Tina’s Writer Diary – The Writing Retreat #Writer #comedy





9.23 a.m. Keith, my partner, knows which of my literary buttons to press to get me going.

One of Keith’s mother’s friends has a cottage by the sea, which she occasionally rents out for free to family and friends.

On Sunday Keith suggested that I should go away for a few days, on my own, and finish writing my book ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’.

I shrieked with joy at the prospect of finally becoming a proper author, who locks themselves away in an idyllic place to finish their novel. All the big literary names do this.

Unable to control my euphoria I leapt up from my chair and launched myself into the air at Keith, lying on the sofa.

After spending a couple of hours at the Accident & Emergency department of our local hospital and hearing a medical professional reassure Keith that his back wasn’t broken, we returned home to give his idea some thought.

Keith made a few phone calls, to his mother Pamela and then to Sandra, the woman who owns the cottage. It was agreed that I would travel down on Thursday and come back Monday, with a completed novel.

I spent the rest of Sunday wandering about in a daze visualising what it was going to be like waking up in my cottage, throwing open the window shutters, greeting the world, bursting into a joyful song and then settling down to write… twenty four thousand words in four days.

The rest of the week has been spent compiling my ‘to do’ list, whilst away at the cottage.

Keith was surprised to see that I was making a ‘to do’ list.

“Do you not think writing twenty thousand words in four days is going to be enough love?” he asked, whilst devouring his Turkey burger.

I shook my head and carried on scribbling.

“What’s on your ‘to do’ list then?” he asked, before taking a huge bite of his burger.

“Write some amazing posts for my blog, which will make out I am a writer who lives and writes by the sea, collect shells, take some arty Instagram photos using the shells and do a night-time skinny dip!”

Keith choked on his Turkey burger. He knew that I meant literary business with this trip.

So, I am on the road.

Keith and I had a tearful goodbye before I left. He was unusually emotional with me going away, however was quick to pack my car and usher me into the driving seat. He even packed my car with fizzy drinks and chocolate, as he knows that I produce my best literary work whilst high on E numbers and sugar.

11.34 a.m. Arrive at cottage, which is in the middle of a quaint seaside town. I leap out of my car breathless and excited.

Wave hello to the neighbours Mr & Mrs Jones, sat out in deck chairs on their front lawn.

“I am a writer!” I cry out. They give me a nod and mutter something to each other. Word has got round that the author of ‘Intrigue at No.10 Downing Street’ is going to be staying here.

2.56 p.m. Have only written 234 words since I arrived. It is not easy being sat next to an open window, with a busy beach in view.

I am also struggling with my main character Vivian, the beautiful one who gets kidnapped.

Vivian’s a bit dull, sat in that attic all day, with nothing much to think about. I need her to be missing something from her previous life. So far she’s been longing for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Something tells me that a quality piece of literature needs to contain deeper characters. As I gaze out of the window I get a flash of inspiration.  Vivian could have a spiritual connection with the sea.

OMG a connection with the sea! Now that’s deep! Yes – Vivian could be into fishing or even a …surfer!  Gasp!

3.01 p.m. Spend the rest of the day lying on the sofa, eating chocolate and watching a surfing film which I found in the DVD drawer.

Tomorrow morning on the beach I will do some more vital surfer research.


7.23 a.m. Struggle to open the wooden shutters.

8.10 a.m. Arm myself with notebook, pencil, camera and a plastic bag for shells. Hurtle across the sand towards a group of surfers.

3.34 p.m. Today has not gone well. Those surfers were not interested in answering my questions about surfing life, surfing language and surfing parties. They were all desperate to get into the water.

No one wanted to talk to me so I plodded home carrying a bag of shells.

Out of literary despair came a new plan. I will just ‘wing it’ with writing about Vivian’s surfing passion. All the big literary names must resort to this. How hard can it be to write about the joy of surfing when you haven’t surfed?

Have been struggling to write. It is not easy writing a literary masterpiece and at the same time taking some arty shots of some shells on a window ledge.

Some pesky teenagers have been making a racket in the road below causing me to scream ‘KEEP THE NOISE DOWN!’ three times. They continued making a noise so I took extreme measures and tipped a bucket of water out of the window. I’m sorry but a successful author needs peace and quiet to write. As they walked away cold and shivering I smiled sweetly and returned to my masterpiece.

7.34 p.m. Vivian sounds a lot more interesting locked up in that attic. It has surprised me how a load of surfing flashbacks have brightened up a dull character.

10.09 p.m. I have decided that its time for a skinny dip. This is something which has been on my life bucket list for years.

Also, the more I think about it, skinny dipping is the sort of thing carefree and sea loving Vivian would have done all the time…before she got kidnapped in a supermarket carpark by evil Frank.

10.11 p.m. The beach is dark and deserted. Under moonlight I tear off my clothes and race into the sea, squealing with delight and imagining myself to be beautiful and carefree Vivian. I love it when I transform into one of my characters.

10.34 p.m. Stagger out of sea. To my horror my clothes have gone. There is a note saying ‘thanks for the shower this afternoon! Enjoy your walk home x!’

10.55 p.m. Roger Jones and his wife Liz were locking up their French windows before retiring to bed. As Roger went to draw the curtains he saw something outside.

“Good grief Liz what is that woman next-door doing!” he exclaimed in horror.

His wife Liz followed his stare. “I knew she was peculiar the moment she stepped out of her car!”

Photo: Stocksnap


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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

60 thoughts on “Tina’s Writer Diary – The Writing Retreat #Writer #comedy

  1. I have a feeling the title of her book could change… Beautiful Kidnapped then sectioned. Everyone knows you put a ziplock bag in your pocket when skinny dipping; clothes in, zip up, bite down, dip a bit then open and dress when ashore… don’t they?

      1. One still hopes to make the blog bash, i wont know until the day before, but who knows you maybe can meet up with this virtual loon. 😇

      2. I really am not 24! *shakes head* “they will be so disappointed ” *sigh* …
        Maybe I have time for a face lift🔝🔙 “anyone have a spare crane”…

  2. “I spent the rest of Sunday wandering about in a daze visualising what it was going to be like waking up in my cottage, throwing open the window shutters, greeting the world, bursting into a joyful song and then settling down to write… twenty four thousand words in four days.” Classic and clearly not what our dear Tina expected. I look out for her every week now you know… Thanks again Lucy for the morning smile. 🙂

  3. Ha! I wondered what revenge the noisy teenagers would give to poor Tina. Bless her, I wonder if she will get her 24000 words out? Maybe the skinny dip will inspire her?
    How did tina get her first book out? Surely not skinny dipping?
    Have agreat Tuesday Lucy! 🙂

  4. You’ve got me longing for the cottage by the sea. One of my dreams is to live close to an ocean. Since I’m statistically destined to not win the lottery, I’ll be landlocked. Enjoyed another Tina adventure!!!

  5. Two weeks ago i was over the moon as DH went off on a 3 day fishing trip. Grabbed the lap top and tapped away. For hours later had a call – he was on his way home – no fish! How hard it was to welcome him home!

  6. I wonder what it would be like to live in Tina’s world. She’s got such a positive outlook. Plus, that retreat by the sea sounds nice. Though I don’t think I’d be skinny dipping, especially after upsetting teenagers. They are pesky creatures. 🙂

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