Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012 - No comments

I am going on a trip, and in my suitcase I will take.....

Did you ever play that game as a kid? (Or a road-tripping big person?) It's the one where you start with the letter "A" and take turns saying, "I am going on a trip and in my suitcase I will take.....everything everyone has said before you, plus a new item that starts with the next letter of the alphabet.

Well, I am going on a trip (not far - just the forty minutes it takes to ride the bus downtown) and my suitcase is looking something like Apples (both the computer and the edible kind), Books, Chai, Dark chocolate....

I am going on a writing retreat! Not the kind where twenty people gather at a retreat centre for a weekend of yoga, inspirational speeches and alone time under a tree with a notebook. The kind where, thanks to the thoughtful generosity of a friend back home, I get two nights away at a guesthouse in the Old City, far from the distractions of laundry and menu planning and emails and neighbours to focus completely on writing and really let those creative juices flow. I've got a couple of half-baked stories that need tweaking and re-tweaking, and several ideas for articles I want to pitch to a local travel magazine, and I'm hoping that this time out of my everyday environment and "in the zone" will be just what I need to churn out some good writing.

So, you wanna know what else is in my suitcase?

A handful of Staedtlers - the only pen I'll ever love.

My other favourite writing utensil.

My passport - for calling to mind trips past and trips I'm still dreaming of....and because I need it to check into the hotel.

Snacks. For when I'm holed up in my room late at night and get the munchies.

The various writing notebooks I currently have on the go - you never know from which one inspiration will strike!

Oregon Chai. For whatever reason, coffee makes my heart happy, but chai makes me want to write.

My trusty travel mug. Starbucks should seriously pay me to do commercials for this thing - it's incredible! It's double-walled steel and keeps drinks warm for a good five or six hours! This way I can hunker down in my room and not have to worry about emerging for refills.

Reading material. One for fact-checking and memory-jogging as I write about my autumn trip to Mardin, and the other for when my hand hurts or my brain gets stuck and I just need to read what someone else wrote for awhile.

My wooly socks (in case the room is chilly) and my Vanilla Bean Noel Lotion (cuz we all know soft hands write better stories.)

Dark chocolate. I don't think I really need a reason.

My Starbucks card. Between freebies I have on here and the free drinks I'll get for the beans I'm going to buy to take home, all my caffeine needs for the entire weekend are taken care of. :)

Books by people who know much more about travel writing than I do. (I actually didn't pack these books, cuz they wouldn't fit in my already overfull little suitcase. I just mined them for writing prompts and ideas.)

There you have it - the ingredients for what I hope will be a prolifically productive weekend of pen to paper and fingers to keys. (And, yes, in case you were wondering, I did pack clothes and my toothbrush, too.) :)