Well, here I am again in Collegeville, Minnesota. It was surreal to pack my suitcase last night and prepare to leave the house for a week this morning; I haven't been there nearly long enough to go away. But after months of uncertainty and transition, a writing retreat is a welcome excursion. Perhaps even needed, considering that a big fat deadline hovers early in my 2011 calendar. Unlike last year, when the focus was on learning from Eugene Peterson and writing during breaks, this years schedule is something like: eat, write, eat, write, eat, write, chat, sleep. Emphasis on the write. It's a little daunting. But there are fresh flowers on the table and I can hear the wind rustling the oak trees by the lake from my little writing nook. I'm not going to set myself up for failure by promising not to check Facebook or not skip out on any writing sessions to go swimming. I'll do both. But by the end of these days away from my family and my new home, I'm going to have a hefty characters-with-spaces count to show for it.