Book Jail

It's DONE. I have sent Zoe Chambers Mystery #6, titled UNEASY PREY, to my editors. Another deadline met.

This one was a challenge. Lots of obstacles fell in my path over the last year. But I made it with much thanks to my friends, especially Ramona Long, who invited me to her writer's retreat in eastern Pennsylvania. I affectionately dubbed it Book Jail.

I traveled with my frequent road trip buddy, Martha Reed. Kensi was very unhappy with Aunt Martha for coming to take me away.

What a face!

And this is it! Officially it's "Clare House" but to us, it was our home for a week of writing. It was also Book Jail for those of us (ME) on deadline.

The grounds were lovely, with lots of statues of St. Francis of Assisi.

We had a trio of deer who visited us daily.

While we holed up in our own private spaces all day to write, we each took turns cooking dinner, which we shared as a group. Most evenings, we dined outside. Here is Martha Reed and Edith Maxwell about to dig into my potato soup.

And this is my "cell" in Book Jail. My room was in the attic and my desk sat in the gable of one of the windows. My view was limited to tree tops, so nothing in the way of distractions. Just me, my laptop, my notes, and my coffee.

I did get paroled on Friday evening for a few hours. Martha, Edith, Kim Gray, and I traveled to Doylestown to see Jonathan Maberry. If you haven't read his books or heard him speak, you need to do that. Soon. He's incredible.
 The crowd was pretty awesome too! And this is only a small portion of it.

Saturday, I FINISHED my rewrite and celebrated by joining my fellow retreaters on a walk through the woods. If a tree falls in the forest and no one writes about it, did it actually exist?
 And this is the other side of the house, looking up at it from the woods. Those two little windows (one with an air conditioner that didn't work) at the peak were mine.

Edith, Ramona, and Martha coming out of the woods after our walk.

Many thanks to Ramona Long for inviting me, to Martha Reed for driving, and to Edith Maxwell and Kim Gray for being the best housemates ever.  I don't think I ever needed something as much as I needed this perfect week with the perfect mix of solitude and writerly comradery.


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