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Wicked Wednesday–The Retreats and a #giveaway

The winner of my giveaway is holdenJ! Look for an email from me!

by Barb, excited to head to Cape Cod for the Wickeds retreat this weekend.

While we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary month, we have to talk about our retreats. The retreats predate the blog. The first one was in 2012, when Jessie invited Liz, Edith, and me to her place in Old Orchard Beach for a weekend of writing. Sherry and Julie joined us the next year, and the rest is history.

This Wicked Wednesday Sherry is doing the giveaway to one lucky commenter. See the info at the end of the post.

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We haven’t been quite as consistent with the retreats as we have with the blog, but, over many years, we’ve been to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and West Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. And it’s been wonderful.

The focus of the retreats has changed depending on our needs and interests as the years have rolled by. In the beginning, as we worked on our first in series, our focus was definitely about the craft of writing. Later as those books got out into the world, it was on promotion. Sometimes, we’ve focused on our writing careers in the long term. Other times, we’ve done some plot brainstorming on books due all too soon. We always eat well, and drink well, and sometimes get get some work done.

Wickeds, give us a memory from one of our retreats.

Julie: First of all, a picture of me without makeup is something not often seen in a public forum, so that speaks to my love of the Wickeds and wanting to share wonderful memories. Since I’m the first to post, I’ll share the memory of our photo shoot in Old Orchard Beach. Edith had worked with Meg Manion, and invited her up for a few hours. I still use my headshot from that day, and the group shot is our blog heading. Another thing I remember from that weekend was being very stressed from work, and letting down with my friends.

Liz: Wasn’t this the year we coined the term “book jail,” all thanks to me being almost late to turn in a book? Yep, this was one of the most memorable moments for me…I remember being banished to the living room while you all sat in the kitchen having a blast! Every now and then someone would peek in to make sure I was still working LOL. The term stuck and we all rotated having turns in book jail, but I think I was the only one who had to miss out on some retreating because of my procrastinating.

Sherry: I remember that, Liz! It must have been awful for you. One of my favorite memories is when I was writing the third book in my garage sale mysteries — All Murders Final. We were in Jessie’s living room in Old Orchard Beach. Julie asked me where I was in the book. I said I was writing the end. Julie said, “That’s great.” Then I told her I had to go back and write the middle. I so wish I had a photo of Julie’s look of horror. She’s a plotter and I’m usually not. My other favorite memories are of us staying up in the wee hours talking and laughing.

Edith: The wee hours are my downfall! I get up earlier and have less late-night tolerance than the rest. I find myself falling asleep during the late night chats (and laughs), but I don’t want to miss anything Wicked. Finally I simply have to go to bed. It was such a treat last year to have everyone join me at the end of my solo week at my beloved Quaker retreat cottage for the first time. I loved showing my best author buds where I’ve been so productive, the view of the yard and the marshes where I write, my head-clearing plotting walk to the beach. In fact, I am there right now, and guess which five authors will be filling up the rest of the house on Friday for a Wickeds birthday weekend?

Barb: I love the retreats. There’s always too much of everything–snacks, coffee, wine, and talking, talking, talking. For all of us work-from-home types, there’s no daily meetup at the water cooler, so talking to supportive friends who understand our challenges and triumphs is the best thing of all.

Jessie: My most vivid memory of the retreats is when we had the photo session that produced the photograph we use as a header on the blog. It was such fun to be silly as a group. It was all tremendous fun and the header has served as a visual representation of the group spirit!

Sherry: For this week’s giveaway I’m happy to give away a copy of All Murders Final. If you’ve read it I’m happy to send it to a friend or relative. I’ll also give away one Chloe Jackson book — your choice!

Readers: Where do you find support? Have you been able to connect in person again?

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