Monday, May 20, 2024

First At-Home Writing Retreat of 2024

Today I begin my first at-home writing retreat of 2024, and I couldn't be happier.

I also couldn't already be more behind.

I overslept (a poor way to start), and I am losing part of the day because Bertrand and I are reading two of his books to my youngest granddaughter's class (a very sweet and much anticipated way to lose part of the day as I've pushed this opportunity out all year).

Although I do work on my BryonySeries on projects throughout the year, I shoehorn most of that writing on weekends I'm on weekends I'm not working and among the activities of family life.

So it's a real blessing that vacation time at The Herald-News does not carry over from one year to the next. It gives me the perfect opportunity to just focus on and immerse myself into one story for a great length of time.

Read this post to see what these retreats typically look like.

The book I'm currently working on is called "House on Top of the Hill." It's the third book in the BryonySeries Limbo trilogy and the trilogy's tagline is this: What happens when time stops in a fishing village in Northern Michigan? The supernatural reigns.

The entire book is loosely drafted. So my goals for this retreat is to get one chapter completed a day and ready for final editing by the end of summer. I'm done through chapter eight already, so I should be halfway through by the time I return to work on Memorial Day.

Below is a synopsis, chapter titles, and cover concept.

Wish me luck and full cooperation of my muse!

Change comes slowly to Munsonville, and for Steve Barnes, who spends his entire life in the village, that's just fine. From boyhood to manhood, he savors the slow pace and friendly smiles, even while working by his parents' side from sunup to sundown to run the family diner.

The only blight is this fishing village's preoccupation with an empty mansion in the woods, whose tales of former glory and catastrophe fueled a rampage of ghost stories. Steve doesn't believe them, but some do – and no no one can deny the power the crumbling old building holds over them.

Especially when it changes everyone, including Steve, forever.


Chapter 1: The Traveling Salesman

Chapter 2: Roundtable

Chapter 3: Bottle of the Red Stuff

Chapter 4: Cracking Open the Nest Egg

Chapter 5: Scrawls on the Wall

Chapter 6: Whispers of the Heart

Chapter 7: I Run at Night

Chapter 8: Laid to Rest:

Chapter 9: Necking

Chapter 10: Spider and Fly

Chapter 11: Death Heard Round the World

Chapter 12: Mine

Chapter 13: Second Sight

Chapter 14: Chop, Sizzle, Broil, and Bake for it and some against it.

Chapter 15: The Rage

Chapter 16: Hard Choice to Make

Chapter 17: Through the Camera’s Eye

Chapter 18: Words Enough For Me

Chapter 19: The All-Hallowed Albatross

Chapter 20: Dancing in the Past

Chapter 21: The New Professor

Chapter 22: Enigma in Residence

Chapter 23: Rain

Chapter 24: From Fry Pan to Factotum

Chapter 25: Nutty Tina Swanson and Kellen

Chapter 26: Preternatural Guest

Chapter 27: The News That Changed Everything

Chapter 28: A New Lease on a Very Old Dream

Chapter 29: Journey of a Thousand Heartaches

Chapter 30: Severed Links


Cover art concept for "House on Top of the Hill " created by Timothy Baran

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