Thursday, October 15, 2015

Writing Retreat at The Chicago Cenacle

The Courtyard at The Chicago Cenacle

I just returned from a brief writing retreat at The Chicago Cenacle Retreat & Conference Center. My private retreat was a chance to work in almost complete solitude to begin to finalize the book manuscript. 

I am grateful to Sister Judith for facilitating my stay; it was fantastic. I accomplished all my editing goals while there: Focusing on the Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2. Chapters 1 and 2 are now both under 20,000 words, which qualifies as a minor miracle, I suppose--facilitated by the helpful suggestions of my editor, Bryan Dyer.

I was able to work in solitude from morning to night in the Cenacle Center (it was even warm enough to do some work in the courtyard, pictured above), as well is in nearby coffee shops (I highly recommend the coffee shop of the Bourgeois Pig Cafe), on a bench overlooking Lake Michigan, and on a bench in the Palm House of the Lincoln Park Conservatory (all within ten-minute walks of the Center). The change in settings helped keep me focused on the manuscript.

I highly recommend the Center to anyone looking for a place to do a retreat; it was a place of solitude and peace in the midst of a large, busy city. Plus it is in a fantastic location.

The downside is that I could not spare the time (or money) to go to Wrigley Field to catch one of the Cardinals/Cubs playoff games. Plus my team lost; so now I'll be rooting for the Cubs.

Back to Roger Williams and the parables tomorrow. 

P.S. I forgot to add a word of thanks to my sister, Rev. Nancy Gowler Johnson, and to my brother-in-law, Father Jerry Stookey, for recommending The Chicago Cenacle to me.

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