|I can't resist photo-bombing Joan.|
Armed with food and wine, laptops and inspiration, we spent a wonderful weekend sequestered in a lake home where the television never blared, the phone rarely rang, and the world outside never demanded of our time and talents. Bliss.
I asked my five writing women to share their retreat experiences here. For me, I savored the moments of quiet writing solitude interspersed between spontaneous, often-whispered conversations; read-aloud critique sessions; wardrobe selections (and malfunctions) during our annual photo shoot; dinnertime camaraderie and a surprise crafting session that resulted in bracelets that only we will wear and treasure. I know I’m already excited for what 2013 will bring for this talented group of women I’m so blessed to have in my life.
|Susan attempts to get some natural smiles from us.|
|Joan lights the Menorah.|
For The Lost Legacy of Gabriel Tucci: musical notes, clocks, bicycles and geometrical designs. I will treasure it! But did I meet my goals? I'd be lying if I said I came away with my new story's nucleus, one character who has gelled into a shiny snowflake. But I did manage to brainstorm two great story lines and a clear vision of where they might lead. One is a more likely choice for my next project and another might be a perfect follow up. I love the writing life!
|Kim is drawn into the trees.|
My goal for the trip was not about putting words on the page, but rather to refill the creative well. I spent all of one day sitting on the dock and sketching a portrait of my daughter. I love to draw, but never seem to allow myself time to do it if I'm at home. Another day I did research for my next novel, walked by the lake a lot, took photos, and had conversations with everyone.
My favorite part of the retreat was definitely making my bracelet. I love knowing I can now literally wear pieces of everyone's manuscript. It was also interesting to partake in a traditional Jewish meal and watch Joan light the menorah on the first night of Hanukah—I think that was a new experience for several of us.
|Elizabeth finishes her bracelet.|
To say I am immensely pleased is not an overstatement. And I still had time to read most of Rachel Simon’s The Story of Beautiful Girl, and it gets several thumbs up); enjoy the lake by both walking its shore and admiring its birds and swells over coffee on the dock; and to bask in the company of my writer buddies. Really, what more could I ask for? Chocolate, you say? Peanut butter cookies? Apple turnovers? Check!
|Another wonderful time of food and fellowship.|