If things have gone according to plan, I’m tucked away in a woodland cabin on a lake as you read. Anticipating my private writing retreat, I’m writing this in advance. Appropriately, my list includes thirteen things to take on my getaway.
1. Hiking boots – I plan to enjoy nature
2. Notebooks – walks will require handy writing material
3. Pens – my closest colleague at work has a mother-load from suppliers that he’ll let me pick through (he likes me)
4. Backpack – for all the pens and paper, maybe a sandwich; I have a cute, long-unused canvas backpack featuring a fuzzy profile of the Grinch
5. Laptop – sounds like a no-brainer to many but there was a time I never wrote directly to my hard drive; that’s changed
6. Reference books – as I write this, just over two weeks ahead, it’s time to look at what wise folks have recommended and go shopping; there’s no internet connection where I’m going
7. Electronic accoutrements – for a non-technical person, I’ve amassed an astonishing array of iPod accessories and want to make sure mood music is available at the touch of a button
8. Workout clothes – even if I decide to exercise indoors for some reason, I plan to move my body at least an hour every morning
9. Fuzzy socks and cozy lounge clothes – for after the exercise
10. Bottled water – I have been spoiled and can’t imagine what the water tastes like out there
11. Fresh foods – there will be no fancy dinners out or frozen dinners in, I am thinking of something in-between with lots of fresh fruits and veggies
12. Main dish components – vegetarian (Japanese natto, anyone?) and meat-based (probably the lazy route, deli)
13. Piles of printed manuscripts – for when I want to just sit with a pen and scribble much-needed corrections; this is priority number one, in fact
What I don’t plan on taking is a camera, though I might change my mind. My photographs are never as vivid as journal entries. I have a tendency to distance myself behind the lens, which makes for a disappointing experience in retrospect.
I also plan to leave movies at home. If I really feel the urge, I’d rather pick from the selection offered to guests. That is just too deliciously reminiscent of “The Ring”, a favorite and enduringly creepy horror flick.
Hopefully I'll still be around in another seven days...