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Cherry Flavored Retreatification

moonshine me As you can probably guess from the silence + the jug of WEIRD LIQUOR, I have been on writing retreat; That is cherry moonshine, which made me feel very TILTED WORLDy. (That’s a reference to a novel about moonshiners called THE TILTED WORLD. I do NOT mean I drank it until I fell over, JUST TO BE CLEAR.)

The moonshine was FULL of these absolutely MURDEROUS looking cherries. They’d been soaking in what amounted to rubbing alcohol since time immemorial, and when we purchased this mason jar of liver-death, the ABC store owner shook the jar so the cherries wobbled threateningly in the oily liquid.

“Eat the FRUIT!“ he told us conspiratorially. “That’s what really gets you all tore up.”

They also had strawberry flavor, but let me tell you, STRAWBERRIES that have been sitting in jugs of alcohol? *shudder* They fuzz over and de-seed themselves until they look like SPLEENS. We eyed them and thought they were strawberries in ‘shine. But MAYBE it was a jar full of lumpulous organs from Dexter’s basement.

We went with lovely, symmetrical, spherical CHERRIES, which at least looked like they had once long ago been a style of food instead of medical waste.

I am happy to report that 46 is VERY different from 26, in that we declined to eat the fruit and “get tore up.” We did ingest moonshine in tiny, fortifying sips, plain over ice, in the evenings when the work was done and we needed to shut our clicky-clacking brain-trains down and go to sleep.

It was not unpleasant.

I got to dovetail the retreat into a couple of events with Quartermoon Books, a righteous Indie over in Topsail, North Carolina. The store let me stay in a beach house ALL WEEK and I got SO MUCH BOOK done.

I squatted with five other writers, also in for the events. Here is us, in order, Lydia Netzer, Me, Barbara Claypole White, Ariel Lawhon, Kathleen McCleary, and Ann Ipock.

topsail writers

Most of us were on deadline, and when we were not at bookstore events, we holed up in pajamas in our rooms, eating all our meals in our respective beds in front of laptops, making the sheets all gritty and dank and feverish with crumbs and art-sweat.

There were some brief spurts where we frolicked about and had mad joyful abandonings: the book store wine and cheese party , the bookstore luncheon, the OSCARS—-mostly for dress porn and to see if Lupita won, Spoiler: SHE DID YAY! And one day 5,000 dogs appeared on the beach and we ran down to kiss their faces and miss our own dogs.

And two of us, I will not say who, may have had a passionate, Moonshine-fueled duel over a super hawt pirate. AHHHH WRITING RETREAT, thou bastion of indiscriminate drinking and torid, hook-handed love. COME FOR ME AGAIN SOON.

pirate love

What did you do this week? I MISSED YOU, oh my best beloveds, and wanted to blog just to GET COMMENTS. But instead I wrote book, like a good monkey.

18 comments to Cherry Flavored Retreatification

  • Sarah

    I LOVE LYDIA’s BOOTS!!!!! They are so pirate sassy!

  • I just snorted over: They fuzz over and de-seed themselves until they look like SPLEENS.


  • Jill W.

    Glad you had a good retreat and glad you are back.

    Speaking of hawt pirates- I don’t know if you are watching Once Upon a Time, but Captain Hook is delish: http://onceuponatime.wikia.com/wiki/Hook

  • How could you not eat the cherries? Not one cherry in the interests of research? This is deeply wrong.

  • Martha Jedlicka

    All I read was “blah blah blah CHERRY MOONSHINE blah blah blah” the first time I read your blog entry. I must get some immediately – I will have to google and order online I think.
    After I read it again, I focused on the writing that you are doing. I am quite excited to read your next book!
    Lastly – are all writers beautiful women with interesting clothes and cool shoes?

  • Some of us ate the cherries and weren’t even sorry.

  • Brigitte

    What Martha said!

    I love the idea of the writing retreats, they sound so fun. Except, not being a writer, I’d use my alone time for reading, TV and internet-stuff, and long, hot, candlelit tub soaks. Much less sweaty and crumb-infested!

  • Oh, man. Writing? On the beach? And alcohol imbued cherries? Sounds delightful!

  • erinanne

    I’m sure your collective livers thank you.

    That is quite the handsome rapscallion you are fighting over!

    (Lydia, I really like your boots!)

  • The photo of you and the pirate? If you cropped a head-shot of yourself, wouldn’t it make an interesting photo for the back of a book?

    Of course you would have to remove the arc of the porthole that might resemble horns.

    Gorgeous hair in that shot . . .

  • Therese

    Wait, you’re reaching for that pirate’s…oh, his hook. Right. Now it’s obvious…

    Glad you were off being all writerish and having a great time!

    My menagerie and I missed you, too. One of us would have left comments if you needed them…

  • Mr. Husband

    Of course you should not eat the cherries out of that jar. Those cherries were clearly meant to be placed atop a scoop of bourbon ice cream.

  • Jennifer in NC

    Cute shoes!

  • Cherries in moonshine, dogs on a beach and a writing retreat? That’s EXACTLY what my son and I need to actually finish up our book! *envy envy envy envy envy*

    But…that means you’ve got another book on the way and that is most excellent indeed! And look at all you lovely, starry-eyed ladies (well, I just assume Ann Ipock has starry eyes; probably amazing starry eyes and she’s saving us from all exploding from the joy of them, yes?) who have just written magic!

    This is the picture of hope, of books to anticipate with puppy-wiggles. Thank you.

  • Heather

    The same liquor company also does an apple pie version. Yum. And also reminds me of Elmore Leonard, RIP.

  • edj

    Are you sure you weren’t in Oregon? That pirate is at a coffee shop on the coast. Hmm. Maybe he travels?

  • Never time I’ll eat the cherries and get tore up. Promise.

  • Ron Tarbox

    I cannot believe you spent any time in Topsail without visiting Putt Putt!!! It is the entertainment HUB of Topsail Beach and everyone who is ANYONE has been there. I know you didn’t go because if you had, you couldn’t HELP but write about it!! 😉

    Next time you go, also try to hit NY Deli and Island Delight. They are both all the way up in Surf City (past the stop light), but they are well worth the journey. Island Delight is the home of the Cherry Vanilla ice cream with fluorescent pink cherries!!

    These are the best places…I know this to be true because I have been going to Topsail for over 50 years…that’s right…over half a century!! 😉