There was a sign on the door, DO NOT ENTER, WRITER IN RESIDENCE, which led to the hallway where I and another writer had accommodations. My room was the Paul Green room and the second was the Thomas Wolfe. None of the other quarters had plaques on the door or I would’ve searched for a female author designation. Virginia Woolf where were you?
At Weymouth I felt like a writer. I worked like a writer.
Breakfast* on the veranda. I watched birds dart by and listened to a deep guttural sound, more like an improperly functioning piece of heavy equipment, which I imagined might have been a frog. The sound came from a stagnant pond nearby. I didn’t feel the need to investigate.
Back to my room to write.
Lunch in the small kitchen solely for use by writers-in-residence.
In the afternoon, I worked until I got hungry.
Dinner at my desk.
After dinner I wandered into the library to connect to the Internet and check and send emails—okay, I did glance at emails on my I-phone while I worked. Hard habit to break.
In the evening, with a glass of Merlot, I sat on the balcony, writing in my journal and watching the sky turn crimson and transform to a deep blue. When it grew too dark to see my notebook, I ambled back to my room to reenergize my gray cells with a New York Times fiction bestseller.
*I went grocery shopping on my first day, stocking the refrigerator in the writer’s kitchen with salads, soups, yogurt, granola, carrot slices, hummus and a bottle of red wine.
And what did I accomplish? I did address the issues raised by my beta-readers. I dropped the slow, plodding first chapters and incorporated sections as flashbacks throughout the book. And a fast paced chapter, which served as my first chapter a few revisions ago, became my first chapter once again. I came home with a new outline, clear areas for expansion and a goal to complete this version of my manuscript to give to my second round of readers by the middle of this month.