Gone Fishin’

Fishin’ for words, that is. I’ll be out of town until next Saturday at a writers’ retreat with 9 women. We’ve rented a beach house in Virginia Beach. We each have our own bedroom and bathroom. From morning till about 3:30 PM, we’ll go off on our own to write. In the afternoon, we’ll come together to talk shop or read excerpts. For dinner, one of the writers will cook up some yummy sounding meals. She’s already sent us the menu:

  • Saturday: Guiness Beef Stew, bread, salad
  • Sunday: Chicken parm, and pasta in a roasted tomato sauce
  • Monday: General Tsao’s shrimp, rice noodles and stir-fried veggies
  • Tuesday: We eat out together.
  • Wednesday: Whatever fish looks good, fixed some delicious way, asparagus (or anise) and either risotto or wild rice.
  • Thursday: Sausage (chicken) and peppers
  • Friday: Fritatta

Another writer loves to bake desserts and there are promises of a chocolate cake, warm and gooey from the oven. Did I mention I’m bringing my Couch to 5K podcasts so I can continue my interval training? 😉

This sounds like it will be a wonderful break for me, but let’s not forget the real reason I’m going. The writing. I started my new novel during NaNoWriMo in November 2009. Do you know what today’s date is? After writing about 27,000 words, I was catapulted into the world of book promotion for my first novel, which came out that same month. Not much writing, except for blogging, has been accomplished since then. And that’s a very baaaaaaaaaad thing. So, I need this trip to get me back on track. In fact, there’s a wee bit of fear that I won’t be able to, but I’m doing my best to ignore it.

If you happen to stop by while I’m away, feel free to send me some love. I’ll need it. If I don’t respond right away, that’ll be a good sign.

Catch you when I get back. Have a wonderful week doing things that make your heart sing.

[Update: See my post A Vacation for My Soul for more on my retreat experience.]



  1. girlboxing said,

    April 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Hey Margaret, ‘sounds like a fabulous opportunity to kick start the writing! Have a fabulous time and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Atlantic Surf, there are few prettier places in the world! -GB

  2. SuziCate said,

    April 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Dang, a writers retreat right here where I live and I didn’t know about it!!!!!! Yes, I live in Va. Beach, just not oceanside but near Town Center! Have a wonderful time! And I hope you get a lot accomplished.

  3. Jess Witkins said,

    April 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    The retreat sounds amazing, Margaret! I can’t wait to hear about the women, the writing, and the FOOD! Hope the muse is with you, Madge!

  4. Elizabeth said,

    April 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Sounds heavenly! The company of women, dedicated time to write without interruption, beautiful setting, and oh.the.food. Have a wonderful time, and know there will be so many of us ready to share the experience vicariously!

  5. Val said,

    April 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Sendin’ love! 🙂

  6. Monica said,

    April 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Happy fishin’! Sounds good.

  7. Joseph Hayes said,

    April 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I think I read somewhere that after spending time together a group of women writers will start punctuating together … or I may have heard that wrong.

    • Terri-Lynne said,

      May 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      Joseph–you’ve made dinner conversation with this comment a few times. Feel proud, dude.

  8. April 29, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you, ladies…and Joweeeeeeee.

    Jeez, I hope we don’t start punctuating together. Simultaneous comma placement makes me bitchy. 😉

  9. Jessica S said,

    April 30, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Sounds wonderful! Have fun. I’ll anxiously await the completion of your next manuscript. 😉 …No pressure.

  10. April 30, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Margaret, Please remember that even silence is progress when it comes to writing.I know this is radical. But it is sooooo my experience and I just think it’s important for someone to have EVERY single permission available when leaving on a writer’s retreat where sometimes the expectations can eat the words before they have a chance to make it to the page.

    All words are helpful, even the words we don’t write.

    Sometimes I’ve taken whole pages to write: I love … I love… I love… I love… and simply name over and over things and people and weather patterns that I love.

    I want you to have all permission to write everything and anything and to ENJOY the process. And the beach.

  11. Richard said,

    April 30, 2011 at 4:47 am

    10 women in a house together for a week? If one of you doesn’t come back and start writing a horror or murder-mystery I’ll be very disappointed. One night during the week you have to stand up and say, ‘I believe the killer is someone in this room!’ It’ll be a hoot. In a literary way. Probably.

    Hope you have fun, Maggie, and rediscover your mojo. Say hi to the gooey chocolate for me. 🙂

  12. huffygirl said,

    April 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Oh, I need a group of friends like this. Write hard Margaret.

  13. April 30, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Wow, endless permission to write and food provided too! Fantastic! Wish you all the best with the new work. I’ll pass this post on to Mrs Dim as proof that I need a week away with my writing partners….Maybe she could come along as cook and housekeeper? How could she resist?

  14. Cynthia said,

    April 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Sending love and best wishes for the retreat. Am looking at your book on the shelf, which will be my reward for wrapping up a huge project, hopefully Tuesday.

  15. bronxboy55 said,

    April 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    There’s just too much great writing inside you, Margaret, and it’s only a matter of time. Have fun and be good to yourself.

  16. Linda Lewis said,

    April 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    My heart is singing just thinking about you having this get away. Another 27,000 words woul be a good weeks work. (:

  17. April 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Much success Margaret! Hope you enjoy your time with the other girls and hope you have a blast! Heart and soul go out to you….

  18. Marjorie said,

    April 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    sending you love

  19. May 1, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I hope you’re deep into discovery–the writing kind, not the kind I went to law school to learn about!–and enjoying many minutes of it. 🙂

  20. Jackie said,

    May 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I almost fell off the chair laughing at Richard’s comment. I could just imagine that game of Clue. Miss Mahgret with the Exclamation Point (!) in the Lavatory. HAHAHAHA….Have a great trip!

  21. Kim said,

    May 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Sounds amazing — enjoy and be productive! Can’t wait to read the results.

  22. Brenda said,

    May 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Good for you! Sounds like a wonderful retreat and a place to add a few thousand more words. In the very least, you are going to eat well, and continue to train. Write done them bones. We’ll miss you words.


  23. May 2, 2011 at 12:10 am

    some day… dreamin’. hope u have fun. let us know!

  24. afrankangle said,

    May 2, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Learning and sharing is always good … let alone the fun and fellowship. Enjoy!

  25. Britt Bravo said,

    May 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Margaret!

    Just wanted to let you know that one my readers recommended you as a “Juicy Blog.” You can see the full list of 22 juicy bloggers here: http://bit.ly/22juicyblogs2winners


  26. Melinda said,

    May 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Yay! I’m so excited that the second book is in the works as I impatiently wait….is it done yet?….now is it done? 🙂 What a fun idea. I’m sure you will get a lot accomplished. Nothing like getting away to spark some creativity.

  27. May 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I’m baaaaaaaack. It was absolutely wonderful. There’s so much to tell. As soon as I get settled, I’ll be back with a post. Thanks for all your kind words, thoughts, and love. Hope you had a great week, too.

  28. comingeast said,

    May 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

    What a wonderful time you all must have had! Are you familiar with Hampton Roads Writers? We have a writing conference in September I think you would love. Please check us out at hamptonroadswriters.org. Would love to see you and your writing friends there!

  29. May 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

    It really was a good time. Thank you for stopping by, and for the link.

  30. huffygirl said,

    May 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Hey Lady, just stopped by to see if you’re still alive. The book must be going well I take it.
    Take Care, Huffygirl

    • May 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

      Hey, Huffy,
      Thanks for checking in. I’ve been busy exploring some new ideas for Life – Part 2 (as I call it), which came up at the writers’ retreat. One of these days I’ll get around to writing a post about what’s been happening.

      Hope all is well with you.

  31. May 30, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Hi Margaret-just checking in to see if you’re still fishin’ or if you got a bite and are finishing your book;)

    • May 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Hey, Jessica. I’ve been exploring some ideas, unrelated to the novel, that have kept me busy. How’s the little guy doing? Hope all is well.

  32. Melinda said,

    June 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I too was wondering if you’d switched careers and could now be see on Biggest Catch. Hope all is well.

    • June 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      🙂 I could cut worms, I suppose. That’s about it.

      I’m working on my next post. It’s taken this long to process my trip. I’m still not sure my words will do it justice. Thanks for checking in on me.

  33. June 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    […] sounds like hell.” My friend laughed and reassured me, “not these women.” I decided to go for it because I was beginning to feel despair over the lack of writing momentum with my next […]

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