On the one hand, I was gone for 21.5 hours (started a little later, came home a little earlier than planned), and only got about 4 hours of writing done. On the other hand, it's the first fiction writing I've done in a month; I've had a really hard time motivating to start writing again, for some unknown reason, and in those 4 hours, I finished drafts of two half-written stories. Progress!
If they sell, I should make back my $100 investment with a few hundred to spare -- more importantly, I've hopefully broken out of my fiction-writing slump, and will be ready to dive into the novel revisions this week. I've scheduled more writing time at home this week, in two five-hour chunks; we'll see if I actually get writing done.
Also in that time, I started crocheting again, which is good -- I've been in rather aversive mode with the yarn too, for some unknown reason, not wanting to pick up my half-finished projects or even start new ones, weirdly enough. And I spent three hours hanging out with writer friends, talking writing and publishing for a good chunk of that time, and I slept nine hours, and I read for a few hours, and I had two nice meals out (a treat!), and it was overall a nice little break.
In Nov, I'm going away to do a reading in Champaign-Urbana, a few hours away, and will be away for two nights (hotel paid for by the org. that invited me), so I'll try to use that time similarly.
In December, I may try to rent the same room again -- my host was nice (and left me alone to work, rather than trying to chat, except when I initiated conversation (while making tea)), the house was artsy and congenial and comfortable. Ideally, I think I'd rather do two nights -- for the effort of packing up and unpacking, plus the mental energy of settling in to work, etc., it would be better to go away for a bit longer, I think. But even 21.5 hours was reasonably productive.
Note to self: Next time, pack breakfast food of some kind, something that can be toasted or microwaved. If it's chilly out, you won't want to get dressed and walk blocks or drive somewhere just to get a hot breakfast, and your host will kindly let you use her appliances and dishware. (Hosts may vary in this regard.) The lack of a hot breakfast was the main motivation for coming home an hour early; the nuts and dried fruit I had at seven a.m. were not holding me.
In case it's of interest, a schedule of what I did with my 21.5 hours:
11:30 - 12:00 - met host, settled in
12 - 1 - rested and read
1 - 2 - walked a few blocks to lunch, walked back
2 - 2:30 - finished reading book
2:30 - 4 - made tea, put music on, finished drafting previously half-written short story
4 - 5 - watched tv, crocheted blanket
5 - 8 - met writer friends for writing talk, dinner and drinks
8 - 9 - came back and re-read other half-drafted story. Also looked at essay notes and decided I needed to think it through more before I started actually writing it. Tired, so crocheted two rows while watching a tv show and went to sleep.
5:00 - 7:30 - woke up, checked e-mail, put music on, finished draft of second half-written story (while lying in bed)
7:30 - 8 - had tea and snacks, sent e-mail
8 - 9 - crocheted two more rows and watched tv
9 - felt too restless to work more, esp. knowing I had to check out by 10; went home, made me and the kids a hearty hot breakfast while Kevin got a bit more sleep.