Kelly Simmons is a former journalist and advertising creative director and the author of the novels Standing Still, The Bird House, and One More Day. She’s a member of WFWA, Tall Poppy Writers and The Liars Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping fledgling novelists.
We enjoyed Kelly’s quirky fun voice so much on her last post with us — Writing & Bathing — that we invited her back. And when we read what she submitted, we couldn’t think of a better essay to help us kick off our Summer Break.
Just a mini-break–for the duration of the summer–and only on Sundays. We’ll be back to our regular post-a-day schedule in September. In the meantime, Kelly has some ideas for all who will be struggling to find ways to merge writing with kids at home 24/7 and other domestic challenges.
Improve Your Writing in One Weekend! Act Now!
There’s nothing like the proliferation of coastal writer’s retreats, summer sabbaticals and competitive residencies to get a struggling, job-chained, or family-laden writer down. Do not despair! Act now and save with this special offer . . . .
Thank you for your interest in Real Life Writing Retreats: Providing Fodder for Free Since The Invention of The Quill Pen!
Here’s just a taste of what you’ll experience in this special Weekend Workshop . . .
It all starts with Friday’s Muse in the Farmer’s Market. Here, you build characters as you shop. Does the man fondling the lettuce seem . . .lonely? What is the motivation behind the woman surreptitiously eating the grapes – is it poverty, or did she just leave a Cross Fit class after skipping lunch? Waiting in the checkout line, organizing your coupons, sneak glances at the contents of other carts. Do rubber gloves, rubber bands and bleach add up to murder? Or is someone tie-dying her blue jeans again?
After putting 15 bags of food away by yourself, enjoy a brief meet-and-greet with your exuberant cabin-mates -- Dog, Cat, Spouse, and Children before digging in to the second workshop: Harnessing Sense Memories in the Kitchen. It’s a reminder to infuse your writing with the aromas of simmering spices, the gritty feel of steel wool under fingernails, and the piercing wails of a teenager who has too much college prep to load the dishwasher.
The evening wraps with 3 Simple Ways To Make Time for Your Writing. You’ll practice using the remote to turn off the TV, turning the lock on your bedroom door, and walking away from unfolded laundry.
Choose from several optional Arts & Crafts add-ons including Crafting Homemade Earplugs and Using Essential Oils to Block out Marijuana Fumes from Oldest Son’s Basement Playroom.
Saturday morning, start your writing day with inspiring nature walks while picking up dog doo, followed by helpful segments like How To Write While Pretending You’re Watching Your Youngest Son’s 3,000th Baseball Game.
Sunday wraps with Weeding Is The Same As Editing in the bright sunshine of your own front yard!
We hope you’ll consider making Real Life Writing Retreats a regular part of your writing routine.
P.S. Know a writer friend with toddlers? Please recommend our free video series, “No More Teddy Bear Tea Parties, You’ve Got A Word Count Goal To Make!”
There are lots of ways to hone your craft and up your word count on a given weekend. What’s worked for you? Has anyone tried to use dictation while perched aboard a riding lawnmower? Can you write off a hammock on your taxes?
What are you doing this summer?