Desk

I am settling in to write for the next few days at the wonderful Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. I’ve unpacked my computer, books, journal, and pens and have made myself a cup of tea. I am ready to write!

I’m on a self-guided writing retreat with my friends Joy and Chris. We’ve now done several writing retreats here at the Anderson Center – it’s a lovely spot to write and relax and it has the added benefit of being located next to the Cannon Valley Trail. Like other times, I have packed my bike and plan to fit in a couple of bike rides while I’m here.

My goals for this retreat are simple enough:

  • Submit an essay about my Dad t0 a publication
  • Do some edits to another essay and submit it
  • Write
  • Read
  • Sleep

The Dad essay is a story I started writing almost a year ago. I’ve sent it out to three markets thus far. The first time I submitted the essay was last November. I received a polite, prompt, rejection letter. I let the essay sit for awhile then submitted it again about a month ago. It was rejected again. The third market has not yet responded but they do say they take several weeks to respond so I’m not surprised. It’s a market that doesn’t mind if I submit the story elsewhere so I’ve got another market in mind and will get the story sent out to that market asap. Possibly even yet today. I will find a home for my story yet!

The other essay I plan to submit is a story I wrote about Christmas for our church’s newsletter, The Bethel Banner. Chicken Soup has a callout for a book of Christmas essays so I plan to do some minor edits to the story and send it off.

As for the other writing I plan to do, I will write in my journal, create some blog posts, and will keep working on some writing that I started at the retreat I attended in February –  a Motherhood and Words retreat led by the fabulous Kate Hopper. I may work on writing another church newsletter column – I haven’t written one in several months and people are coming up to me at church to tell me they miss my stories. That sure makes me feel good!

I always bring books to read when I go on a retreat or anywhere else so it’s no surprise that “Read” is one of my goals for this retreat. I’m planning to finish reading Life from Scratch: a memoir of food, family, and forgiveness by Sasha Martin. It’s a great read thus far and I expect I will continue enjoying the book. There’s great recipes in it, too! I also have plans to continue reading Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. The book actually comes out April 5th but, because I work at Content Bookstore, I have the great fortune of having an Advance Reader’s Edition of the book to read now! I am so lucky! I started to read the book on a lunch break last week and I was completely taken by the book by the end of the two page prologue. I’m about 12 pages in at this point (I set Lab Girl down only because I wanted to finish Life from Scratch first) and can’t wait to get back to reading.

Speaking of Lab Girl, Hope Jahren is coming to Northfield to do a book talk at Content on April 22nd. Come and join us if you can! Click HERE for event details.

As for my last goal – Sleep. Well, I don’t get enough of it so am planning to catch up while I’m here. I may even take a nap or two!