Friday, 25 May 2018

Essential Items To Take On Writer's Retreat by Jo Franklin

I'm going on a three night's writer's retreat tomorrow. I try and get away to focus on my writing at least once a year. It's good to leave the laundry and the vacuum cleaner behind, my children, my impending tax return and the mystery that is Bromley council's recycling collection rota.
As I am busy packing, I thought I would share with you what I am taking with me.

1. My dog, Mickey

Now the truth of the matter is, I should really leave Mickey behind as he is a terrible distraction, especially if he goes off on one of his adventures while we are out on a walk. But finding dog care is difficult and anyway he forces me to leave my screen which has to be a good thing. Right?

2. A Writing Companion


Now I could go on retreat on my own. I spend many days on my own at home which is great, but I find going away on my own a bit lonely. Actually, very lonely and I can get very depressed. Although I aspire to be an eccentric recluse, the reality is that I am a social person and enjoy the interaction with my fellow dog walkers, the delivery people who need me to 'Sign Here' and my fellow allotment holders. I prefer to go on writer's retreat with someone else. This time my lovely companion is Emma Styles. We have been on writer's retreat many times, we are easy companions and will have a lovely time.

3. Cake

A writer's retreat isn't a retreat unless cake is involved. Actually a writer needs cake even when they stay at home. Unfortunately I now have tedious dietary problems, so I generally make my own or suffer cake withdrawal.
For this break I have made a lemon drizzle polenta and almond cake. (The shoes will be coming with me too)



4. Cocktails

I don't drink very much, however I am very fond of cocktails. There is no way I'd shake up a cocktail to drink on my own, so I save my cocktail drinking for social occasions. Most of my social life revolves around authors who are very active on social media, so there are probably more photos of me out there with an exotic cocktail in my hand, than there are of me drinking my usual beverage - water. Not quite sure how, but cocktails have become a feature of this writer's retreat.
Emma has recently started drinking Caipirinha, so she is bringing the appropriate ingredients with her. Not to be outdone, I am bringing the ingredients for my current favourite cocktail - pornstar martini.

Well I think that is everything, other than clothes etc. Have I forgotten anything?

Oh yes! My writing!

That's easy. I'm taking my latest wip (Work In Progress). I've written a terrible first draft, often known as the vomit draft, and half the proposal to go with it. So I will be whipping that into shape on my new Macbook Pro.

I can't wait.


6 comments:

Anne Booth said...

Have a lovely time!

Savita Kalhan said...

Sounds like my kind of perfect holiday, I mean, writing retreat! Have fun!

Penny Dolan said...

Hope the retreat is going well for you, Jo! That's a great packing list.

Ann Turnbull said...

Is the lemon drizzle, polenta and almond cake easy to make? If so, I would love to have the recipe! My first husband (long ago, before I'd heard of polenta) used to make a lovely lemon drizzle cake. My current husband says he hates polenta, but I love it. Maybe a polenta CAKE might convert him...? The retreat sounds a good idea too, especially as you can take your dog! Hope you enjoy it.

Steve The Security Hobbit said...

Very informative post, not so sure re the cocktails and lemon drizzle... but the concept and seclusion would be perfect for an eccentric security recluse, encased in the form and body of a social being. I would like to add that it would be wonderful, and deeply fulfilling, to share such an adventure with such a clever, kind and gorgeous human being as the author of this blog. I am sure much would be achieved in an intellectually stimulating manner.

Jo Franklin said...

Thanks everyone.
We had a lovely time although not necessarily all that productive. Words as reluctant as blood from a stone. But now feeling refreshed and ready for action. Going away gives some perspective if nothing else.
Ann, the cake is dead easy to make and eat!
Here is the link
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/flourless-lemon-polenta-drizzle-cake
Savita - you must come another time. And you Anne. Maybe we should have an agency retreat sometime.
Steve the Security Hobbit - thank you for your lovely comment. I'll follow up with you later.
I'd really like to go on an SAS retreat this year.