This coming weekend the Blenheim Romance Writers are having a retreat in a cottage amongst the grape vines. Amongst the group are Lovecats Louisa George (an honorary member because she likes us so much) and Barbara DeLeo. Though Barb might be a no show due to managing four teenagers and loads of other things while her husband is away. Here's hoping she makes it. It's never the same without her.
We do this cottage visit about three times a year and it is always fun and inspiring. Oh, and work does get done. Quite a lot actually. I enjoy the girl talk, the laughter, coffee, wine, food and the movies we watch at night. We brainstorm plots if we're stuck, discuss what's going on in the industry, and who's the latest success.
So I pack accordingly, and add my walking shoes because it's different territory to what I have at home and sometimes walking is my best thinking time when I'm stuck with my story.
So all set, just need to add some groceries and I'm off.
Except I hadn't factored in one thing - my wonderful man. A few days ago he sat me down with a glass of wine and said, 'We're going out to dinner for your birthday next week.' Great, I love dining out.
But he hadn't finished. 'We're going to Quay.' Again, great. Thinking where is Quay? Should I know? Worse, have we been there before? My mind isn't always as sharp as it could be.
'There's a difficulty,' my man continues. 'Quay is in Sydney.'
I'm not getting what the problem is. Sydney is one of my favourite cities and only three and half hours flying away. 'How is this a difficulty ?' I stammer around the excitement beginning to take over. Didn't see this coming.
'You'll have to miss most of the weekend with the girls because we're going for a week.'
Darn, but I do love this guy.
And sorry, girls, but you just couldn't compete.
So a repack is necessary. Change the walking shoes for boots, the wine for a passport (It's all right - they make plenty in Oz.), and the work notes for a great book to read. And take a bag big enough for some shopping because surely something a little swish is required to wear to Quay?
I am so excited, and I think it's because of the surprise element and that I haven't had months knowing about it. I could get used to surprises. What about you? Has someone ever done something special to surprise you?