I’m on day four of my solo writer’s retreat at my friend Shay’s cabin in the North Georgia mountains. Thank heavens Shay doesn’t have internet access up there. There is absolutely nothing to do except write, nap, and read. The first morning, I got up, wandered out to the front porch, and stared straight into the face of an amused doe who was munching on some pine seedlings. She flicked her tail, like she didn’t care, and ambled off. When I went out to the back porch, another deer was dining on a different stand of undergrowth. It’s hot even on the mountain. So that night, right at twilight, when I took my glass of wine out to the front porch, I saw the same doe, having her dinner. I’ve been writing away, and it is so GOOD to have my head back in this book. If I make my daily page quota by noon, I’m allowed to go down the mountain to Ellijay. I found this coffee shop, Bear Creek, I think it’s called, and they have iced tea and internet access, so I can email my chapters to my editor and agent, and catch up with the rest of the world. Yesterday, I even did a little junking before heading back to work. There are lots of nice antique shops up here. In between chapters, I’ve been reading one of my favorite authors, Susan Isaacs. The book I’m reading–and loving–is called PAST PERFECT. I’ve loved lots of Susan’s other work, including COMPROMISING POSITIONS, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS and LILY WHITE, and SHINING THROUGH, (trust me–the book was just waaaay better than the movie with the totally miscast Melanie Griffith) and this most recent book is just as delicious. It’s great to read her while I’m writing, because I get so jealous of her work that I try harder to be better at what I do.I don’t worry about imitating her, even unconsciously, because our work is so different, so it’s just a total joy. Tomorrow, if I’m extra productive for the rest of today and tonight, I get to go home and go to an estate sale. Yay!