“...and I didn't know how it was going to end until I got there, which is the best and the worst kind of writing.”
Neil Gaiman

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Pre-Sirens Avon Writing Retreat, Day 1
Mon 2011-10-03 23:27:18 (in context)
  • 2,615 words (if poetry, lines) long

Another writing-related event is around the corner: Sirens, a conference dedicated to women in fantasy literature. (I have been telling people "women in science fiction and fantasy," but looking at the Sirens website now, I see that was too broad a description.) This will be my first year attending, since I only just found out about it last year during NaNoWriMo (which is just around the corner, by the way) when Zak and Sharon visited around Thanksgiving and asked if I'd be going.

The theme of Sirens for 2011 will be "monsters," and panels promise to focus not just fantastical beasts who happen to be female, but also on the distressing tendency to treat women as monstrous. It should be no surprise to anyone to hear that this is right up my alley.

I'll be blogging about Sirens over at Boulder Writing Examiner, of course, because this is the sort of thing that Boulder-area writers should know about. What I'll be blogging about over here, where things are All About Me, is the awesome half-week of pure writing retreat that Lori and I are having during the run-up to Sirens.

We're staying at the Sheraton Mountain Vista, same place as Bridget and I stayed at last year (though, looking back, I see I got the hotel/resort's name wrong), writing and perpetrating yummy cooking experiments. (Looking back, I also see that weekend was where "Blackbird" started taking off in my head. "Unfinished Letter" has made no progress since then, to my shame.) Using the timeshare week for a writing retreat has, as I said then, become a bit of a tradition for me. It seemed the convenient thing to do when Lori and I stopped waffling around and decided that yes, dang it, we'll be attending Sirens.

We drove up yesterday, but no writing got done then, mainly because we had just driven up from Boulder. Add to this my early-morning start driving a friend to the airport, and the sum was exhaustion.

But today was a different story. We were both up by 7:30 AM, drinking coffee and doing writerly things. Writerly things continued throughout the day. Lori is concentrating exclusively on her novel-in-progress; I heard her say "Finished the chapter!" at least twice today. As for me, my writerly things consisted of the following:

  • Morning Pages (for the first time in ever)
  • Two Examiner articles (here and here)
  • The first scene in the Persephone/Demeter story's new draft (from blank page, hence the word count drop)
  • A Demand Media rewrite

Also a bunch of Glitch got played, much of it while watching Monday Night Football. I was rooting for the Buccs over the Colts, 'cause I want our division to represent, yo.

My main goal this week is to find a way for my fiction writing to coexist peacefully with my "day job" writing, ideally such that both get some of my time each day. If today is any indication, this is indeed possible. At least, it is when I have not cats and bills and housework and groceries and other errands of daily life to run. Making it work while on retreat is easy. Bringing the lessons back to the day-to-day will be something else entirely.

But I'm not going to fall into the trap of "That's nice, but it could be better" or beat myself up with the stick of "That's nice, but it's not much, is it?" I'm going to appreciate what I get done each day. Which isn't something I've been historically good at, sure, but new habits gotta come from somewhere.