Thursday, December 2

Winter Writing Retreat!

This fall has been an epic battle for me in terms of my writing, so I've decided to reward myself by going on a writing retreat in January. Normally I try to find a cheap place a short distance from home when I've gone on retreats lately. But this time some writer friends who live in other parts of the country and I don't get to see much invited me to share a house with them for a week in....

San Diego!!!!!

I couldn't pass this up for a few different reasons. I have the same thought process about vacations as Wendy, I love to either go to places I've never been or places I adore visiting and whenever possible I want to visit with friends that I don't get to see very often. Well, the last part is definitely true and while I've been to California a few times and I do love it, I have only been to L.A. and San Francisco, not San Diego. I've heard nothing, but wonderful thing about San Diego, including that it should be decently warm even in January. And believe me, coming from frigid Chicago, even mid-fifties will feel like a heat wave at that time of year!

So I get my warm weather in winter fix, my friends I rarely see fix, my new city in a state I love fix, and I get to write.

People laugh at that last part saying, "Are you really going to write when you have a house near the beach with a pool?"

Well, I am disciplined so it will happen. Not to mention, I have terrible luck going to warm places during winter. My honeymoon to Florida at the beginning of this year? It was 40 in Miami when we arrived, the coldest it had been in decades. My first trip to L.A. in January 2002? Also in the 40s. Shhh, you probably shouldn't tell my housemates about this bad luck of mine or they will boot me off this trip and I need it!

Though personally whether it is warm or cold, I'll enjoy having a scenic place to write. I went to New Brunswick, Canada right after Thanksgiving to write a few years and I froze my butt off, but it was still inspiring to wake up every morning, walk down the block and see this:

And I wrote 10 to 14 hours each day on that trip. I can only hope San Diego is just as productive. Though preferably warmer!

What about you? Any winter getaways planned? Do you have bad luck like me when going to "warm" places in the winter?


LM Preston said...

Glad you find a cheap place to go. I wish I can do a writing retreat.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

This one wasn't particularly cheap, especially compared to my usual writing getaways. But I took a teaching job this fall that killed my creativity for months so I thought the least I could do was use some of the money I made to rebuild my creative spirit and yanno, San Diego, how can I pass it up? But going with a group of writer friends definitely makes it much more affordable. that's what I'd advise to people wanting to do a retreat.

Girlfriends Book Club said...

I'm the Good-Weather Vacation Fairy. You should invite me.

Jeff Hirsch said...

You'll love San Diego. I'm in NY now but I lived there for 6 years. Since I think with my stomach I have a few recs for you for when you need a break from writing. George's in La Jolla. South Beach Bar and Grill in OB for fish tacos and Old Town Mexican cafe for fantastic mexican. Enjoy!

Oh! And either Hash House or The Mission for breakfast.

Amanda Ashby said...

Steph - I love that you're using the money to help rebuild your writing mojo!!!! I know you're going to have an amazing time - and I'll send you some NZ sunshine to make sure you enjoy it!!!

Sara Hantz said...

Hope you have a totally awesome and productive time. I'd love to visit there.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks everyone!

Always love good food recs, Jeff. Though I am vegan so fish tacos are out, but would love other good Mexican food!

Amanda, I would appreciate that NZ sunshine. I get serious winter blues so a week of sun in San Diego would rock.

Sara, thanks! I hope it will be super productive too!