In an effort to be less random on Fridays, this week's five are all somewhat related to writing. (I haven't used my "writing" tag in over two months. Eeek!)
1. Earlier this week, Nova Ren Suma tweeted about this amazing month-long writing retreat in a Scottish castle! Pictures like these bring to mind one of my favorite books, The Keep, and make me think of spooky things that might happen during a writing retreat at a remote location (à la The Ghost Orchid). I have to admit that, even though the idea of this retreat is so seductive, the reality is that I'd probably be too spooked to get anything written! (I LOVE ghostly books and movies. But a real-life haunted castle -- and I'm already imagining Hawthornden to be downright filthy with ghosts -- might drive me straight to Looneyville. (Not that I would ever be selected for this retreat.)
2. Good thing there are plenty of other retreats that are closer and considerably less gothic. Kindling Words, for instance. Doesn't that look cozy? Kate Messner recommended it, and I do believe I'll be putting my name in for the lottery. Any other retreats to recommend?
3. Speaking of Kate, I met her on Wednesday! She was in town on a special research mission (oooh!) and fortunately had time for a chat at Starbucks. I had such a great time talking books and writing with Kate, and I was so inspired by her positive attitude, boundless creativity, and amazing work ethic. Yay!
4. As far as my own writing progess, I'm pleased to report that I've finally reached the 50k mark with the latest ms (the one I was supposed to have drafted before I left for Oxford. *sigh*). The sagging middle was determined to suck me into its vortex, but I finally realized that if I just relaxed my white-knuckled grip on the outline and kept writing, I would eventually escape the sag's gravitational pull. (Which may sound counterintuitive, because you'd think a sagging middle would require more structure, but I think I just needed a slightly different structure.)
5. And on that note, I give you an updated progress bar. (Haven't posted one of these since May 19th. Oh, the shame!) I plan to turn this sucker into a straight blue line by the end of the month. Hold me to it!
50073 / 70000 words. 72% done!
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
[Cross-posted from Livejournal]
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
2 hours ago