Once upon a time, I kissed a Vampire. I wore a bustle dress but he did not have wings. It was lovely.
In popular mythology Vampires have bat wings and turn into bats. Nice idea.
I was never one for creeping into bedrooms either, of course unless… unless it was a bed I wanted to stay in for a while. Hey, you know, even Vampires multi-task.
So do moms like me. So do most modern parents (Vampires or not.)
I usually don’t comment on the blogs of others… I try not to be rude or snarky (HA HA April Fools on that one) but I just read a blog post about “Writer’s Retreats.” There were thoughts and quotes from “experts.” I have no beefs with the author. She was lovely. I do have it with other things about retreats and “experts.”
Today has been one of those days when I read about “Writer’s Retreats,” and I think of myself and my writing friends and I think “WTF?” I’m f___ing busy. I have an independent mind. I need coffee. I’m a bitch. But…
Perhaps when I was younger but I would have just found love the idea of a retreat. I also would have found the cutest guy at the retreat and slept with him. I would have written a bunch of lofty angst filled crap that nobody would ever want to read. Yes that is blunt. It is. Deal with it. Or I would have instantly gotten writer’s block and totally bored, or spent the entire time trying to impress everyone else there, and maybe drained the blood from the cute guy and left in the middle of the night. Maybe not. It just has no appeal to me anymore. I don’t want to be lofty. I don’t want to be deep. I don’t want to be literary.
What would my retreat be?
My retreat is in those hours before the sun comes up with just the company of my cats and my coffee.
My retreat is in those times when the kids are practicing their sports, or I’m waiting for, well, just waiting for someone or something else.
It is when I walk the dog and let my mind fill with ideas.
My retreat is looking at pictures and art and music. Filling my senses completely full.
My writing retreat is when I lay next to my husband, our arms around each other. I close my eyes and drift off to a place where everything is perfect and as it should be.
Sure I’d like the luxury of spending a lot of money and time off in a cabin in the woods (but not like that silly movie of the same title) with like minds… but then I think not. I’d rather spend the time with like minds that I already know or who live in my circles. I’d rather be with other bloggers and short story writers, those I know and those I don’t know yet, who live in a rushed world with so much variety and activity that they can hardly think, much less escape from it. They’re the ones who inspire me.
My writing friends and my quick messages to them and their feedback is my retreat.
Reading the works of others, no matter what the content, point of view or genre is my retreat.
The joy of learning the craft of writing (the stuff you don’t see here) is my retreat.
I guess I’m just not a follower. There are those who inspire me but I’m sort of old and I have teenagers and life is extremely serious and at the same time so whimsical and funny and amazing that… that if I went off by myself to write I wouldn’t have anything to write about.
I like my alone time. That said, as a writer and an artist, it has to be MY time. My place. My thoughts that rattle around in my brain for hours and days before anything goes down on paper, even if those hours and days are only a split second.
You might not agree with me. I wouldn’t go on a marriage retreat either. I wouldn’t go on a Vampire retreat. I don’t do retreats. I despise the very idea of self-help retreats. Spiritual retreats make me think of cults totally creep me out. But if you like that sort of thing… well go ahead but don’t ask me along. I’ll just smile and say “have a nice time.”
I have to say that my husband feels the same way about these sorts of things. We came into this relationship with this view already. And don’t even get me started on most parenting books, experts, seminars and retreats. My fangs will come out when that subject comes up.
My husband always says “Everything annoys you.”
I respond with, “Why yes it does.”
I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect or my views and life are perfect (like some people in the news) but it is my life and I’m feeling a little snarky right now. My regular readers know I’m usually pretty sweet and sensitive. I am. Really. Most of the time. OK I try.
But I do like TREATS and I like sharing so I guess that could be a nice Re-Treat. A nice bottle of wine, some cheese, some tea or whatever you like… I could go for that. We’d talk about our writing then maybe we wouldn’t. We’ll just end up talking about our dogs or roller skating or books we’ve read or those day-to-day things that make up the contents of good writing (fact or fiction or those odd bits that live in both worlds.) Or you could send me a link to something cool online or a story you’re writing or I could read your book and then you could read mine. THAT is the perfect retreat – to share treats – the treat of our thoughts and creativity.
And to think this was going to be an essay on being a Modern Vampire… oh well.
Have a good week everyone and don’t listen to me if you don’t want to, but I’ll be here if you need me.
And on a serious and thoughtful note… I hope all of you have your own small retreats, those places either mentally or physically that are yours and yours alone.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman