Last week, I took my first bona fide vacation in over a year, and it was magical. An entire week completely turned off from the day job! After a few days of relaxing staycation in Portland with Jenn, I headed up to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington for session two of this year’s Rainforest Writers Retreat. This annual gathering of genre wordsmiths has been on my radar for years with its reputation as a great place to disconnect (literally) from the world, focus on writing, and hang out with amazing creative people. It absolutely lived up to its billing.
I picked up my dear, dear friends Remy Nakamura and Trace Yulie on Wednesday afternoon at the airport and we carpooled up together to the lodge on beautiful Lake Quinault. Gorgeous views and a blissfully peaceful atmosphere up there; I immediately knew this was going to be a special trip. A number of great friends from my Los Angeles writing group the Freeway Dragons and from Taos Toolbox 2012 were in attendance, which made this feel like a reunion. I also got to know a number of my new Pacific Northwest acquaintances better, and made brand new friends as well.
Was it good for my writing? Well, I manage about 9,700 words in four days, which is more than I wrote in all of 2016 (a horrible writing year for various reasons). Not only that, but I completed a first draft of my new novel, which clocks in at 106,000 words. The working title is The Farhold Accord, and it’s an episodic mosaic about a Cold War on another planet, blending my love of science fiction with my passion for classic spy stories. It’s an ambitious (over-ambitious?) project that’s taken me over three years to finish, and I’m pretty jazzed about it. Feels great to write fiction again after being away for so long.
Wonderful people, wonderful location, wonderful trip. I’m still floating.