My Very Own Writing Retreat


Last winter was long, cold and miserable.  It’s one winter I want to forget.  I spent months taking care of my husband (after he fell on ice and had to have a hip replacement) and feeling sorry for myself.  When Spring finally arrived, it brought my father’s passing followed by the death of both my dogs within three months of each other.  At long last, I received some good news.  I was gifted one full week in a writer’s residency program at the glorious Wild Acres Retreat Center in the North Carolina mountains.  Their website says, “The program allows individuals the solitude and inspiration needed to begin or continue work on a project in their particular field.”  And so, from Sept. 5-12th, I stayed at the Owl’s Nest Cabin, tucked away in the mountains to work on my novel without any interruptions – none.  No distractions – none.  No T.V., no cell phone service, no internet, and no iPod.  It was just me, my laptop, my yoga mat, and 23 chapters of my book needing to be revised.  

As if that wasn’t cool enough, I also didn’t have to spend time preparing any meals, or cleaning or washing anything.  I didn’t have to be concerned about anyone other than myself.  How often does that happen?


I was pretty much off the grid (without a car) and had to hike ¼ mile up to the main campus for my meals.  No big deal.  However, I was a little alarmed about a few things such as critters in my room and hunters on the gravel road near my cabin with their barking dogs.  You see, it’s bear hunting season in the mountains, and while I don’t want to be judgmental regarding a tradition that is centuries old, I am disturbed to know that folks are still out there hunting bears.  I mean, what for?


As for critters, I had a ring-neck snake in my cabin which I managed to get out without killing it.  How did I know it was a ring-neck snake?  When I described it to people at lunch, they informed me that’s what it was.  I don’t like snakes, but I survived that crisis and moved on to another crisis, a yoga crisis.

When I left my house, I grabbed the September issue of the Yoga Journal  in case I needed it.  So, while I was patting myself on the back for progressing so well on my revision, I put myself in a funk practicing Hanumanasana (full splits).  Well, I knew it wasn’t an easy pose and certainly not one I ever practice out of class, but hey, I figured in a week I would make some progress- NOT.  So, frustration paid me a long visit that week, thanks to my greedy self wanting immediate results.   It’s amazing how we can find things to be discouraged about even when we don’t have to.  Once again, my mat teaches me a lesson.  I guess a yoga retreat is in order next.



7 thoughts on “My Very Own Writing Retreat

  1. Blessings Annice,
    I am so happy you were able to work on your book.
    You inspire me…that is exactly what I need, to get away from it all and finish my book.
    I have made the intention.

    Peace and Joy!

  2. Lisa, I loved the solitude and got so much done – revised 10 chapters – completely. My goal is to finish by March and look for an agent.
    Michelle, you are so right about the “gift” I never thought of it that way.
    Janice, thanks for your encouragement.

  3. Annice–It was good to hear you got something for yourself–even some new learnings. Your cabin looked precious. I think you were brave to do this and hope it got you where you wanted to go.

  4. Seriously, snakes and bears and the splits but no report on your productivity or if you liked your solitude, or missed your responsibilities???

    I love the humanity of this piece. I can so relate to always finding something to humble myself with… always finding something to trip me up. I thought it was just me. I love the picture of you in the cabin. Don’t you think those bear hunters eat said bears? Why not? Are they poisonous? I don’t think so. That’s a lot of meat in one kill.

  5. I love this story! So often in life we are at a crossroads having endured change/death/sadness – and we believe that we should pamper ourselves. Perhaps
    the gift in this was receiving the present and the waiting for it – rather than the experience.

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