My Bonus Life at Doe Branch Ink: 2
Next to the last full day of the writers’ retreat at Doe Branch Ink in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I’ve fallen into the peaceful and richly interesting routine of this extra tucked-in life.
We are six writers on these 50 acres with three rustic houses and lots of desks with views. We’re all getting work done. I know because the daily reading of revisions is at four p.m.
One of our number has set up shop in the little bunkhouse where no one is sleeping this week. There’s enough room for everyone to have a bedroom and a work spot elsewhere. Note Cat writing in her corner of the second floor sunroom.
This is the first time I’ve ever led/facilitated a group that it hasn’t felt for a moment like work. It has been fun and interesting many times before; still I’ve always felt that I was "on" at least part of the time.
Please note: this is a bold step for me, this not-being-on. I really like it.
Also, I’ve plunged back into work on my own novel in progress, which I’ve been avoiding since I got back from New York. I’m happy with what I’ve gotten done, and I’ve liked doing it. See view from my writing table.
To top it all off — and who would have predicted this — I’ve come to a slightly different and very exciting religious understanding since I’ve been here. Credit that to Mahan, who left just the right book on the coffee table and then talked with me about it later.
What changed for me was not so much new experience or new information, but seeing how my own beliefs fit together and fall into a long tradition. Makes me feel less out on a limb. Though I’ve always claimed to like being out on a limb, it’s nice to be able to scamper back up to a central trunk.
And did I say that the food is excellent? Last night’s pasta and pesto (catered by Zuma in the wee metropolis of Marshall) dazzled us all. I should have taken a picture.
Bold Bonus Life Tip # 7: Expect unexpected outcomes.