Retreats

Virginia Woolf may have made the phrase infamous, but its truth still needs repeating:  a room of one’s own is necessary if one wants to write.  And given the annoying nature of children, husbands, and chatty colleagues, the easiest way to get a room of one’s own is to take a personal retreat and get the hell away from them!

I have taken two such retreats this year and plan to do a lot more in the future. The way I figure it:  it’s a helluva lot cheaper than rehab or a messy, romantic break-up!  Really, I’ve come to believe that I can’t afford not to do this.

As I experience these havens—often populated, by the way, with other very quiet, sun-lighting-avoiding, and red-wine-drinking folk—I will offer my unvarnished reviews below.

The Porches
Norwood, VA

Prepare yourself for a bit of paradise on earth. Run by Trudy Hale, this exquisite old house gazes out over two rivers, has the softest beds and bedding known to human kind, and the world’s friendliest dog, Maizie.  Every room has a big comfy chair, a desk, bookshelves stuffed with really interesting works, and a window with a million-dollar view.

If you can, plan to go when the weather is gorgeous because you will want to spend significant time on one of the porches—reading, listening to the birds, or just watching the fog lift off the river in the morning.  OK, I know I am getting a bit too rapturous here, but this place can only be described with one word: transformational.

At $350 a week or $60 a night, it is also totally reasonable.  Beautifully furnished in what I call “global country chic” and spotlessly clean, this place will give you no distractions and free your mind up to do what you love:  write.  Other than the occasional train, it is absolutely quiet.  I was able to write more here in one week than I did in one entire year at home. Think about it. You totally deserve it.

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