Mermaids Who Create Retreat: Night 1, Day 1

First off, thanks to the redoubtable, beautiful, admirable, wonderful Mona Sikes and Mermaids Cottages for this needed time away from my hectic, hectic life and concentrate on my writing.  To catch you up on the context: I applied and gratefully accepted a residency with Mermaids Who Create, an artist program sponsored by Mermaids Cottages on Tybee Island.

The Cottage Front

I am spending 4 nights on the lovely Shimp Cottage, Circa 1962, which is across the street from a park and about four blocks away from Tybee beach.  During this four days, I hope to write the first draft of a short story that Mermaids Cottages may publish in their annual anthology.

Cottage Entrance

My husband and I arrived last night at around 5:30 after an enormously stressful day where we both had to deal with accidents small and large at work, Internet shortages at home, nearly-missed and much-needed doctors’ appointments and more.  It was a cold and dreary day, and I was feeling so sick that at one point I had to ask my husband if he could finish packing my clothes, because I could not find the strength to put the pile I had sitting on the couch into my bag. He asked me if I wanted to go.

We live about 40 minutes drive from Tybee island, but it does feel like a world away here. The cottage is so cute!  Amazing details everywhere. Wood paneling on walls and ceilings, beach-style knick-knacks arranged strategically throughout the house, a screened-in porch with a hammock (how did you know I love screened-in porches and hammocks?) streaming sunlight, bright happy colors, board games, beach hats and towels and just about everything you need to feel like you’re a world away from the every-day.

Shrimp Cottage Art

It was cold last night, but the pirate style wooden chest had plenty of extra crochet blankets, and hubby and I cuddled up together first on the couch, then on the big bed, both agreeing that “this is so cute!”  Hubby remembered some details of his childhood on Tybee Island which I intend to use in my short story: particularly, a huge, Victorian style ramshackle house he was sure was haunted that I made him promise to take me to this morning.

Selfie with Sun Stream 2:7:14

We woke up early, before sunrise, had eggs and coffee. Dismounted our bikes from the bike rack and drove first to the haunted house, which didn’t look so haunted anymore (it has been re-sided and cleaned up and put up for vacation rentals) and then to the South End of Tybee Beach where I had never been before.  It was 43 degrees this morning around 8am, very freezing for the Savannah area at this time of year when usually Azaleas bloom and pain leafy, oak-sided streets with purples, whites and pinks.  Yet, stepping onto the boardwalk I had to gasp and hold my breath at the beauty of this part of the island where the river converges with the sea, and sand-islets form, populated by seagulls and crabs.  If it had been any warmer, you would have had to peel me away with a spatula as I would have never left and returned to my cottage for my first day of writing.

South End Beach 2:7:14

This evening we’re headed for Brunswick to Hattie’s Bookstore for an author’s signing and free Prosecco and gelato sampling from the kitchen of Cafe Gelatohhh: all organic, all natural.  So I’m going to post this blog post early while I take advantage of the daytime hours to begin drafting my short story and catch up on work obligations.

I am very grateful on this cool Tybee spring day.  Thanks again to Mermaid Cottages for this wonderful let.

Published by laura

I'm the author of two short story collections, a story cycle, and a collection of short memoirs. I am an educator, literary translator, journal editor, and writing coach.

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