Some of you may have noticed that I was missing from social media last week. Well, I took time out for a Writing Hermitage, and had a great deal of fun doing it!
Escaping to some remote (sometimes not remote, but just not home) location to focus on my writing has always been a positive experience for me. Disconnecting from the world, and almost all of the technology in it (I say almost because I require a laptop computer to write my books most effectively) is a fantastic way to connect with your characters and the story they have to tell. I try to take a Hermitage every few months, just to give Drake and me some time alone with our writing.
In December 2016, the five days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, The Beloved and I escaped with our two dogs, Alex and Finnigan, to a wondrous place in mid-Michigan called Rainbow Resort. The resort, usually full of tourists in the warmer months, due to it's location right off the AuSauble River, was deserted... even the owners of the place were away on vacation, with a friend watching over everything for them. They left the key in the door for us. That's how remote this place is! And it's perfect. We stayed in "K's Cabin", a log cabin well appointed with heat, hot & cold running water, a flushing toilet, shower, and full kitchen, complete with microwave, stove and fridge. I slept in a comfortable bed, enjoyed the ambiance of a wood-burning stove, and allowed myself to disconnect from email and social media. The television only received three channels, and we didn't have a DVD player. For those of you who have already read my post about our family cabin, where I usually write in the summer months, you will see that this week, I was pampered!
The Beloved took Finnigan out hunting grouse each afternoon for a few hours, leaving Alex and me to sleep (him) and write (me). In the evenings, The Beloved went deer hunting for another few hours, and left both dogs with me. They slept, I wrote. I understand that these past times that my husband and I so enjoy may not suit all tastes, but we truly can't imagine spending holiday time in any other way!
Drake worked really hard during our Hermitage. Over the course of five days, we added 18,365 words to The Last Strand. These are edited words - a practice I don't normally follow so early in manuscript development, but since we were so secluded, I took the time to really refine the writing as we went along. So, all 18,365 words are what I call "Keeper Words". They will be used in the book exactly as they are - I don't think Drake and I could make those scenes any stronger than they sit right now. This is extremely helpful because our goal is to have the book completed and to press in time to present at the Once Upon A Book festival in Frankenmuth, Michigan in early August.
The other important thing to note about Writing Hermitages, is that taking time out for just me and Drake this way keeps us sane. More than simply a vacation away from work, it's a time for us to connect with each other and empty our imaginations of all the details that have been swimming around in there, unrelentingly. Once those details and conversations get out, we have more time to relax and create some more! For truly, that is where our greatest happiness lies. And The Beloved can attest, when Drake and I write regularly, we're much more agreeable to be around!
If you're interested, I've posted a snippet of the work we created over the past week to The Last Strand's webpage. Waddle on over and take a look - and leave a comment, if you'd like. More will be coming soon, and Drake and I are confident that at the rate we are writing, the book will arrive on time!
If you're thinking of taking time out for a Writing Hermitage... Grey Wolfe Publishing is hosting one in February, in Troy, Michigan. Not as rustic as the one I just enjoyed, it'll be held at a nice hotel, with plenty of the creature comforts you love. I'll be there, and I'd love to spend a weekend writing with you! Check it out!
Diana Kathryn Plopa
I love being in love; writing; reading; mammals of nearly every kind, and especially micro-humans! Come enjoy my world with me - Secret Decoder Ring not required!!