Here, Not There

Last week I co-lead a writer's retreat in remote Diamond, Oregon.  (We kept referring to it as "the middle of nowhere" but one of the hotel's employees took offense to that.  However, it kind of is.)


It was an awesome week, with attendees and myself and my co-leader making strides in our writing.  I had come upon a wee block in how to reconfigure my novel and I had a breakthrough about that while gone.  Yay!  I even ran into an old writing buddy.  (Go figure–billeted where the paved road ends and you run into someone you know.)

The days went like this:

9AM-12PM:  Writing instruction, discussion of literary pieces, workshopping of participant pieces

Noon-1:30ish:  Lunch at the hotel

1:30, on: Writing, time to work on assignments

5 PM sharp: Happy Hour on the screened-in porch

It was a shock to drive from brown, high desert Diamond into lush, green Portland on Saturday.  It was even more of a shock to learn, as soon as I got into cell-phone range, that my daughter was at that very moment in emergency surgery to remove her gall bladder.

Which is why this week I am here, not there.  There being Maui, where I had planned to head for a spiritual retreat.  But a daughter recovering from surgery with a five-month old baby to care for is reason enough for me to stay home, don't you think?

Maybe I'll get some more writing done in between caring for them.  In the meantime, I've got another guest post lined up for this Friday, and I'll be lurking around, so stay tuned!

PS.  The retreat was so successful we're thinking of doing it again in the fall, probably for a shorter amount of time.  You should come.

Create a successful, inspired writing life: How do you retreat to write?  Or do you?  Are you one of those souls who fit in your work around everything else that you do on a day-to-day basis? Please share how.

The photo is of the old hotel sign at the Diamond Hotel and I snitched it off their website, but I don't think they'll mind, because they are really, really nice people.

, , , ,

9 Responses to Here, Not There

  1. Zan Marie 04/30/2012 at 17:12 #

    Goodness, Charlotte! Yes, I think that’s a good reason to cancel on Maui. Though I really hate to think you missed a trip to paradise. ; )

    I’ve never gone on a writing retreat, but I am starting Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY 12-week course. It’s amazing and I’m still in week 1. I think you’re one of the writers who suggested it to me. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Patrick Ross 05/01/2012 at 03:39 #

    Hang in there, Charlotte. I hope your daughter’s recovery goes well.

  3. J.D. 05/01/2012 at 04:41 #

    I wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

  4. Charlotte Dixon 05/01/2012 at 09:03 #

    Thanks, Patrick!

  5. Charlotte Dixon 05/01/2012 at 09:04 #

    She's doing well, J.D., but it is still a process.  Thanks for your good thoughts.

  6. Jenni Gainsborough 05/01/2012 at 09:39 #

    The Diamond retreat was wonderful — Charlotte and Debbie did an amazing job leading us and it was the perfect place to be, with nothing to do but focus on the art and craft of writing. So sorry to hear about your daughter — I hope she will be back to full strength soon. She’s lucky to have grandma on hand to help out!

  7. Charlotte Dixon 05/01/2012 at 09:46 #

    A huge part of the reason the retreat was so wonderful was our amazing participants, you among them, Jenni!  Thanks for working so hard and contributing so much.

  8. Charlotte Dixon 05/01/2012 at 15:34 #

    Zan Marie, I’m a huge fan of the Artist’s Way so it probably was me who recommended it. Kudos to you! As for the trip to paradise, I’ve still got my ticket, so my daughter and I are planning a trip for next winter. I’ll get there one way or another!

  9. Debbie Maxwell Allen 05/01/2012 at 18:49 #

    Good choice. Hope your daughter feels better, and that you get some writing done!


Leave a Reply