05 October 2012

Working for Vacation

So I've been away for a while. You might have noticed. I took a break from the city to go to my absolute favourite place in the entire world.

Yup, there is a wee cottage tucked in there. I've waxed poetic about this place before, but it is the best. There is no hydro. If you want electricity, you must use an elaborate system involving a gas generator and a car battery. There is little chance of ending up online for hours, much less on the phone or in any other remote interpersonal exchange. Heat is courtesy of a wood stove. Cooking and refrigeration run on propane. It's like living in a park.

Normally, I spend all of my time at the cottage outside. I sit by the lake and read, or I troop around in the woods, or I take off for hours to practice tai chi and qigong in the woods. This year, however, three factors combined to change my usual pattern:

It was darn cold.
It rained about as often as it did anything else.
When I arrived at the cottage, I was on the downhill slope of a novel I'd been working on since August.

I thought I was going to have to wrestle with myself to keep writing once we were up there and that "on vacation" feeling sunk in, but the weather really sealed the deal. It was just as easy to slip another log onto the fire and hunker down inside as it was to head out. The view from the kitchen table is gorgeous. Dave is a late sleeper when he's on vacation, so short of getting the dog and cat their breakfasts and setting a pot of coffee up to percolate, each morning, I had hours to myself to write.

I'm happy to say I wrote a little over 20k in 7 days, and completed the first draft. Yup, it's a mess, but those final 20k words are pretty solid. More importantly, it's done.

I've taken the last week or so to let my brain dribble out my ears. I'm setting October goals now and staring down the last quarter of 2012 to figure out what's left to do. There's NaNoWriMo's main event, of course, among other things, and that daily writing habit I'll be getting back to very shortly. I'm usually energized by the fall, so I am really anticipating good things in the next few months.

How is your fall shaping up, my friends? What plans and schemes are you hatching?


Hildred Billings said...

Goodness, and I thought I lived in a cabin in the woods! XD To me roughin' it is turning off the internet for an hour. I can't even imagine. But it sounds like it would be a beautiful area in the sunnier months. Congrats on getting so much done!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I love places like that! For me, at this point, is more the beach than a cottage in the woods but the idea is the same. :)

I recently got back from an amazing writing conference and I'm getting myself set to tear back into the draft I used for that. I'm ripping it apart first then throwing myself back into it. That's where I'm at right now.

Bluestocking said...

That sounds awesome! So glad you could make time for yourself and your writing!

But glad you're back too!

blankenship.louise said...

Hooray for finished drafts! Glad you're back.

Catherine Stine said...

Sounds positively blissful! I love cold weather and crackling fires and writing by the fireplace.

Elizabeth Twist said...

@Hildred: It is pretty rough. We warn people before they come. If you're an outdoorsy type, it is heavenly.

@Madeline: Sounds great. I've been trying to get into ripping through some older, broken short stories lately.

@Bluestocking: Heya! Hope your fall has been great so far.

@L.: I know! A finished draft is a wonderful thing, as is the massive amount of raw word count. I'm drafting a short story now, and definitely feeling like things are flowing more smoothly.

@Catherine: it was so nice to finally transition out of the stinking hot summer we had here. It was an abrupt transition, but very welcome to me.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I think I'll stick to being plugged in with the city. I like heat and access to creature comforts.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Glad you had a great time - I think I prefer being a bit more connected on vacation. ;) And I'm doing great, trying to get ready for Nano and wrap up some editing in October.

I'd like to specially invite you to participate in my Nanowrimo spotlight! Find out more here:

Elizabeth Twist said...

@Chris: cool! Count me in.

Botanist said...

This sounds idyllic. Unplug from the distractions, no demands...write.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Awesome use of your time! Brilliant. I spent two weeks at a beautiful cottage and wrote not a word other than "butter tarts" on the grocery list.

Deborah Walker said...

Hello. So glad you're back and with a healthy wodge of first draft.

Hmmm, autumn. What am I doing? I'm going on a writers' retreat to the seaside for a weekend. Puzzling if to enter a novella writing challenge on my writers group. That's it.

Unknown said...

Its a beautiful place for tourism. I like to go for adventure tourism always it gives thrill to a parson...