A weekend at the Willamette Writer’s dream house

I’m taking a three-day time out at the Willamette Writer’s house and chronicling my time spent here. The writer’s house is a house owned by Willamette Writers, a local writer’s organization. It’s basically a house with several rooms designed to give writer’s a quiet space away from distractions. The rooms have different themes. There’s a kitchen, commons area for critique groups to meet, a backyard, and a bathroom with a tub. It isn’t exactly a hotel but the room I’m staying in has a couch where I chose to sleep in.

From a writer’s conference, I won a silent auction gift basket called Algonquin Basket that included: a 3-day stay at the Algonquin room at the writer’s house, 2 martini glasses, a shaker that lights up, 1 bottle vodka, 1 bottle vermouth, a bottle of olives, notebooks with the New York theme. OK. I have to admit that it was the booze that caught my attention.

I wanted a short but simple get-away to unload, meditate, relax and have an ample chunk of time to devote to creativity and writing. I wanted a space to get away but didn’t want to be around a lot of people, action, or noise. Taking a 3-day weekend at the writer’s house sounded like a good idea.

Day # 1 – It’s Friday. I ended up staying at work later than expected. I didn’t pack my stuff yet and was hoping to drive before peak traffic. After being stuck in traffic for an hour, I walked into the house and got settled in. I took a few minutes to relax. I made myself some dinner. Then, I decided to unwind by soaking in the tub. I wonder why I don’t take bubble baths more often. It was relaxing. I prayed, meditated on the good things, thought of happy thoughts—especially my novel and why I feel that I’m called to write it and the importance of its message to my readers. I rejoiced over the characters, themes, and finally coming up with a plot that’s modeled after the heroine’s journey. After my bubble bath, I put on a face mask and foot mask. Generally bubble baths, giving myself a pedicure and having my own spa time helps me relax and get ready for writing.

And, then I sat in the Algonguin room and began to write the third chapter of my novel. I was stuck because I didn’t have a plot or general direction of the story. But now since I have a plot, I spent the next few hours focused and writing the third chapter while enjoying a drink.

The room had the New York theme named after the famous Algonquin Hotel. The room had posters of the city and photos of famous New York writers like Tom Wolfe, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, Jack Kerouac, and others. This was appropriate because most of my settings take place in big cities. The ambience of the room as well as being in a big quiet house helped me continue to be still and keep writing. I plan to write several pages of my novel and I know I will.


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