Sunday, April 12, 2015


I’m co-chairing the big annual retreat for my local chapter of RWA this year, and it’s happening next weekend, whether we’re ready or not. Although, just to be clear here, right at this moment, there are no unanswered emails in my inbox so as I write this we AREcurrentlyready.

So, if you’re registered for the retreat, Don’t panic!

As the Geoffrey Rush character in Shakespeare in Love says, when they ask him how it’s all going to work out: “The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.”

“So what do we do?”

“Nothing,” he says. “Strangely enough it all turns out well.


“I don’t know. It’s a mystery!”

Because of all this, though, the word “retreat” in all its various forms has been much on my mind. And I’ve decided to use it.

There’s the zen form of retreat:

But right now, when I look at that lovely istockphoto image, I know deep in my heart that those rocks do not represent zen or a retreat into serenity. Those rocks are fricking weapons… and not for nothing, but I'm pretty sure that says something.

Then there’s the battle form of retreat:

Ah! Now we’re getting closer…

I’ve been living my life for the past few months, telling myself, “After the retreat, things will get back to normal.”

Before the retreat duties picked up, it was, “After the holidays, things will get back to normal.”

Before that, it was, “After the summer, things will get back to normal.”

And when I said “normal” what I meant was “And I will get back to writing.”

I’ve come to understand that will never happen. Life will never be “normal” and I need to write anyway. I need to make writing my normal.

I seem to have been very good at filling my time with writing-related activities. It’s time to start cutting them loose. Start cutting me loose. Because, to paraphrase a famous line, talking about writing is like dancing about architecture…

Time to stop dancing. Time to stop putting “normal” off until after the next big event.

Time to stop. Period.

And my first stop will be to stop blogging with the Rockville 8.

Hopefully they won’t kick me out completely, and if I ever get my zen back and stop wanting to throw rocks, maybe I’ll find my way back to blogging about the writing that I’ll actually be doing. That would be cool.

Right now, I don’t know how that’s going to happen. It’s a mystery!

But I’m hoping it will all turn out well…


  1. I love this blog post, Evie. I think we all struggle with time and energy management, and working writers more than most. But it feels to me like you've got the right attitude and that you've made a commitment to write more, which is a gift to readers like me who love your stories. Good luck. And thanks for reminding all of us that life is not a dress rehearsal. Every day is 'live' ... so get after it! XXX

  2. Well, we are all looking forward to the retreat and I am certain it will all turn out spectacularly well. ;0) It's a great bunch of talent women. Putting them into a room together would be enough for a successful weekend. All we need to do is facilitate a good time, they'll take care of he rest. And you've made plans (both co-retreat chairs) to facilitate all that fun. So we're golden! Yay!

  3. Evie, you did and AWESOME job with the retreat, never fear! As for "normal" and getting back to it, oh yes, I do believe that's a little white lie we all tell ourselves. Good for you for embracing the normal! Or recreating the normal. Go for it, girl! You can do it!