Monday, February 26, 2007

My Retreat: Day One

"The weather outside was frightful, but the writing so delightful."

Thursday evening ushered in bitter temperatures, but Friday morning I was cozy in my new pink and white nightgown and fluffy pink robe. The writing muses were smiling on me as my friends and I were assigned a suite (at no cost to us because of a hotel bookkeeping glitch) overlooking the lake at Osage Beach in the Ozarks. Room-service breakfast arrived late but warm, so I munched on scrambled eggs, toast, and Canadian bacon, while the tap, tap, tap of the laptop keys kept me company. I chose to write about the tender memory of my grandson's still birth. This topic evoked tears, but the few details I had scribbled on a scrap paper needed to be turned into something more, and I knew it would be safe to share it with my PCLOWC -- women I have never seen face to face, yet feel linked to through our writers' hearts.

In the early afternoon, I went to a Scholastic Books' display and bought a couple of books for my granddaughters and then browsed the vendors' tables. With my goodies in tow, I headed back to the room and began drafting a piece about being a mother-in-law. I didn't get too much done on it, for the next thing I knew, it was time to attend a reception for Writing Project members.

Later that evening, we all attended an open mic. Being reader #28, I grew nervous as I listened and enjoyed others' readings. Insecurities whispered in my ear. Who was I to share my work with these people? They were obviously real writers. But as I shared a piece titled "La Fleur" (posted at marmee's musings), I purposely looked for my friend Betty Jo, my writing buddy and cheerleader. Her smile gave me courage to believe I, too, deserved my brief moment in the writers' spotlight.

I was especially intrigued by one woman who is married to a former Buffalo Bills football player. Her narrative was centered on a ouija board's prediction of the Bills making it into the playoffs.. Though I'm not an avid follower of professional football, her mention of the Kansas City Chiefs caught my attention, and I wanted to interview her: How did she become a writer? How did she end up in Missouri? Did she teach then? Where does she teach now?

Back in our suite, we played a word game (can't remember the name). Then Dottie (my roommate) and I and turned out the lights, quietly chatting. Our sentences floated lazily through the air -- becoming phrases -- becoming words -- becoming pauses. I drifted off thinking what a lovely way to spend a day -- with people I love, doing the thing I love. I looked forward to Saturday.


Susan said...

WOW this sounds like heaven. Room service?! Pink robe?? Writing in bed all day?? That is TOTALLY my idea of the Ideal Vacation.

Daphne Powell said...

This sounds great to me, too. I have never been enticed by "retreats" before but I think I'm hooked. Now I've gotta find one.