It seemed at one point today that I might never get out of my classroom and out of town. My son, who was supposed to catch a 7:30 flight to San Francisco missed his flight by three minutes because his aunt thought there was adequate time to stop to buy him a donut. Knowing that he was on his way, that by the time I checked out for the school year, he would have safely landed at the San Francisco International Airport and be spending time with his cherished grade school friends was something that I’d expected, depended on to relax into the long drive I had ahead of me to Ocean Shores. We worked it out. He finally did get on a flight, but only after I’d already made the long drive and settled in to my temporary home. He’s probably right now eating pizza, playing Xbox and catching up with his closest friends.
Long drive you say? Ocean Shores isn’t too far from Olympia. Ah, but I have a driving phobia that I have fed and affirmed for many years. The distance from Olympia to Ocean Shores seems vast when you are singing for your life, to fend off an anxiety attack, to will the calm, cool, collected person you long to be into being. I chanted mantras. I sang old folk songs. I mused poetic with Fiona Apple. And, I made it!
This is the second annual end of the school year beach writing retreat, and I am so thrilled to be here. Upon arriving in our cozy little chalet, complete with kitchen, living room, dining room, and wood stove, I immediately put all my stuff away, tucked my things into the right corners, in the right rooms—in short, nested. And this is a cozy little place, even if it looks like someone put the entire clearance bin from a pop art and frame store all over the walls. And I do mean all over. There are framed pictures of beaches, planes, bunnies on roller skates, travel ads, Disney characters, roses in a vase—I tried finding a theme to connect them all, but came up with only cheap art. After settling in and acclimating, I rolled out for a run on the beach with the dog to think about just what my writerly goals were going to be between now and Tuesday morning.
Improving and expanding my blog is part of the plan. After Ajax and I take a run on the beach in the morning each day, I’ll stroll on over to Café Amici to hook into their wireless: do some blogging, check my email, and pop on over and check on my peeps on Facebook. I want to add some more poetry to my poetry blog and set up a fiction blog, where I’ll post several short stories I’ve written.
After this warm-up, the real work begins. My primary goal here is to work on my novel. And I will do this for the rest of the day each day until I just can’t stand it. Then, I’ll take a walk and write some more. Eventually, I’ll have to sleep and start this process all over again. In there I’ll throw in some yoga sessions and some tinkering around on my guitar (I am a baby at guitar, but really enjoying the practice, particularly since it’s something I’ve aspired to for years, though I only ever started and then stopped after little progress).