This is how you write on retreat.

IMG_0405A few weeks ago, I slipped away to a vacation home overlooking Lake Michigan for a self-made writing retreat. Almost three full days with a writing friend on one side and a knitting friend on the other, the fridge packed with snacks, and full view of the sunrise each morning meant No reason not to write, unless you consider the senseless chatter going on in my head.

Instead of rambling on about how much time I spent staring at the screen and such, let me ask you this: Have you seen the movie Adaptation? That scene where Nicolas Cage sits down to start writing his screen play? Whether life imitates art or vice versa, what his mind rattles on about while staring at his typewriter…well, change that receding hairline into a tight ponytail and that flannel into a green hoodie. Switch out the IBM with a Mac, and you have me:

IMG_0788To begin.
To begin.
How to start.

I’m hungry.
I should get coffee.
Coffee would help me think.
But I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee.

Coffee and a muffin.
Okay, so I need to establish the themes.
Maybe banana nut. That’s a good muffin.


I did good work over the long weekend, but only after I garbaged up on too many of those dark chocolate pomegranate thingies (I forgot the muffins) and overdosed on coffee coffee coffee. Of course, it was after all that eating and drinking that a gypsy showed up on scene. In the book, mind you, not in the living room. Though late-night writing under the glare of a phosphorescent computer screen while highly caffeinated may cause hallucinations. Anyway, it was all in the name of creativity.

How do you write? Is it over a banana nut? Because I’m partial to blueberry.


Wurlitzer-830x400Unrelated to retreat but tied to story, my short fiction, “The Wurlitzer,” has been set to music and is up for your listening ears on Grand Piano Passion.

Many thanks to pianist, Nancy M. Williams and editor, Joanna Eng!


About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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5 Responses to This is how you write on retreat.

  1. beth hoffman says:

    Great post, Christi! Lately I’ve been distracted by spring growth. I get pulled away from my computer to check (one more time) at how much my peonies have grown in the past 30 minutes. HA!

  2. Pingback: Friday Finds for Writers |

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