The Wickeds adjourned to Old Orchard Beach again for three days of powow – schmoozing, discussing the publishing industry and the blog, and ignoring each other to churn out word count. This is the fourth Wicked Cozy retreat for some of us, the third for others. Here’s how the weekend shaped up!
Edith: I didn’t have a super productive word count weekend, but I made steady progress on the book and mapped out a number of future scenes. I loved hanging with the other Wickeds, though. And our wide-ranging discussions of how to manage our blog, where to take our careers, and new trends in the industry were really valuable. Liz and I squeezed in a long walk on the beach, too, and used part of it to talk through our plots. So many thanks to Jessie for hosting us year after year.
Barb: Excuse the gushing, but our annual retreat has become one of the highlights of my year. Jessie pointed out how much things have changed since that first one. There were only four of us, for one thing, and the big problem on all our minds was–can I complete a commercial-quality, novel-length piece of fiction on a deadline? Since then we’ve all learned so much about writing and about this crazy business. It never ceases to amaze me how we’re all writing in the same genre and the same length, but our processes are so different, and yet we all support one another. I was proofing, not writing, but got plenty of that done, plus help with the plot for my forthcoming holiday novella, the next writing task on my plate.
Julie: I do not take these five women for granted, at all. They are my cheerleaders, my teachers, my shoulders to cry on, and my kicks in the ass when needed. I had a good word count weekend–book #2 is due July 15, so I am in the home stretch. But I also had naps, talked through launch strategies, and helped brainstorm a few ideas. I also ate well, drank a lot of coffee, and laughed. A lot. We are all in different places in our careers, but all there for one another. Plus, the location is great, and the host could write a book.
Sherry: The weekend started on Thursday night doing a panel with the Wickeds (we missed you Jessie) and Ray Daniel at the New England Mobile Book Fair, dinner after (we have a funny story about following the wrong car — thankfully they didn’t call the police on us), a night at Barb’s house, and then on to Jessie’s lovely home in Old Orchard Beach. I got help with plot ideas for my proposal. I started reading Plot Perfect by Paula Munier. But the best part was staying up until 2 am two nights in a row, talking about everything. And the food — it was delicious! I always cry when it’s over — maybe I’m overly emotional from lack of sleep or maybe it’s the large number of carbohydrates that I consumed — no it’s just that I love these women and live too far away.
Jessie: The weather was utterly delightful which meant we spent a great deal of time gathered around the patio table talking. I’m not entirely sure the neighbors will ever recover if they overheard any of our conversations, especially those concerning plotting. Most people within earshot would have thought us completely nuts. But that’s one of the benefits the retreat bestows, the gift of complete understanding. I hope all of our blog readers have places and groups where they feel as connected and as understood.
Liz: Just for the record, I don’t dance! But I did, like everyone else, have a fabulous time. This retreat really rejuvenates me every year – the food, the writing, but especially, the friendship. Love all of these ladies so much.
Readers, do you have people with whom you like to close the door on the world and just get away for awhile? Do you have creative work you find a way to carve out time to pursue?