Weekend reads and feeling busy...

I just realized I have two weeks of work left before my sabbatical starts!  I'm kind of agog.  For those who don't know, I'm taking 7-weeks off (in two weeks!) to try to write a novel.  (!!!!)

I've talked for ever and ever about wanting to be a novelist, and I'm always writing, but hope to use this focused paid time off to really see what I can do. (I hope to take the other 7-weeks off sometime next year, and use it to edit my novel.)  I eager and nervous!  My wife has found a little writer's retreat out in western Massachusetts, and I'll be spending five weeks there, all by myself, in a little carriage house, with nothing to do but write!  (I'm very much channeling Virginia Woolf's 'a room of her own' -- this will be an exercise in discipline among other things!)

As I keep trying to stave off panic about whether I can finish all my work before leaving, I will be doing a good deal of reading this weekend, I anticipate.  On Wednesday, I tripped and sprained my ankle! Happily, it's not a serious sprain and I can very much make lemonade from these lemons. I'll be finishing up The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard and starting I Am Venus by Bárbara Mujica.

What are you reading this weekend?

Comments

  1. Congratulations! That sounds great. I hope the retreat is super-helpful. Maybe bring some sock puppets for when you start feeling too lonely.

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    1. Oh, smart! I have a knitting project, but no sock puppets -- that might be the way to go! Otherwise, I figure I'll get in my exercise by walking to the local coffee shop for company -- killing two birds etc etc. (I hope reality matches my fantasy and I don't become a crazy weird recluse.)

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  2. Oh man, I am green with envy over your seven weeks of writing. You will get a lot done. I feel it.

    Sorry about your ankle. That sucks. I have visions of me spraining my ankle all the time as I used to get very, very bad sprains when I was younger and the ankle has never fully recovered and is always a tad weak.

    What am I reading? Doctor Sleep, baby!!

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    1. I'm going to have to go to PT for my ankle, so here's hoping I don't do it again!

      Enjoy Dr Sleep -- my wife saw King last night at a reading and got a copy. She will be inhaling it all this weekend, I suspect!

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  3. I wish I could take off to a cabin for awhile and do nothing but write! I'm so jealous. :) But wishing you luck! Just remember, if you don't finish it then, you will with time, perseverance, and obsession, I mean love. lol. Keep at it either way! So is this a historical you're working on?

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    1. Heather, it's an incredible treat -- I can't wait. I'm trying to remember exactly what you advise, and not get all hung up on The Perfect MS. I want to learn to tell a story, and I keep reminding myself of Gortner's speech at the HNS conference -- and what he went through learning his craft.

      It is a historical, set during the Bleeding Kansas era -- and as you learned, featuring a minister! It will be interesting!

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  4. This is the first I've heard about your sabbatical plans since I've been absent from these here parts for so long! I think it's a fantastic plan and I'm so impressed by your courage and ambition! I'm totally excited for you. I just wish I lived close enough to you so I could help keep up your energy, bring you treats and lots of coffee...things like that. But I know your wife will do all that for you. I have so many (probably annoying) questions so I may have to email you!
    Enjoy your weekend!
    14 days and counting...

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    1. Amy, sent you a gushy email -- I do wish you were local to me, too!

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  5. I was so excited by your opening with your great plan that I forgot to read the rest of your post! How wonderful that you have an actual writing retreat, a carriage house, it's perfect! 5 weeks just you and your writing implements...you should have so company in the form of a warm and cuddly kitty.
    I hope your ankle feels better, Audra, and you're not in much pain...you'll just have to stay off this weekend, sit around with your leg elevated reading, reading, reading...sounds like a pretty good weekend!

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    1. The ankle is actually doing very well -- I've followed the dr's instructions, and it's worked! BUT I still am going to insist I can't do any grocery shopping and should remain prone a bit longer... ;)

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  6. Wait, what? Congratulations! And if you DO get lonely you should contact me and we can grab coffee and/or a beverage of the adult variety and it shall be great fun because I am ALSO in western Massachusetts.

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    1. Sent you an email as I'd love to get together!!

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  7. Hallo, Audra!

    I dropped by wayy earlier when no one had commented! Laughs. Time swept me away this Friday, but I wanted to say, that although I have quite a heap I'm reading through [as seen on my WWW post,] at the moment, but the two books that have my absolute attention are: "The Boxcar Baby" by J.L. Mulvihill + "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte! I'm making up for lost time with Eyre, as I fell behind this month on my read-a-long adventures,... as for the second book, its only my second foray into Steampunk!

    Ooh my goodness!

    That means for 7 weeks we won't be seeing you on your blog, right!? As your going to do a complete 'off-line/off-blog' retreat to get into your creative muse!? I completely understand where you are coming from, because I did this in 2008 (Nanowrimo) where I took the entire month of November (all 30 days!) to simply write my heart out and see where it would take me! I tuned out everything in the nexus of my life, as well! I technically had forsaken sleeping + eating regularly, to which led me to suffering extreme fatigue afterwards (I barely remember that Christmas!)... but ooh! That month gave me back so much as a writer!! I truly am envious that you have a lovely carriage house to sequester yourself into, settle into the flow of that wicked sweet synergy all writers experience, and just write, until you cannot write! What absolute bliss! I am thrilled to hear that you can do this!! You'll feel very empowered as a writer, trust me!!

    I'm celebrating this event in your life!!
    Chuffed to know I've stumbled across a fellow writer who loves to book blog as much as I do, too! :) Awesome revelation, because I haven't been dropping by long enough to know!! :) :)

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    1. I'm glad you popped back to say hi! Will be popping by your blog with more P&P comments and to see how JE is going for you!

      I don't think I'll be totally offline during that time -- I scheduled some reviews before I knew what my plans were, so I'll be honoring them, and I have a backlog of stuff I'll probably schedule during that time. And, let's be honest, I have a bit of a social media problem :) and will pop on when I need a break.

      BUT I really hope to make the most of it and come up with a big ole messy rough draft. I have never 'won' NaNo but find I can't do the sort of power weekends needed -- and am often brain dead after work. Hoping this time alone will help me learn the discipline of butt-in-the-chair! :)

      Very grateful you stumbled across me as well -- it's been such fun!

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    2. postscript:

      Quick note: JE is still being read! I'll have to drop back to let you know when you can see my next 3 posts on it!! I am hopeful that before the 12th of October, I'll finally get caught up -- on all counts! Pride + JE combined!! I think I only won Nano because I literally did nothing but write! I don't recommend that insane 24/7 schedule, but if you ever need to jump out of a writer's block, then its highly effective! Hope you received my PM, okay!?

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  8. What an incredible opportunity and how wonderful that you get to do it through a sabbatical so you have one less stress.

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    1. I'm so excited -- it's such a luxury and a real gift -- I can't wait!

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  9. That is so fantastic! I wish you the best of luck! :D

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  10. How exciting! 7 weeks with a retreat sounds very do-able, especially if you've been writing a lot already. YYou may not be going just yet, but best of luck for now all the same. Please say you'll be giving us snippets of your experience and what you're writing :)

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  11. So awesome! I'm sure your seven weeks will churn out something amazing. The writer's retreat sounds lovely, though I'm afraid I would lack the discipline to sit down and really crank something out . . . though maybe not. You really just never know. Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  12. What fun! I hope you have a grand time -- I love Western MA! I was married at the Bookmill (in Montague) -- the cafe there is wonderful and so is the little restaurant (which catered our wedding; it's only open at night, though)-- a must try.

    I won NaNo last year and I was so tired that I haven't done much else with the novel. No sabbaticals from toddlers, though, so looks like I'm back at it this November.

    When you get back, I hope we can go for coffee or tea sometime, since we're both Boston based :)

    Looking forward to reading what you think of Ahab's Wife . . . Cheers!

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