Last Saturday the Long Island Romance Writers had their first annual writing retreat, of which I participated. Sixteen of us embarked on a day of uninterrupted writing pleasure held at a House of Prayer in Riverhead, N.Y..
At the begining, Sister Barbara told us the history of the house and how the Archdiocese had come to own it. Yolanda, one of our members who had been there before, asked about the walkway to the beach. The Sister said it was not the sturdiest and that's why it was roped off. This of course peaked my curiousity. So while everyone else went to claim a little patch of solitude, I went off to find this path.
Now you have to picture this. I look like a pack mule. I have a beach chair, that I borrowed from one of the ladies, laying across my back like a backpack. I also have my pocketbook and a tote bag slung on my shoulder and I'm trying to crawl under the railing onto the walkway. Graceful is not a word I'd use. I finally got up there and started my trek. The path had some rotten boards while others were completely missing, but I trudged on. Then came the steps. Two hundred and fifty steep steps. They looked daunting but hey after that there's the beach, right? Ah, no. Then came another fifteen feet or so of walkway that ended on a twenty-five degree tilt to the right. Now the beach? Guess again. The rest of the path had fallen away. That section rested in the sand listing at an even sharper angle to the left.
The part I was standing on swayed gently every time I moved and I realized, after looking, that the supports didn't reach the ground. Oh fun. I took off my baggage and slid off the edge to the unconnected section three feet below then grabbed my stuff and causiously made my way across the next test of dexterity. Made it. Beach? Not quite. The last part of my journey was comprised of ten steps of sand covered wood that had been laid at intervals.
Ta-da! There was the beach before me in all it's glory. It was perfect. It was deserted. I loved it. I put my belongings down on a large flat rock and stretched out besides them, using my jacket as a pillow. I turned to my right and noticed I shared rock with a dead spider crab. I decided to name him Floyd. He had barnacles on his carapice and his front legs were curved in a defensive stance. Call me strange but there was something about him I liked.
I was there to brainstorm ideas for a story so I didn't get much real writing done. Hey maybe I could write a story about killer crabs. No that was done in a movie in the 50's. Well anyway, the day wasn't a total wash. I did come up with an idea, wrote a couple of descriptions and got to lay in the warm sun while listening to the waves as they rolled onto the shore. To me that's a good day.