A funny thing happened on the way to the writers’ retreat

So, yesterday I was preparing for my writers’ retreat.  Running errands, taking care of business.


My car sounded like this guy.  God sounded like this guy.

And then my car started making a terrible noise.  It sounded something like Harvey Firestein.  With a head cold.

Long story short, it’s in the shop and being repaired.

Last night after I had dropped off the car, I told W that there was a part of me that wanted to back out of the retreat.  Cut my losses on the deposit.  Stay home for the weekend.

“I’m having car problems,” I would say.  “There’s no way I can make it.”

But I knew this whole car thing was God’s way of getting my attention.

“If you want something, you need to work for it,” I imagined him saying.  “How bad do you want to be a writer?”

Strangely, this voice also sounded like Harvey Firestein.


This is my new notebook.  Awesome!

So, come hell or high water or car problems, I’m off this afternoon.  I have my notebooks packed, along with my statement of intention:

I accept this gift of time to write, reflect and be in the company of other writers.  I open myself to possibility.   

* * *

What does your voice of the universe sound like?

18 responses to “A funny thing happened on the way to the writers’ retreat

  1. You’re definitely coming! Let me know if you need a ride. I’ll be leaving here about 1:30ish.

    • Thanks, Jill. I’m supposed to be getting my car back at 1:30. So, a quick stop at the grocery store (I only need a few things), and I should be there around 3:30 or so. See you there!

  2. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that your car broke down. Here’s hoping that you make it to the writers’ retreat!

    …and my voice of God would be liken to Morgan Freeman. No questions asked. 😛

  3. Martine Fournier

    I hope you have a great time at the retreat, and I wish I was going too! We could carpool in my lovely reliable car.
    This post came at the perfect time for me. Lately I have been feeling my query will never again attract the attention of an agent, and if it does, the agent in question will never ever want to represent the book I actually wrote. They would much rather I use my talents to write a nice mystery or YA fantasy…you know, something that sells.
    But if you want to be a writer, you have to work for it, whether you’re taking the car to the garage or firing off yet another doomed query. Or reminding yourself that just because you didn’t write what they want, it doesn’t mean you didn’t write something important.

    • Hopefully, this will be the first of many writing retreats.

      Keep moving forward with your book. You are such a talented writer.

      I know I hit that point where I was about to give up. I re-wrote my query letter for the hundredth time and went all out contacting publishers. So, don’t give up. Buckle down.

      You might want to consider skipping an agent and going the route of a small press. You can find a list searchable by genre on the Poets & Writers website under Tools for Writers.

      I am sure that you are going to find success with your book!

      • Martine Fournier

        I love that! Don’t give up, buckle down. It’s funny because that’s what my latest interaction spurred me to do. No more shilly-shallying! My plan is to query every agent possible, and if that doesn’t work my next step is the small publishers. Looks like gorgeous retreat weather out there!

      • Sounds like a plan! I look forward to hearing about your success. The weather was beautiful … perfect for sitting outside at night.

  4. Oh Rae, if you only knew how many obstacles were thrown in my way this week. We are doing this retreat, as you said, come hell or high water. I can only imagine what good things will come out of it, considering all the resistance.

    • Funny how life works. I know how much you have on your plate right now. Well, at least some of it. I guess it’s a lesson on not giving up. Or something else that will reveal itself during or after the retreat. See you soon!

  5. Like a cross between Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, and Ethel Merman.

  6. The voice of the universe sounds like Patty and Selma, Marge Simpson’s twin sisters. And they work for the DMV.

  7. Good luck with the retreat. And that notebook is freakin’ amazing! So rad! 😎👍👊

  8. Love the statement of intention. This is the first I’ve ever heard of that.

    • It’s a good exercise for anything, really. Whenever I’m nervous about having a conversation with someone, I try to work out my intention and focus on that. At the end of the retreat, we went back and looked at out statements of intent to see if we had satisfied them. Yes, intent. It’s important and keeps you focused.

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