Weekend adventure brings new experiences
By Linda Albert | (email@example.com)
Traveling is a rare occurrence for me, by preference. I like my own familiar surroundings too well. Signing up for a weekend writers’ workshop, especially not knowing any details other than the author’s name, has never been tops on my list of things to do.
Somehow, though, when a friend proposed that we go to Historic Rugby on just such an adventure, my first inclination was to do it. The preliminary preparations — checking with my boss to make sure taking off that Friday was acceptable, lining up my children to take care of the dogs for three days, making sure I could finagle the funds — all fell into place. The only other concern was that a three-day weekend full of workshop activities would be too much physical stress with no time to recover for the next work week. I stuffed down that concern and went anyway, something totally out of character. It helped that Jonnie was driving, plus I knew I could depend on her if I had to forego a session to rest.
I was so thankful I went because the whole experience was amazing. Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries series, is an excellent instructor as well as an excellent writer. I confess, I had never heard of her until the workshop and had not read any of her books, but Jonnie bought the entire series and devoured the first book shortly before the workshop. She sang Vicki’s praises so I knew we were going to learn a lot from an accomplished writer. You can find out more about Vicki and her books at her website, http://www.vickilanemysteries.com .
The group assembled for the workshop was diverse and oh, so interesting. We ranged in age from 17 to 75, two men and eight women, each with a different style and voice and subject matter. The talent, both raw and seasoned, in that meeting room at the historic Uffington House was incredible. I expect to be receiving review copies of some best sellers in the future.
We began the workshop a bit warily, I think, but by the time we had spent all those hours together in instruction, writing exercises and the most difficult part — at least for me — reading our impromptu and previously assigned writings aloud, we had become friends. We all shared our contact information so we can keep in touch as an online critique group and made tentative plans to return to Rugby in the fall.
Four of the workshop students as well as Vicki roomed at Newbury House Bed and Breakfast, built in 1880 as the first boarding house in the Rugby colony (read more about Rugby at http://www.historicrugby.org ). The rooms are furnished as they would have been in Victorian times yet have modern touches such as air conditioning. My room was very comfortable. I anticipated no trouble in getting a good night’s sleep, but the fibromyalgia pain had other plans.
The first night, I tossed and turned for hours in spite of getting to bed relatively early. The room was pitch black and just this side of glacial, my perfect sleeping conditions if only the medications had begun to work. When I finally did doze off, though, I was rudely awakened by someone sitting on the side of the bed and then lying down beside me. Trouble was, no one was there.
Now, this may have been a dream. My imagination has been known to run away with me sometimes ... but it certainly felt real. If I could have squeaked out a scream, I’d have had the entire house freaked out, but not a sound would come out of my throat. I felt my bed buddy get up, then I dropped off to sleep as if cohabiting with a haint was a normal occurrence. Go figure.
Saturday night, I decided if I was going to be sleeping with somebody, it would be appropriate to know who it was, and not in complete darkness. I turned on the bathroom light, cracked the door open and still tossed and turned with the fibromyalgia pain and the too-bright light in the room. Either I snored too much the night before or the haint decided to be courteous and let me have the room to myself, because he didn’t come back.
The weekend was very informative, enlightening and filled with new friends and new experiences. It’s going to be a privilege to see what each of my fellow students accomplishes, and to be a cheerleader for each one on the journey.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Contact her at 981-1168 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)