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Friday, October 4, 2013

Relaxed & Refreshed

I just returned from the best writers' retreat. As I said on Facebook, we could easily have called it a foodies' retreat.

As with any gathering, the fellowship over food--writing, art, or whatever--is fed by shared love of something. For us, it was love of books, learning, reading, thinking, and accepting. By baring our souls through open critique, we discovered things about writing, others, and ourselves we either didn't know or that we needed to remember.

Writing and cooking alongside like-minded friends opened all manner of doors. One of our members didn't learn to read until her mid-twenties. We celebrated the sale of her second published short story in 2013. Another of us, a multi-published author, was stuck on her current WIP and needed to brainstorm.

Cool swag didn't hurt. Neither did a great game we played. Special prizes and gift bags. Coffee and conversation. The freedom to spend 48+ hours sans makeup, undies for some, and release of mundane stress...all combined to form a unique experience.

It struck me as we congregated on the wide deck one night, eating our Walking Tacos and self-made Ice-Cream In A Bag, that we are each in competition with ourselves, not with one another. Maybe that's why writerly functions are special to us.

Conferences are for networking, writer biz, and expanding our odds for publication. Retreats, on the other hand, increase our odds of connecting with our stories, which we need before we tend to the goals we set for conferences. Just my 2 cents.

May the Muses be with us all.

Ice-Cream In A Bag

2 sizes Ziplock Bags--quart & gallon

1/2 cup milk
1 & 1/2 T sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
whatever toppings or extras (chocolate chips, syrup, sprinkles, M&Ms)

6 T salt (rock salt works best)
2 trays of ice or equivalent per gallon bag

Smaller bag with food stuffs
Larger bag with ice & salt

Then...Crank out the music then shake your booty for 10-15 minutes. Voila!


Anne Marie Becker said...

Love this, Sunny! I have been envious of the writers' retreats I hear about. They all sound like such a good (and productive!) time. I'm going to have to make one happen some day!!

Marcelle Dubé said...

I used to go to a writers' retreat every year and it was every bit as wonderful as you describe, Sunny. Good food, good wine, good company. And lots and lots of writing, brainstorming, laughing, and walking in some stunning settings.

Thanks for bringing back good memories!

Rita said...

Doing this keeps the little ones busy. ;-)

Shelley Munro said...

Sounds like loads of fun!

Ana Barrons said...

Wait! How does it turn into ice cream??

Bobbie (Sunny) Cole said...

Ana, it's the shaking (churning) that makes milk & sugar, et al turn into ice-cream. *grin* I shook my booty harder than I thought and had to run hot water over my bags to thaw it! Lol

As for the rest of you, I'm glad this brought back good memories. For anyone who needs assistance hosting a good retreat, holler. Email me and I'll be deeeelighted to help.

Thanks for stopping by!


J Wachowski said...

What a great post! I totally agree--retreats fill the well. Did you plan your own or go to something more formal?

Cathy Perkins said...

I totally agree! A group from the Pacific NW who were Golden Heart finalist get together at least once a year. It's wonderful! Sharing food, story and craft - and supporting each other in this crazy business we call publishing :)

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