~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Road trip! Writing retreat! and more!

I’m in Oregon again, this time for two nearly back-to-back workshops. But we came up early because Ken has work to do in Portland, so I get a couple of writing retreat days.

It’s raining, and I’m sitting in my little cabin listening to the cars swish by on the highway and plotting this afternoon and evening and the next few days. Sometimes I like the planning rather than the actual doing; the excitement and potential and possibilities. I’m working on keeping that excitement high during projects.

We drove up the coast in the car, towing the motorcycle, because Ken’s going to work on it at his friend’s shop to get it ready for the Iron Butt Rally in July. The first night, we stayed in Pebble Beach with my sister and her husband; they’re not that far away and yet we see them far too infrequently. We had time for a walk with my sister the next morning before we hit the road again. We had fantastic pizza (chicken, pesto, garlic, onion, green peppers, olives) in Eureka and spent the night in Gold Beach at a former Best Western that’s now under private ownership by people who are into the Arts & Crafts Movement and William Morris, etc., so the décor is Craftsman. Very nice.  :-)

On the last day, we stopped in Newport at one of the places considered to have the best chowder on the coast (largely because last year we stopped somewhere else for the same thing, and the chowder was fantastic, but we couldn’t remember where that was!). The chowder was good, but not out of this word, and their idea of chips (as in fish-and-chips) were round, crispy slices of potato, not great thick fries, and they served us Lipton tea even though afterwards I saw they had a Tazo tea display around the corner! Oh well. We then wandered through a pagan/New Age shop, where I rummaged through a bowl of polished rocks with words on them and to my delight found JOY! (My words for this year are Focus and Joy, and I’m pretty sure I have a FOCUS rock in the set that my friend Christine gave me a few years ago.)

And then we went to the Sea Lion Caves, because I’d never been and always wanted to go. Now, I’ve seen sea lions and elephant seals on beaches and piers before, but this was different. You go down in an elevator to almost sea level, go into the cave, and then look down into the part of the cave that’s open to the ocean, where masses of female and baby sea lions are humping around on rocks. It’s…otherworldly. Their cries (which sounded more like cows than lions to me) echo over the crashing water, and they’re far enough away that (for me and my bad eyesight, at least) it can be hard to tell what they are, especially in the shadowed areas. I can’t imagine what it would be like to come across a place like that at night…it would be pretty damn creepy.

After that, we made it to Lincoln City and my beloved Anchor Inn, settled in to my usual cabin (I’m rooming with one friend for the first workshop and a different friend for the second workshop, and this cabin has two bedrooms), and I worked on a short story until we went out for Chinese with Kris & Dean and Chris & Steve. Shrimp and veggies, yum. Then it was back to the cabin to finish the story, because it was due at midnight, and I got it done before that, which meant Ken and I had time to watch the penultimate episode of series 3 of Downton Abbey and spend some time together before bed.

We slept in, made it to breakfast (Kip’s breakfasts are to die for) where we hung out with fellow writer Annie Bellet, who also came early for a writing retreat of her own. (The first workshop doesn’t start ‘til Saturday evening.) Then we watched the final episode of series 3 of Downton Abbey (yay! I can finally talk about it with other people!) before he hit the road for Portland. Sigh. I miss him always, but it’s especially hard after a road trip where we’ve been in close quarters and having so much fun together.

But, now I have to hunker down and work, and also spend time with friends! Lev and Gayle are coming to visit tomorrow, and spending the night. I’m hoping to have lunch with some folks tomorrow as well (although I have a noon business call, so we’ll see). Still, I have a story I’d like to finish today, and editing (my own and others’), and fun stuff like that. And then hopefully I’ll have time to curl up and watch something, or just read.
And probably update my blog more often than normal, you lucky devils, you.

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