Well, we did make it to the beach to our writing retreat. Yay! Driving through the Coast Mountains, it looked like a Narnia winterscape, the snow-flocked fir trees. And even in Manzanita, at the actual beach, there was snow! What a winter. (It's snowing again right now, but I am beginning to feel like a broken record saying that. Really, this isn't normal!)
Still, the sky was blue much of the time, while Portland was gloomed in, and it wasn't windy, and the house was nice, and the company was good, and the words, they flowed. I wrote a chapter of the new book, and then when I was about to shut the laptop and go take a nap, a line appeared in my head and I typed it out on a new doc -- it was first-person, which the book is not, and it was full of italics, very emphatic -- and before I knew it, I had written four pages of a very odd little short story called "Sally Roundabout." Huh.
The house was up a hill at the end of a quiet road, with a "distant view of the ocean." It was big, but sparsely furnished in the way of rental houses:
We didn't explore very thoroughly when we arrived, I guess -- we each thought someone else had -- because on the day of departure we discovered a whole extra bedroom downstairs!
Lovely time. Clam chowder and salt water taffy were involved.