Retreat to define, describe and discern

 

I spent the summer solstice of 2012 at a writing retreat at Strawberry Creek Lodge, hosted by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.  In a wee solstice manifesto, I made a commitment to readers to hold nothing back, to share what I find as I write.  One of the things I shared in that post was that I was submitting a proposal for the book to New Society Publishers.  My goal was to have it ready by the end of the retreat, but it was ready to send the first night.  Off it went.

For the fall equinox, I found myself again making my way to Strawberry Creek Lodge.  As my mind meandered on the drive, I realized that I had not yet heard from New Society Publishers about my proposal.  While I was driving, the email response came in: not interested.

I can’t help be curious about the timing of my submission – at summer solstice – and the response – at the fall equinox.  I can’t help be curious too about being at the same place for each of these events, and the exchange between me and New Society Publishers took place the first night of each of my stay’s here.  I haven’t a clue what it means, but I am curious about Earth’s calendar.

So here I am, on another first night at Strawberry Creek Lodge, sorting out what I will do with my time here.  As I retreat from the hustle and bustle of life, I also retreat back into my work to refine and revise it for another round of agent and publisher search.  Here is what I commit to for the next 4 days:

  1. Distill Chapter 1.  I haven’t looked at this for a few months.  Fresh eyes will see fresh things.  I aim for a tighter narrative for the city’s journey, and our journey in and with cities.
  2. Describe my book proposal as a compelling narrative.  I aim to re-examine my proposal to find the book’s narrative.  I need to find the book’s heart.
  3. Discern the Nest City Manifesto.  As I concluded June’s writing retreat, I made a commitment to share with readers a ‘report’ that documents the gist of Nest City’s first part.

I will keep you posted.

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