Category Archives: lifestyle

Writer’s Getaway: Peaceful Pines, Apple River, IL


I’m sharing my favorite getaway here–this is a perfect place to write. Peaceful Pines Cottage is the only rental on the property, and Apple River Canyon State Park is two minutes away. The park’s scenery is the ideal backdrop for finding your muse in the nicer weather, but this is also a superb winter getaway. The owners have taken the time to hang birdfeeders that attract Cardinals, Blue Jays and a variety of other feathered friends to the windows to keep you company without becoming too much of a distraction. And there is no phone…

You’ll find a one-mile walking trail on the property, as well as a large, comfortable deck out back. There is a screened-in porch, a fire pit and barbecue grill–in case you feel like cooking out. It’s so quiet here you’ll be amazed at how much work you can get done. I’ve been to this property many times and have always come back with a pile of finished writing and tons of article ideas. Load up on supplies at the local IGA in nearby Warren and settle in for a few days–you’ll thank yourself!

*Photograph of Peaceful Pines Cottage is copyrighted by Larry Backe.

A Winner From Snorg Tees


There isn’t a ton of writer-specific fashion out there, so when one does pop on our radar, we pass it along. This design from Snorg Tees hits the nail right on the head. The beauty of being a stay-at-home type freelancer is that you don’t need to wear a blazer over this shirt, but if you’re working a steady gig, you’d get laughed out of the office for being such a writer geek. They do make great gifts, workout shirts, or layering tees for the cold dead end of winter.

Buy for $16.95

Writer’s Getaway: Secret Garden, Santa Barbara, CA

santa-barbara2.jpg The charming cottages at Secret Garden are perfect for writers–and some even have their own private decks or patios. Choose one with a hot tub for unwinding after a long day of working on a manuscript or brainstorming article ideas. The breakfast buffet served each day features fresh scones, French recipe quiches, and that much-needed morning jolt of coffee or tea to get started. 

If you settle in and find yourself with writer’s block, schedule a relaxing massage or wander the grounds and take in the sights and scents of the lovely gardens. More likely, you’ll find that the peaceful atmosphere here will inspire you to get some good work done. A perfect spot for those who require solitude and quiet to do their best work. If you write better with your trusted canine companion along, ask for a pet friendly cottage–but there’s no breakfast buffet for Fido!

Oh–and did I mention that it’s a great place to get away from those long winter days once the glow of the holiday season has faded? Those fed up with the cold will find the warmth of California a great restorative.