Beta Read Saga #5: Covid19 Writer’s Retreat

I have dreamed for years of renting a cabin by a wild Pacific shore for a week or two, and engaging in a personal writer’s retreat. I’ll always remember spending two or three weeks in this cabin on Haida Gwaii in January 1998 with my family … and have longed for another opportunity to do this again–but this time to write in peace and quiet, and wander the beaches for inspiration.

Well, here it’s 22 years later and I am actually having a “Covid19 Writer’s Retreat,” with time to work on my WIP, study the suggestions from my beta readers, and walk along Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake beaches here in Penticton. True, lake beaches are lovely, though not quite the same as a wild west coast beach, and I don’t have a cabin overlooking said beaches. And I don’t have a cabin overlooking the beach, but I’m making the best of the opportunity for this Covid19 Spring Break.

My retreat is taking place in my home office, which is where I usually teach my tutoring students–and do my writing, self-editing, and editing for others. Here’s what it usually likes like:


Kind of “office-y” and “classroom” like, eh? So I decided to do something about that. I moved my desk directly in front of the window so I can gaze out at the beautiful mountainsides (ignoring the strata complexes in between). And for when I am really longing for an ocean view, I have gone to a local thrift store and found an ocean picture I can place in my window. I also have an easy chair, and a comfy cot to relax on–because that’s what a cabin should include, right? I have a radio, but no television. Since I have two weeks (at least) while my students are on Spring Break, I’ve also set up a sewing corner to sew a jumper I bought fabric for last summer, and I’m going to start some seeds for my garden–since it’s Spring Break but the temperature is below freezing (though the sun is shining, yay!) and there’s lots of snow on the hillsides. So check out my “Covid19 Writer’s Retreat cabin.” What do you think?


By the way, I’m not sick!

What about you? Can you find a way, in these days of “social distancing” to create a little writer’s retreat right where you are?

Why not check out the entire series of my Beta Read Saga? Here are the links:

9 thoughts on “Beta Read Saga #5: Covid19 Writer’s Retreat

  1. Julie H. Ferguson says:

    Just exactly what you need. I’ve got Lexulous online (Scrabble) in case I run out of books to read, which is unlikely. I have 20!! I shall cook and bake sourdough till my two freezers are full again; I have some sewing that’s overdue; I can Facetime all my friends and colleagues; I plan solo walks when the weather’s good; I might play some solo rounds of golf too. The not-so-secret idea is to work some more on my mid-grade, time-travel trilogy that I put aside a decade ago and never pitched. Besides all that, I have 300 friends and family I keep up with on FB, and more on Twitter from around the world, who are mostly experts in fields I’m interested in. I’m good just like you. Stay well!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Faye Arcand says:

    Great entry Norma. Funny thing is that I did the same thing today–tackled the office to make it more ‘me’ friendly. Alas, I’m not as organized as you and I didn’t take any pix. I love the you’re nestling in and working at such a tumultuous time. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Writer lots. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. aggiestevens says:

    Like Julie, I’m doing more ‘real’ cooking and have some incomplete sewing projects awaiting my renewed attention. Office tidy-up tomorrow. Or the day after. Whenever. I’d vacuum but nobody’s going to visit. I’m finally watching all the podcasts on writing that I’ve been saving for when I had time – that time that never seems to come. Stay safe, everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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