Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Recharge – Day 2




What is your favorite place? It can be a travel destination, a room in your home, or your favorite used bookstore/coffee shop. What do you love about it?

I love my little Valley of Virginia. The pic below isn’t from my county, but it’s pretty much the same view. I couldn’t imagine living someplace where I wasn’t surrounded by mountains. And the John Denver song “Country Roads?” Yeah, it may as well be about Virginia because the Shenandoah River flows through my town and we’ve got a gorgeous view of the Blue Ridges. But I’ll let West Virginia have it because it really is as Wild and Wonderful as the slogan says.

Maybe I love it because I was born here or maybe because it just feels like I belong. But no matter where I go, the Shenandoah Valley will always be my home.


Exercise #1:

Write a paragraph or two describing the view from your real-life desk or writing location.

From my office, I see all my plates, bowls, pots and pans, etc. stacked precariously on several built-in shelves just outside my closet kitchen. The sink drain, if it’s been used within the last few hours, normally makes this plink plink plink noise similar to the beating of the Tell-Tale Heart, but I found out, quite by accident this morning, that shoving half a squished sweet pea into the middle of the drain actually stops the maddening dripping.

Exercise #2:

Now write a passage describing the view from your virtual, imagined desk at your retreat location. Use a photograph if you need a little extra inspiration.

The only sounds are from nature – no leaking faucets allowed! Birds singing cautiously, not sure if it’s quite warm enough to come out of hiding yet. A hint of wood smoke in the air. The creak of the porch under my feet. Bare trees mixed with pines and a few green sprouts on the ground that hint of what’s to come.

Exercise #5:

Using sensory details and descriptive passages, either re-write a scene from your WIP or write a new one.

Nick parked behind a line of cars that were pulled to the side of the long gravel driveway and we hiked our way up to the house, Zoe using me for balance since her heels kept getting stuck. There was Halloween music blasting, and both the inside and the outside of the house were decked out with cobwebs, fake monsters and bloody props. The main action was going on in the giant living room where all the furniture had been pushed to the edges of the room and Chase was emceeing some bizarre bobbing-for-apples drinking game. The entire back wall of the room was floor to ceiling windows draped with white and orange lights that flickered behind Chase who raised and lowered his hands to signal the start of a new round. The music was brain-pulsingly loud and as a girl in an angel costume stumbled by me, followed by a bloody mummy, I had a weird head rush, like I was dreaming.

Come join the writing retreat at Sara Biren’s blog!


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

2 thoughts on “Recharge – Day 2

  1. I love John Denver, particularly the work he did with the Muppets. 🙂 That photo is just lovely. I’ve never been to that part of the country, but it sounds wonderful.

    Great details in your exercises!

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