Writing and Retreats

As much as I’d like to have gone to Whidbey Island, WA. or Port Townsend, WA. or Vermont or Connecticut, last week’s writing retreat was good enough. I was close enough to home in case something should come up, but far enough away for privacy. The week was productive and relaxing.

After all, time alone, peace from the phone and a quiet place to gather thoughts and get them down and into a story, is what a writing retreat is all about. Well, those requirements and a glorious view to soothe the mind.

My son, Michael Devaney, wrote non-stop for four days. I’m not sure of the exact count, but I think his four day total was around 8,000 words! That’s a bunch of writing. Though Michael doesn’t normally consume coffee at night, throughout the writing days he did! You can check out his Amazon Author page at:


Leave him a comment and like his page if you can. Michael will appreciate it.

This is one view of our beautiful lake sunsets.  10421154_10152701515743954_5091088363926069364_n

Here’s a photo my son took last weekend at his hunting club of a Wolf Spider. She blends in well with the ground cover, so you’ll need to look closely. You can also click on the photo for a perfect view of the baby congregation!

Wolf Spider

I’m not fond of spiders—at all, but I find this spider interesting. It’s the only spider to carry its babies on its back. Those baby numbers could range as high as 100-300, though roughly only about half of them make it to adult stage.

When I saw the babies on the spider’s back, I was reminded of all the stories in my folder waiting to be finished. Then characters came to mind. All those characters that sit on my back until they work their way into my heart and onto pages of a story waiting to come alive.

While writing last week, my story was set in my mind. Once I began to write, the characters had a totally different plan. The story took a 360 degree turn. That’s okay though, I’m enjoying the character’s new opinions.

Characters and new novel beginnings are our babies. They’re hard to share and even harder to let them go. To say goodbye. To give them wings.

I’m finishing up the second book in a series that has been too long on the back burner. I’ll be sad to see the stories come to an end, but happy to finally share with readers.

A Smoky Mountain Wedding – Book Two, coming soon.

My books are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and Smashwords.

You can find links on my website for all My Books


About Carol

Carol’s roots are sown in the South. Her writings are Southern, small town based and include romantic comedies, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She believes in falling in love, family values, and happy endings. When time allows, she dabbles in art, and always has popcorn, pickles, and hot chocolate on hand. While a dose of humor sprinkles throughout her stories, they may or not, be based on real life characters. Some are convinced they are, but only she knows for certain, and she won’t gossip. Carol currently resides in Georgia with her husband and family. A multi-published eBook author since 2011, Carol's won numerous awards, and previously published in poetry, short stories and novels. Novels available in ebook: (A Short Story) A MATTER of TASTE, PERFECT MATCH, A SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS (also available in print), CHRISTMAS at the GRANGER INN, CHRISTMAS at APPLE LAKE, THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING. Coming December 2019: A Smoky Mountain Christmas Wedding Coming December 2020: A Smoky Mountain Christmas Baby Where to find Carol DeVaney online: http://www.caroldevaney.weebly.com http://www.caroldevaney.blogspot.com http://www.facebook.com/carol.devaney http://twitter.com./caroldevaney
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20 Responses to Writing and Retreats

  1. Pingback: Writing and Retreats | My Weblog

  2. I was just thinking this morning, that if I could just get a little peace and quiet for 2 days, well I could wrap up this WIP in no time. So far, it’s not happening…ugh! Glad you enjoyed your time away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. leighmorgan1 says:

    What a wonderful post, Carol. I read somewhere that spider’s webs–which many create fresh each day–are like stories. Every time I see a web or spider now, I’m reminded to get to work creating. The image of carrying your characters on your back like the wolf spider does her babies resonates perfectly today. Your photo is lovely…hope the productivity of your retreat hums through your story and the words flow freely!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks, Leigh. I agree on becoming more spider-like. Always creating. Spider-word vs Spider-net.


  5. susanrhughes says:

    Reminds me of my kids climbing on my back – glad I don’t have that many.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I need a retreat. Though I could do a retreat at home if I wanted. There’s enough food in the fridge so I don’t have to cook, except for breakfast.
    Loved the spider picture, it blew up where I could see all the little spiders on her back.
    The analogy of carrying our characters on our backs was priceless. It’s time to shake them off, but more keep climbing on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      Most of the time my freezer is filled with enough dinners for a couple of weeks. I’ve been lax lately though. I do have soup for a few weeks. Glad you enjoyed the spider photo. Perfect for how our characters ride along. lol Thumbs up on your finding time for a retreat. Down the street would be enough. 🙂


  7. Carol says:

    Lol That would be a whole bunch of kids!


  8. monarisk says:

    Glad you had a peaceful time to write. Sharing it with your son is an added bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol says:

    Thanks, Mona. Quality time with my son was special. In today’s world we rarely have time anymore for one-on-one.


  10. Joan Reeves says:

    Sometimes I go to our country house just to get away from everything. Alone there I seem to get so much done. I LIKEd Michael’s Amazon Author page and wish him luck. Sounds as if he’s a chip off the old block — Mom’s block of course. *g*

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carol says:

    You’re lucky to have a place to slip away to, Joan. Thank you for liking Michael’s page! Michael is a good writer with a vivid imagination. Yes, he has the writer’s hunger!


  12. stephaniequeen says:

    You sure you didn’t steal that sunset pic from a postcard???! It looks truly awesome! I’ve never been on a writing retreat and not sure how I would fare since writing for hours at a time isn’t my style–I write in spurts interrupted by bouts of socializing and/or activity. Maybe if there was a writers retreat that included dancing and drinking and adventures… Maybe we’d call it the Hemingway style writers retreat… (okay, I’m mostly daydreaming here and pretending I’m 21 again, but still…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol says:

      I promise the photo came from the lake where we stayed. 🙂 I almost missed that gorgeous shot. When I’m home, writing in spurts is my schedule too. Neither of us, my son nor me, have much writing time at home, so when we go on retreat, every spare minute is filled with writing. We breakfast, shower, write, lunch in front of the computer, sometimes take a walk around the area and lake while we watch the ducks (there’s tons of them) dinner in front of the computer again, write until 11, 12 or 1, then fall into bed. We get up the next morning and do it all again. SInce we’re so far from dining establishments, I normally make a couple of casseroles and buy quick fix, but delish, dinners. Son is wonderful to help cook and load and unload dishwasher.:) Going to try the lake’s restaurant next year. We can walk to it easily. No dishes!


  13. E. Ayers says:

    I’m so glad you get away and spend some quality time with your son and write your heart out while you are there.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Carol says:

    Thanks, E. I need about two months away to finish a couple of books.


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