Sophia Dembling is author of Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After; The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World; 100 Places in the USA Every Woman Should Go; and The Yankee Chick's Survival Guide to Texas. She blogs for Psychology Today and has published hundreds of articles and essays in publications nationwide. She is currently working on a novel she hopes will do more than join the others in a desk drawer. She lives in Dallas, Texas.
Did the retreat meet your expectations?
Yes, certainly. The room was very comfortable and I loved having the peace and freedom to focus on writing.
What was the most unexpected part of your stay?
I'm a fledgling birder and the little pond behind the cottages was great for that. I sat on the patio with my computer and binoculars and interspersed writing with birding.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat?
Being able to fall into my own schedule of writing/sleeping/eating/exploring without worrying about anyone else's expectations or needs.
What did you work on during the retreat?
I worked on a novel, and got a tremendous amount accomplished.
What other activities did you do during the retreat—any napping, hiking, or exploring the local area?
I find walking and hiking tremendously helpful for creativity and productivity and spent an afternoon each at Pedernales Falls and Enchanted Rock state parks, and would have spent more time if the weather hadn't turned on me.
Did you participate in any activities or events arranged by the host winery?
They provided a tasting, which I enjoyed.
Any tips or advice you think might be helpful for future residents?
Make a plan for what you will work on but also allow yourself the room to pursue whatever lights you up while you're there. The solitude and freedom of a retreat is a rare gift and you might be taken by surprise by what the time inspires you to pursue.
Can you sum up your experience in eight to ten words?
Time and freedom from obligations allow creativity to flow.