During the first week of my sabbatical, I took a trip to Big City Like No Other, where I spent time with Red-haired Niece and Urban Sophisticate Sister, visited museums and wandered around the city, and met up with all kinds of blogging friends.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a week in Midwestern City with the Baseball Team That Always Loses. At Big Creative Writing Conference, I went to sessions, talked to editors, and hung out with other writers. That week was crowded with meals in great restaurants, readings in ballrooms hung with chandeliers, and conversations with friends in coffeeshops and museums. It was a week spent talking about writing and ideas and publications. It saturated even an extrovert like me.
Tomorrow, I'm going to a monastery where I'll have an uninterrupted week of silence. I'll spend it writing. It's not the monastery that I usually go to, but a bigger monastery in Southern State Where it Will be Warm. I don't know what to expect exactly, except for the peace and quiet I always find on retreat. I'm bringing my laptop so that I can work on my manuscript. But I'm leaving my mittens home.