August 15, 2010

A Reasonable Retreat

Prompt from Promptly: The hotel was $19.99 for a reason. And you were there for reasons of your own ... but not the kind everyone might think.

Deadlines. That's what her life was all about. Deadlines for work, for picking up the kids, for getting the laundry done and the house cleaned. Deadlines for checking in with her parents, for responding to emails and phone calls. Deadlines for paying bills.

And now yet another one fell into her life: deadlines for her book. She hadn't realized when she started writing the memoir that she would be so crunched for time. She thought it would be a way to relax, to sit back and reflect on her life. She didn't know how the project would take off, how attractive her story would be to a publisher, how quickly she would be pushed to get it written.

So here she was. Taking a weekend away from the kids, the house, the grocery shopping and bill paying, just to write. In a way it was nice, like a present to herself. Never mind the fact that all she could afford was this run-down flea-infested hovel with shabby decor (if it could be called that), a window that was bolted shut, and a suggestion of cigarettes lingering in the non-smoking room. But she was here, away from all the day-to-day distractions and to-do lists, and she could write to her heart's content.

It was her own little writer's retreat, albeit one that was less than inspiring to the senses. But she had thought ahead. She pulled out her scented candles, her ipod and headphones, and imagined herself in some little coffee shop somewhere. She lined up her thesaurus and dictionary on the wobbly table, positioned a picture of her childhood home and one of her family from last Christmas, opened her notebook and started to write.

This was one deadline she wouldn't mind having to meet.

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