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Retreat From The Retreat

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog. . .

In our last adventure our heroine started her new blog while sequestered at the Centrum Artist's Program at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA.  There, in the company of the splendiferous Cat Rambo (writer, philosopher, and generally perky morning person), our heroine hoped to conquer many words and thereby make the world a brighter place.

And it turned out pretty well!

I arrived on the 15th, and after a brief cabin snafu that was quickly resolved I settled in to writing and edits.  No tomfoolery here.  I finished the first solid edit pass on "The Absolute Temperature of Outer Space" (a tasty bit below).

Dwanda watched Dad bound across the lunar landscape and shivered inside her jacket. The Moon lifted him higher than anyone on Earth could jump and set him gently down again, a kangaroo in a space suit. Sunlight flashed bright white across his helmet. She chose not to notice the ragged tear down the right side of his bulky suit, or the way she could see through him to the gray, airless moonscape beyond.

On the 17th I drove back to Bremerton to collect Cat from the ferry.  We spotted a good omen on the drive back.


(photo courtesy of Cat Rambo, passenger par excellence)

Then we both settled in for some quality writing time.  I didn't rack up as many words as i'd hoped, but I am still pleased with my progress: edits; progress on two separate short stories; 9 submissions;  novel research for an alt history/pulp about Ferdinand von Zeppelin; my first web post (ta-dah!); an article about Cri du Chat.

I appreciate the Centrum program and its work to support artists of all types.  Though old, the cabins at Fort Worden are comfortable and affordable, and Fort Worden itself is lovely.


(Alexander's Castle)


(Overlooking the barracks at sunset.)


(Where dark things live under the gun placement.  Don't believe me?  Open the door.)


(Close-up of madrona tree bark.  It peels away like paper to reveal red underbark.)

I managed a walk every other day to clear the head and remind myself of the world outside the computer screen.  I am not as physically able as I once was, but I recognize the need to move for my mental health if not my physical.

Not only is Cat a morning person, she is also distressingly energetic.  Up and out for walks at least twice a day, words, words, and more beautiful words, and some great photos.  Almost makes me want to try that coffee stuff.  Almost, but not quite.


(The rainbow connection?  - photo courtesy of Cat Rambo)


(Chasing the sunrise.  - photo courtesy of Cat Rambo)

I tend to focus more on my writing when out of the house and away from distractions.  Retreats offer a chance to forge ahead on projects and explore new possibilities.  They also serve as a reminder to not compare my progress to that of others.  I am a slow writer, but words on the page are words.  I mean, seriously, Cat types something like 2,000 words per minute.

Now I am home, retreating from my retreat.  Much goodliness to be had!

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