Tag Archives: writer’s retreat

Freaky weird Cimarron coincidence

I just had to share this quick update and bizarre coincidence. I took a little break around 5pm and started the book I brought with me (don’t worry I’m not procrastinating too much I’m only on p43 and I’ve written more than 2,000 words).

2014-11-21 21.27.54As you know the bed and breakfast is called Cimarron, this also happens to be the name of a novel and a film that was made in 1931 and again in 1960. In my room they have a poster from the 1960 film – nice.

20141121_213500So I start reading Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford which is about a Chinese-American orphan in Depression-era Seattle. A tiny detail in the first pages, they allocate all the boys the same birthday at the orphanage and take them out for a fun day in their dreary lives. They go to the cinema and the movie that is on – Cimarron. I could not believe the coincidence! Spooky!

Cimarron Session 2014 – writing retreat

Well I’ve checked in, settled myself, is it wrong to just want to have an afternoon sleep first? I mean, it’s a lovely warm day, I’m totally exhausted and it is oh so very quiet here! And look…that comfy bed is just waiting for me right?

20141121_142353And I picked up a book at the library, Jamie Ford’s latest Songs of Willow Frost, so I could just snuggle on down there, read a chapter or two and have a little snooze couldn’t I??

No, you’re right, I didn’t leave Bman and Little Man for two nights to sleep in the afternoon (well……). I have many thousands of words to write. And I have started, but 12 words is not really a start is it?

2014-11-21 15.03.31Oh and if you haven’t read Jamie Ford’s first novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – get you to a bookstore, pronto!

Writing retreat here I come!

It’s time to gloat a little. Tomorrow night I head off to a wonderful bed and breakfast along the coast here for two whole nights!

Intended as a gift to celebrate a recent birthday that ends in a 0, the booking ended up coinciding with the tail end of nanowrimo. I have two nights planned with nothing to do but make sure I feed myself every so often and the remainder of the time I plan to work up the RSI in my fingers and WRITE!

This is the room I stayed in last time, so lovely!

This is the room I stayed in last time, so lovely!

Prepare to drool as you see the fabulousness that is Cimarron – I linked to the room I will be staying in. Yes, this is the same bed and breakfast I stayed at when I self styled a writing retreat two years ago – you can read about that here.

The fabulous Bman swapped his day off and is driving me down there tomorrow morning. It’s the first time I’ve left him and Little Man for two nights – they’ve gone on interstate trips to visit family without me for longer periods that that, but this is the first time I’m leaving them for more than a night. Little Man will not mind in the slightest, ah the fickleness of a six year old. Bman will get to watch shoot ’em up movies that I don’t particularly enjoy. Funny anecdote – the first night I spent away from Bman was my sister’s hen’s do (nearly ten years ago). When I spoke to him in the morning he said he’d fallen out of my side of the bed during the night! He’d rolled and rolled and without me as a bumper he’d just kept going!

I’m nearly at the half way point in word count, but the observant of you will notice that we are well past the half way point of the month. So I gots me some writing to do!

I want to get a flash fiction piece or two done while I’m gone as well. It’s funny that the 1000 words needed for a flash fiction piece tend to come in around an hour yet 1000 words in the nano novel (or any novel-length project I’m working on) take a heck of a lot longer than an hour. What’s up with that?!

Insert words here (where the magic happens)

20141114_095322

I wanted to share a pic of my writing space with you today. I have been writing at the library lately, which I do enjoy, however when I was there the air conditioning was incredibly cold that I had to leave.

So today I’m at home. Determined to avoid any housework and any snacking! We picked up this antique oak desk many years ago, I need a comfier chair but it will be fine for the time being. I’ve just cleared it of the many piles of random things it had been covered in. Sadly we are pilers in our house, if there’s a surface it will gradually be filled with piles of things rather than us putting the things away in the first place, it’s annoying, but it’s us. So that’s why the desk is eerily uncluttered, it’s unlikely to stay that way – but what a nice spot huh?

For those of you who are writers, I’d love to see where you write.

It didn’t evaporate, the time flew

pic from freepik.com

pic from freepik.com

I am quite glad now that I have been back logging these posts as life certainly got in the way of my writing recently. Even today I have only two quite small windows of opportunity, and I was determined, if I don’t make an effort today, it will be another whole week until I can hit the keys again. So here I am, in my preferred library spot, typing away.

I have two- yes TWO writing retreat Cimarron sessions planned, my longer suffering readers may remember back an age ago when I went on a self-styled writer’s retreat. Well thanks to my parents for a birthday present and also to myself for working some overtime and the BMan for suggesting I spend the $ on myself, I have booked two getaways to this lovely B&B.

Yippee me! I’ll write more on that in another post, I only have 25 mins left in the writing window and I haven’t even opened the file of my WIP!

Gotta go….

So it begins

Pre-saved post>>

Cobwebs – dusted. Today the fingers moved on the keyboard, the standard dune-plant-seedling_2542011procrastination distractors (mostly) ignored, and words were written.

It’s early, there are many, many, many more to be written. There are notes to be made, hair to be torn, teeth to be gnashed and joy to be had.

But a seed has been planted.

I’ve returned to my last project that I had abandoned. It’s a novel in two intertwining parts that got too messy to continue with last time. The two voices became too similar, seeds planted early in the manuscript made no sense later, plotting flaws were cracking it apart and the task to continue to the end or recommence just became too huge.

But some time away, the story still itches to be written and here I am again. I’m writing each story independently this time, taking notes, letting one character know what they need to reveal about the other as I go along. Let’s hope they play nicely this time, well, actually they can’t ultimately, they are in opposition.

I’ve also made the first step in arranging two mini writing retreats for myself. I have contacted the wonderful b&b I visited last time to book two weekends, a few months apart. It’s exciting!!

Nano update for you: word count creeping up slowly – a different project from the one described here, not planned at all and ideas are presenting as I need them. There are a couple I know will need to come up soon, things that have been alluded to, but I don’t know what they acutally are yet, hope they arrive at the right times!

Cimarron Session – flash fiction 2

Rioting butterflies

Tonight’s flash fiction challenge wrote itself really really quickly, which will be great for blog reader Rebecca as she wanted to read it before bed – you ask I deliver Bec!

So Chuck Wendig who really puts out the best flash fiction challenges I can find provided a link to a site that generates names for American military operations, we were to choose one and use the title for the story. So please enjoy

Rioting butterflies

The teacher stood at the front of the class. As she did every day.

She had loved school, that’s why she had become a teacher in the first place. Sure, like every kid even she’d had days where she didn’t want to go. Days when she’d faked nausea to get her nanna to come in her pale blue Holden and collect her, and they’d go back to her place where the clock ticked loudly and play checkers and eat honey toast and sip on luke warm sweet tea. Who wouldn’t want to skip school to do that.

But overall she’d loved school.

She looked over her class. The most flattering description she could summon was they were a motley bunch. These kids sure as hell did not love school.

As a group they were surly, disinterested, rebellious, disengaged, unreachable. Good god she didn’t even know how she dragged herself out of bed to come here each morning. Thank everything that was holy she wouldn’t have to do it ever again after Friday.

In the back corner, always the back corner, did students think there was some sort of forcefield that protected them from a teachers’ gaze, really. In the back corner two girls were tattooing themselves with a compass point, one had a ring through her nose, the other had one side of her head shaved, the remainder sticking in the air like a cockatoo.

Read the rest here

Cimarron Session – pics

I thought you guys might be interested in the Cimarron of the Cimarron Session, so here’s some pics for you.

Above is my cosy sleeping area.

The view from my bed.

The sitting area of my room – the Eagle Room, love it!

Where I’ve been doing most of my writing, so lovely! The room, not so much the dork in the corner of the pic 🙂

Breakfast is always going to taste fabulous when it’s presented like this. Such a huge collection of beautiful vintage fiesta ware, with such a great story behind it I’m thinking of stealing it! The story, not the crockery!

Back to the writing, a little longer on the manuscript and maybe a flash fiction to post late tonight….

Cimarron Session – building the word count

WIP word count at the start of the Cimarron Session 32,286

Let the writing commence!

SO this morning after the most divine home made, home toasted muesli, chock full of nuts and other yumminess (yes I’m a wordsmith, and yes yumminess is the correct word choice in this instance), some great coffee, an almond croissant I didn’t need but still had to eat, I brought my shiny red lap top to the verandah.

The scene – tiny grey and red finches hopping around my feet where the rosellas had been that morning and the kangaroos had been last night. Native bushland stretching down the hill in front of me, the sweeping bay and grey ocean just beyond that. I can’t see a road, a power pole or another house from where I sit. It’s pretty cold, but if I type fast enough, I’ll keep my fingers warm. The softest rain is falling, I hope it clears as I want to ride my bike into town later!

Anyway, stop distracting me, I need to write! Here’s to the word count climbing.

Cimarron Session – flash fiction

Of dinosaurs and eagles.

I am one of Chuck Wendig’s penmonkeys and love his flash fiction challenges. This week he simply challeged us to write a 1000 word piece that featured dinosaurs. Sadly he called his post Must Love Dinosaurs – my protagonist does not.

As my lovely readers know I am at my first Cimarron Session and this is my first writing effort from my writing retreat. My gorgeous room here at Cimarron B&B is the Eagle Room, hence my eagle protagonist in this piece.

This story is something out of the ordinary for me, hope you like it, please comment!!

Of dinosaurs and eagles

From his vantage the giant beasts seemed insignificant. Not quite ant like, it would take a height far higher than he was capable to make the hulking, stupid creatures seem that small.

Still, perched on a craggy outcropping, in the thin air at high altitude, the eagle felt vastly superior. Far below, on the plain, among the long grass, in the forest and deep in the lake, the dinosaurs reigned. Some lumbered, ponderous and clumsy, others small and skittish, all thick headed and stupid.

Even the meat eaters, those that relied on their cunning, strength or size to keep them sustained were beneath the eagle’s contempt. He watched them from his aerie, saw their attempts at stealth and, if he’d been able to, laughed aloud.

Even the most fearsome, the most successful hunters had ridiculous incapacities, tiny arms, lateral eyes, fragile unprotected young.

It baffled the eagle how such a poorly designed creature could dominate the environment for such a long time. He cocked his head to the side and blinked rapidly the thought twisted in his brain, he was unable to make sense of the idiocy that mother nature had displayed in allowing the dinosaurs such carte blanche superiority for so long.

The eagle shifted his weight from his right talon to his left and back again. A shudder ran down his body, his right wing stretched slightly out from his body, just enough for the trailing feathers to separate slightly in the strong wind.

Read the remainder here.