A bed and breakfast that my husband and I stayed at recently in Brattleboro, Vermont, is described accurately on its website as a place for relaxation and renewal, offering the perfect setting for a peaceful, romantic, respite from a busy world. My stay there was indeed restful. The bucolic setting was the perfect place for me to catch up on some R and R and to be pampered. Each morning a tray of tea was left outside our room. Sumptuous breakfast choices included eggs baked in smoked ham, baby spinach, and Grafton Village cheddar cheese and custard french toast croissants with a hint of nutmeg served with maple-orange sauce, all served in a cozy dining room in front of a cozy fireplace. The B and B was also a great place to catch up on literary pursuits. I sent hours in overstuffed, high-backed chairs catching up on some reading and jotting down notes for revising my manuscript. A B and B can serve as the perfect place for a writing retreat. How about you? What’s your favorite sanctuary for writing?
I’ve been working on my novel since 2008. I started with a 10-page sketch, then expanded it month by month as a student in the MFA program in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University. Now I feel that my manuscript is polished enough for others to see it. I’ve decided to share it with my church book club members. Each month we read and discuss a novel or work of nonfiction. I want them to read mine, let me know what works, where I need to improve it. There are benefits to having personal friends read your work, but there are limitations on what you can expect. For more, read my article on the topic in a special edition of Bookwoman, the Women’s National Book Association national publication.