Friday, 20 April 2018

A to Z Writing Challenge - R is for Retreat

Elmhirst Resort, Rice Lake Ontario

It's a busy day - a good, busy day for me. I'm getting my stuff together to head off to a writing retreat. Five days of open space, as structured or unstructured as I need; in the company of other writers or on my own, maybe even in my jammies; no meals to plan, prepare or clean up after; and all under the "care-full" wings of two very capable writers, Ruth Walker and Gwynn Scheltema.

I have a somewhat muted optimism about this escape to write. Honestly, I'm a bit anxious about it. It's been nearly a year since I even looked at my work in progress memoir. To be fair, and even kind to myself, the months have not been wrapped in utter idleness. First, there was the home renovation that turned this...

...into this:

Like all reno's this one was chock full of disruptions, noise, dust, and delays. Winter intruded before we could get the interior finished. Still, the space holds promises of light and inspiration. And the floor is done!

Then in the late autumn, my love's health took a hit for the first time in our life together, (nearly fifty years). Age plus genetics set up roadblocks along the coronary artery highway. An angiogram revealed a 100% occlusion of the left anterior descending artery (aka the widow-maker) and a 70% blockage of the right coronary artery. A week before Christmas, two stents were successfully placed to open up the arteries. We dodged a bullet, that is for sure. The man bounced back with gusto. Me? I was a little slower to return to regularly scheduled life, slower to pick up my pen to write.

Spring Thaw Writing Retreat 2017

What do I want from this escape? I want to hang out with some great people, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow writers and soothing embrace of a lakeside cottage. I want to write, to feel the joyful glide of fountain pen on crisp white paper.

Will the memoirist return to pick up the threads of the story about her mother and Alzheimer's Disease? Will the travel writer, anticipating the Norwegian fjords of the next great cruise, fill the pages with a journey of amazement? Will the former pastor give voice to the challenges of the job, the stories of faith, hope and love; fear, despair, and betrayal? Or, is there another story in the shadows, waiting to be inked?

It matters not to me which of my muses joins me during these rest-full days, or what she writes. The welcome mat is out for any and all. The pens are full. The paper fresh and inviting. It's going to okay. I can do this.

©2018 April Hoeller


  1. Every time I read about your writing retreats April, I want to pack my bags and join you. Wishing you a well deserved rest and may your muses keep you company in what ever happens.
    hugs. xx
    R is for #RallyforRivers

  2. I wish you a most fabulous retreat, and may the Muses be bountiful with their visits. I'd say you certainly had a year of other things demanding attention! I'm glad your husband is doing well, and what a lovely renovation. Just seeing all those windows has me basking in the light.

  3. I am so envious of your renovation. We have lots of plans and talk contantly about renovating. But just never seem to get started!! Great job

  4. Sounds like you are in great need of this retreat. They are THE BEST! Ihope you will be inspired and get into the groove for the 5 days then carry it on when you return home.
    Pulp Paper & Pigment-My Fiber Art Blog