Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Remember When . . . We Typed "The End"?

Well, the Scavenger Hunt is over, I'm home from my writing retreat, so now it's back to usual blogging. ;-)

Unlike my previous writing retreats, this one didn't involve going to a cabin in the mountains or meeting up my best friend (sadly) there or in her neck of the woods. This time, I was simply making use of my parents' house 10 miles away from home while they were on vacation (and messaging said best friend regularly so I could pretend she was there). I still slept in my own bed at night, was there to tuck my kiddos in and feed everyone breakfast in the morning. I still went to knitting class and doctors' appointments.

But it was no less successful.

At the start of my retreat last week, I had 94,000 words written in The Name Thief. (Which for some books is finished. I realize that, LOL. But for me . . . no.) I had 15 scenes left to write, some of which required hefty amounts of research.

At the close of day 1, I'd written 12,000 words. Pretty darn good, and I took a nice chunk out of the scene list. I'd spent a portion of my day researching the royal family of England and all their various branches who were, in 1914, ruling other European nations as well. (Seriously, folks, they were all cousins! All of them--Russian czar, German kaiser, English king, you name it. First cousins all.)
The necessities of my writing morning.
Coffee. Notes reminding me of things like character's father's name.
Glasses. Laptop.

On Day 2, I wrote 13,500 words--this was my long day in terms of hours. With no obligations out in the world, I was at my parents' from about 9:30 in the morning until nearly 7:30 that night. My grandmother, who has an apartment on my parents' property, had to check on me to make sure I was still alive. ;-) (I had found the caramel pretzel Klondike bars in their freezer. I was awesome.)
The one I had didn't have that many pretzel pieces--this is my official complaint. ;-)

Best of all, at the close of my business day on Tuesday, I knew the end was very close. I would be able to finish up with just a few hours' work on Wednesday. That is such a happy feeling!

On Wednesday, my day was interrupted pretty substantially by a doctor's appointment I'd already rescheduled once so didn't feel I should ditch again, LOL. One of those that took forever as I sat in the office just waiting to be seen. I had considered bringing my laptop with me (after sitting in a parking lot and typing on Monday morning as I waited for a store to open, LOL), but decided not to. I regretted that. ;-) But then, it forced me to think through my ending very carefully, at my leisure, instead of just charging through as I normally do, so maybe it was a good thing.

And then, Wednesday afternoon, I got there--The End. Woot!

Thursday, since I was still officially "off" my other duties, I wrote my synopsis for the book, while it was still fresh. And, you know, did the dishes. That sort of thing.

This week, I've been reading through it, integrating some threads better, fixing mistakes, and adding quotes to the start of each chapter. And still so, so happy to have this wrapped up!

So, to wrap up, a few fun things I learned last week:

  • If you pick a lock to open it, you can pick it to relock it as well.
    (No, Mom, I didn't pick your locks. You gave me a key, remember?)
  • Electro-magnetic security alarms have been in use since 1850! Who knew?
  • Prince Edward (son of King George V) had a nickname. Guesses on what it was? No . . . nope . . . guess again. David. (The last of his gazillion middle names)
  • Prince Edward, after taking the crown after his father's death in the 30s, was only king for a year--at which point he abdicated to his younger brother so he could marry his mistress, a divorcee of whom the church (and the government) did not approve.
  • Writing retreats rock, wherever they are. ;-)


  1. Wow, you were very productive! Out of curiosity, do you use any special software for your writing? Can't wait to read The Name Thief!

    1. Nope, just Word. I tried Scrivener, but it just didn't work for me.

  2. Wow! Very productive! I am jealous. Interesting research, I especially like the tidbit about locks.

  3. I'm hoping next time if you message me on a writing retreat, I'm just sitting across the table from you :) You being crazy successful on your personal retreat doesn't mean David won't support our joint ones, right? Right???

  4. Great post Roseanna! Sounds like you got a lot of work done and found out some interesting facts to boot! Can't wait to read The Name Thief! Oh,by the way how do those Klondike bars taste? :)

  5. Aw I'm so glad to hear about the amazing time you had at this writing retreat!!! =D SO cannot wait to read this new series.
    (Though first things first I need to go out & find those Klondikes. ;) )