Cabin Fever

A sweet friend of mine–knowing how much I desperately needed some uninterrupted writing time–offered to lend me her lake house last week. Though I didn’t give her much choice. It was either let me use her cabin or be stuck with me hanging onto her ankle, threatening to never let go if she didn’t give me the darn keys. But the outcome was the same, so is this really important?

Anyway, she’s a sweetheart. So I drove to the cabin last Thursday.

After twenty miles, four driveway turnarounds, and one driving-backwards-on-the-main-road stunt (I wouldn’t recommend this. You never know when a rusty red pickup with a Cujo lookalike in the bed might come up behind you), I made it to the cabin. I unloaded my suitcase, unpacked all my writer-y stuff–pens, spiral notebooks, computer, Writer’s Market, Milk Duds (it’s scientifically proven they help boost creativity)–and sat down to write.

Cut to nine hours later. I’d written my query letter. I’d written my entire 5-page synopsis (which is somehow harder than writing the whole stinking book). I’d re-edited most of the book and had only 75 pages left to go. I was on a roll. Which reminded me, my unpacked cinnamon roll was still laying on the counter, begging me to eat it. So I warmed it up, made some tea, and turned on the television for the first time that day.

By now, it was dark outside. I was alone in a cabin with no one around for miles, except people I didn’t know and a guy with a Cujo-looking dog. Things cracked outside. Things creaked inside. Halloween episodes, or commercials for Halloween episodes, were the only thing on tv. I began wishing I’d asked for the cabin at Christmastime, because people don’t usually get murdered in dark houses in happy Christmas episodes. And if I found myself murdered before finishing this book, I was gonna be sooo ticked off.

I turned off the television. And started writing again, trying to ignore the very real sense that someone brandishing a chainsaw would come crashing through the window behind me at any moment.

It didn’t happen. I finished everything I set out to do, and drove home the next afternoon. So when my sweet friend offeres me her house again one day, I’m totally gonna grab the keys and run.

And pray she can’t catch up to me before I slam my car door and drive away.

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