Thursday, May 3, 2012

It Was The Best Of Times

A Writer’s Retreat From Harsh Reality

Last week I promised to report on the writers retreat I would be attending. Well, I can tell you a good time was had by all. With forty (I’m guessing numbers here) writers of all genres gathered in the rustic, delightful setting of Yarrow Golf and Conference Resort to hear fabulous NYT best-selling author and current RITA nominee, Eileen Dreyer, what more could you ask for?


Let me tell you, folks, we didn’t even have to ask. We hit the jackpot because Eileen delivered so much more in her talks on Saturday besides inspiration. She brought us stuff we never knew existed. At least, I didn’t. Fascinating facts about how HIS brain is different than HER brain. Seriously. They really are different. She loaded us with priceless information as fodder for developing our characters and also explained how she manages to write in different genres under different names. The secret of how she researches caused serious travel envy in most of us there. I want to go to those exciting places, too.

Besides individual critique sessions and just plain writer conversation in the pub or in the cozy corners of the main lodge, we had book-signings on Saturday with eleven authors participating, plus a book sale sponsored by Kazoo Books. There’s always hilarious fun at our basket auction when Auctioneer-For-Life Laurie Kuna, gets those bids going high, since the proceeds go to the YWCA Domestic Assault Program. The baskets were filled with books and goodies generously donated by authors from many states.


My Girl Friday, Florence Price, held two informative workshop sessions to help us with the social media stuff most of us can’t figure out – or don’t have the time to learn. She’s the current president of Mid-Michigan RWA and we are deeply indebted to all the work she puts into promoting our chapter and its members.

Our annual ritual of champagne toasts to everyone who made a writing accomplishment, big or small, in the last year was extremely successful this year with so much good news to share. We were especially thrilled to announce Diane Burton as the recipient of our Angel Award for Service for 2011. Diane is one of those members who work tirelessly (and quietly) behind the scenes to make sure every job gets done on time, often doing the task herself without expecting acknowledgement.

These are just a few highlights of the wonderful experiences we had over the weekend. We were entertained, educated, and inspired to hurry back to our computers and write that next book. At least, I sure was. Keep the retreat in mind next year when you need an escape. You won’t be disappointed if you join in our fun.


Here’s my Old Farmer’s Advice for this week:

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

I don’t know what that has to do with writing, but it does keep the livestock where it belongs! Hope to see y’all here at the back fence next week.


Loralee

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for a great recap of the Retreat. I think you covered it all, I'm just sorry I could only be there Saturday.

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    1. Maris, we were so glad you could be there, even for one day. Thinking back to the first Retreats so many years ago when we stayed in WMU's dorms, we've really come a long way, haven't we?

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful weekend Loralee....my fingers are already crossed that I'll be able to attend next year!

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    1. Oh, Christine, I hope you'll be there, too. I'll cross my fingers. It would be lovely to meet you in person.

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  3. Great recap of the weekend. Eileen gave us so much to think about. The informality of Retreat is what appeals to me. None of the rush-rush to get to workshops, plenty of time to casually network with each other. Thanks for mentioning my award. I joined you & 9 other very amazing recipients. I am truly grateful that the chapter is so supportive. I hope by talking about Retreat on our blogs, more people will realize what an amazing event our chapter hosts and come next year.

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    1. WooHoo! Diane, you are so deserving of our Angel Award for Service. Your expression when the name was announced was priceless. So happy to have been there to celebrate with you.

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  4. Retreat was just wonderful. Eileen was amazing, funny, and chock-full of wonderful stories on . . . well . . . just about everything you could suggest! The other attendees were great conversationalists themselves! What an inspiring time!

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    1. I agree, Patrish. Retreat is such a special time for all writers and Eileen made it all the more special. So glad you were there.

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  5. What a great time! How come the party room always follows me?

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    1. Gosh, I thought you knew the secret word or something. Must be your magnetic personality, cause everyone found you. LOL And it was fun!

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