Sunset on Sanibel Island

So I'm back from my first vacation sans family in over a decade. It was without a doubt one of the best weeks in my adult life. And to think, I was nervous as all get-out before I went.

Here's the scoop. The uber fabulous Liane Gentry Skye set up a writing retreat to Sanibel Island. Along with fellow Next Best Celler contestants Saranna DeWylde and Gail Reinhart I traveled to Ft. Myers, FL where Liane picked us up in a BIG BLACK TRUCK.

On my laundry list for the week was to finish my WIP, H.U.B.B.A, which has been the bane of my existence for the last three months. I actually wrote 1000 words in the airport and thought I'd be off to a fantastic start. What I didn't count on was the lure of the island and the temptation to just chat with the divas until our brains shut down from exhaustion. See, I'm more of a listener, except for the storytelling, and the occasional nervous babble or P'o"ed rant, so never would I have expected that I'd spend so much time running off at the mouth with a smile on my face. Then it hit me, I don't have the opportunity to talk at home, not without getting THOSE looks. You know the "are you ever gonna shut your yap about that?" squinty-eyed stare. It didn't register in my mind that I had become obsessed with churning out chapters and lost sight of why I wanted to in the first place.

We didn't just talk either. We wrote, planned, laughed-- OMG did we laugh. And while I'm not yet finished with H.U.B.B.A, I actually want to work on it now. There is something truly infectious about other people being excited by your novel concept. The whole positive enforcement thing is foreign to me but as addictive as Rosa Regale and dark chocolate and long walks on a shell covered beach. The attitude adjustment I got from this trip was just what the doctor would have ordered, at least in the days before HMO's.

It also hit home that if I'm miserable and stressed about writing, I might as well go out and get a job that at least comes with a regular paycheck and less rejection. I don't know how or why, but it is so damn easy in the search to be published to lose sight of the fact that we started down this path because we loved it. Sure there is pressure and paperwork but that's not what really matters. Sure we set goals for the coming year, milestones we all want to reach, but at the end of the day I want to get lost in my stories as often as possible because that is what truly make me happy.

Laugh out loud today, you'll be surprised by how great it can make you feel!


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