I'm hitting the road with Marisa and heading east, across the Illinois river and then north, into the mountains of Arkansas, specifically to Eureka Springs and the Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow. I was invited to go so I could tell you all about it, and I'm ever so excited.
The timing seems poetic; it was 16 years ago this spring when I quit my full time job to do three things: prepare to move from Germany to Oklahoma, get pregnant, and write a book. Two of those things happened and one of those things has been a work in progress ever since.
Life doesn't always go like we want it to. Sometimes it goes better... and then worse... and then ways that you can't describe even if you are a writer. It happens, sometimes when I didn't notice. And then suddenly it's 16 years later and I've got (spoiler alert) a house in the woods in Oklahoma, one kid turning 15 and another one turning 13 and I'm going back to work full time at an office and I still haven't written that book. But then I get the chance to go to a writer's retreat and I realize this is a really good thing.
But I also realize that my brain is filled with reasons why not. Why I shouldn't—go to the writer's retreat, go back to work, put myself first, say yes to an opportunity, say no when I'm overwhelmed. It's a tremendous pile of bullshit, and it's insulating but not helpful. I need to let it go. I need to breathe in the now, the good things, myself; and I need to breathe out the bullshit.
I'm packing my journal and this laptop and washi tape and pens. A bottle of wine and some great snacks and all the leggings (and this is starting to feel like that scene in The Jerk where Steve Martin's character packs all the things) and headphones and music and I'm hitting the road with Marisa. Meeting some other writers. Reading some of my work out loud. And breathing out some bullshit.