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writing beach retreat

This guy knows how to fish. I wanted to ask him if he had a line from each pole attached to each toe to wake him, but he looked too peaceful sleeping.

I’m not a beach person, but I wanted to go some place out of my element. I went to the Outer Banks.

My travels always center around writing-related events so that I can write-off my expenses on my taxes. Asheville, Atlanta…I had not traveled by myself for myself since…Paris? That was 2 years ago.

writing beach retreat nc

Before a writer arrives...

Of course, I didn’t throw paper in the air and pens in the sea and force myself not to write all weekend. I did write, but for myself. I finished patching together the first draft of my memoir and I wrote a few poems. I’m sure many writers are looking forward to tomorrow–the last day of National Poetry Month’s poem-a-day challenge.

topsail island

...and after a writer arrives.

My housemates love the beach. They actually just drove out and are now staying in the same hotel room that I just stayed in all weekend! I hid two poems in the room for them to find. One of which I am including below. One of my housemates loves to swim out into the ocean in the middle of the night—naked! This scares the hell out of me. The poem was inspired by her crazy swimming tendencies:


Take the surf by day
and let your skin be dolphin skin,
slimy with sunblock
and scars that tell stories.

Swim around balloons of pain–jellyfish
that have no say in where to go.

Take the surf by night
and let your skin be scales of a mermaid.
Jellyfish don’t sting in moonlight
and sharks don’t feast in the dark.

Swim out to obsidian seas
and breathe like a whale
too big to touch shore. 

topsail island fishing

This fish cleaning station looked like a poem itself. I love the sequin-like scales littering the boards.