Emerging From Deep In The Woods

>> Sunday, April 22, 2007

The redwoods to be exact.

I went to a scrapbooking retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains this weekend.

Wow. Great setting, great food, great people. No kids, no husbands, no troubles. Does it get better?
Probably, but I'd rather not hear about things I can't afford, like Bermuda or Jamaica. Thanks anyway.

You're not going to believe it, but not only didn't I write, I didn't even bring my computer. No, that's not a typo. No computer. Okay, okay, I have to admit, I got that tweaky pinch in my stomach when I walked out without it--no email, no Internet, no IM, no brainstorming on my current WIP or the revisions I have to do. But I've been to one of these weekends before, and I also knew there would be no time.

After I got over the separation anxiety, I was okay. The creativity involved in scrapbooking, the warm fuzzies I get from reliving those sweet memories, are like a natural upper. As far as how it benefits my writing, I sure get to see a lot of quirky personalities. And the setting was rich with sensory details. Awesome location for a suspense mystery. Actually reminded me of Elisabeth's Science of Silence setting.

It was healthy for me to force myself out of my writing mind. And I don't do it unless I'm forced--by myself or by outside influences. It slipped back in now and then. We took a hike through the woods on the camp's property (isolated property) and my friends and I started talking about scary movies and creepy stuff, which segued into possibilities for my books -- like bodies found spiked to redwood trees in the desolate wilderness. I told them I should really sell something before I start plotting new books. But I tucked it away for later.

What kind of hobbies do you love? Do you make room for them on a regular basis or does life get in the way? What do you think your hobbies add to your everyday life? Your writing life?


Edie 5:15 AM  

Joan, I don't have a 'hobby', but I do walk my dog just about every day the weather permits for about an hour. I also started weight training.

Does reading count as a hobby?

Your retreat sounds lovely. :)

spyscribbler 7:20 PM  

Hey, I went on a retreat, too! A writing retreat. I got a lot of fun done, and 2,000 words, LOL. Loved the fun part. :-)

Taekwondo, but ... I don't know if it even counts anymore. When my foot heals!

Joan Swan 11:52 AM  

Edie-- Reading absolutely counts as a hobby! And physical activity is defintely a hobby imo -- anything that breaks that write-minded cycle. Good for you!!

Joan Swan 11:55 AM  


My daughters take tae kwon doe and there is no doubt the sport/discipline has affected their lives for the better.

You would really appreciate the book Dojo Wisdom for Writers. Great book!

Joan Swan 11:56 AM  

Oh, and Spy, even as much as I love my scrapbooking, if I had to choose between a scrapbooking retreat and a writing retreat, I'd choose the writing retreat.

Glad you were productive!

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