IMG_1354The final leg of my nomadic writing sabbatical took place last week in a Secret Undisclosed Location in the Sierra foothills. One of my dear writing friends recently bought an amazing cabin/cathedral/barnlike structure DEEP in the forest (and I mean deep!). It is very beautiful and very remote. She invited me and another friend to come and have a writing retreat there. It’s quite stunning, out there in the woods.

I woke up to amazing views of the forest.

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It took some very lovely walks and got back into the silent walk>writing routine. That was really nice.

manzanita forest

manzanita forest

We shared some wonderful meals together. It is so nice to cook and eat with friends. Here we invented a gorgeous dish of black rice pilaf with caramelized onions, shredded Brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts. With steamed artichokes and THREE dips (Sriracha, black olive and lemon paprika). Can you say yum???

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I had some time to do some right-brain art. I’d signed up for an online art class and was stressing because I didn’t have the right materials or enough time or whatever. But once I got started, it was really quite wonderful.

"Mermaid In Distres"

“Mermaid In Distress”

Mermaid #2

Mermaid #2

It was good to be away. But even in remote locations, distractions can tumble in. I spent most of Friday distracted because I heard that my girl had gotten into a bicycle accident.  Her dad was working all day and hard to reach by cell. Long-distance fretting ensued. She needed to go to the ER and get a head scan. Fret fret fret. The scan turned out to be negative for bad stuff (wheww) but that took all day. And she still had a bad bump and a lopsided face and a black eye and concussion. So not much happened that day. (maybe that was the art day?)

And then there was Monday of course. The Boston Marathon and all of its heartbreak. I had several friends running in that race. Needless to say I didn’t get much done on that day other than this blog post.

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I guess that’s what I’m learning. There are distractions. We do as much as we can. The world leaks in. I’ve decided to draw my nomad days to a close. For one, it was awfully nice to come¬† home to my Own Bed.

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For the rest of my April sabbatical, I will be short-distance commuting to my new office spot at the Grotto. I brought my desk in there yesterday and am looking forward to making it all writing-conducive.

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I’ve been to some amazing places this month. I’ve gotten good work in. But in the end, the place doesn’t matter as much as just sitting down and getting the damn thing done. Onward!