I have been staying at a very cozy, very Oregon, cabin in Oceanside OR since Tuesday night. The weather has been cool and clear for the most part, until yesterday. Yesterday morning woke to pouring rain and a light wind.
I do not mind storms while at the coast, at all. In fact, this is only one of two or three times I've stayed in Oceanside over the past many years that I haven't lost power.
Pre-pandemic, coming over to the coast for a NaNovember writing retreat was pretty standard. I often came here to Oceanside because the town is small, slow going, and beautiful, with one of the most incredible views from anywhere. The cabin where I'm staying now is a definite favorite; I have stayed at a couple of others, but will get this one when I can. This cabin is about 1/3 of the way up the hillside, so the view goes for miles and miles: ocean, sand, sky, mountains. And there is a view of the quiet little town.
Also, Oceanside has one longtime restaurant, a very tiny ice cream shop/cafe at the edge of the wayside parking lot, and there appears to be a working pub of some sort now. There is no temptation or expectation of shopping of any kind, no museums, no bookstores - just nature doing its thing, with time and space to write.
Once when the power went out for a couple of days, the longtime restaurant fired up a generator and had a portable cooking unit or two. They provided a very limited menu at shortened hours - it was during the winter so daylight was short - and even had limited hot coffee. Everyone was friendly and helpful. And the power did come back on; it always does. I learned after the second time it went out to make sure to keep devices charged.
Speaking of which: there also is virtually no mobile data service available in town. I have found over the years that the only place to consistently have a chance of getting a signal is on the beach. Up here where I'm staying, or down below us in the town, mobile phones and data don't work. Which is another refreshing thing. The small cabin does have wifi, which is much appreciated. But even that fluctuates and drops off; there are a couple of hours midday where the signal is strong - usually.
So it has been delightful to feel comfortable coming back here this year for my annual NaNoWriMo writing retreat. My NaNoFriend - who is an IRL friend, coworker, and writing buddy - and I have been hanging out, writing, sleeping, sharing meals, writing and writing and procrastinating and writing.
I admit that my story has not advanced very much at all. But there has been some progress. However, I do also include world building and backstory writing; brainstorm writing; and even process of writing writing during NaNovember. Some of this applies to the book project, some does not but since it applies to me and me being in the world as a writer and creator, it actually does apply to the project I'm writing.
See? Being a writer means writing. Whether I'm writing on the current project or the words belong in a different category, I am writing.
Will I come out of November with a 50k draft of a novella written? Probably not. I could be surprised; but if the second half of the month goes like the first half, it will be difficult once I return to the rest of my life in the city and my life as an interpreter and performance interpreting coordinator.This writing retreat was just what I needed. My writing is better for it. My writing confidence is better for it. And my word count is soaring! That I also needed.
[I'm not going to take the time to go deeply into it now, but I will write a post about a website I'm trying out for NaNovember, as well - 4THEWORDS. It pairs writing and gaming and, so far, it's been good and helpful. They have a special event this month, pairing dragons and NaNoWriMo, so, good time to try out what my friend has been using for a couple of years!]