s why these retreats are so special to me and my buddies. We all have children around the same ages and think it’s good to give the dads a whole weekend to bond with them!

Janet, I doubt my kids would like sardine-flavored medicine but they really don’t care for bubble gum. Maybe if it were pesto… I have weird kids. No surprise, that. 🙂

15 years ago

Oh, that picture looks like heaven. Have a fabulous, rejuvenating time.

15 years ago

I sometimes retreat from reality. Frequently, in fact.

As far as work goes, I often get much more done when I’m visiting another university than I do at home. In fact, I am putting this theory into practice today. (Grading exams. Bleah.)

Your lake retreat sounds lovely, though! Reminds me of renting a beach-side cabin when we were kids. (Well, the adults did the renting; we just went along.)


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