In May, I attended my first writers' retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Being one of the lucky ones who has ample time to write, I did not go there to create but rather to smooze with publishers, editors, and my fellow writers. Besides, I also got to visit my daughter, mother and two sisters on the trip and still use it as a tax write-off. How great is that!
While the information on query writing, synopses, etc. was a little elementary for me, I did enjoy the murder mystery evening used to point out how carefully mysteries must be plotted, the side trip to Biltmore Houses to explore the world of the super-rich, and the great dessert trays (the last a little too much). Gained five pounds on this trip. Best of all, I loved meeting the publishers and editors I've known only by the names on their e-mails. I came away with a request for a partial, an e-reader won in a raffle, and many new friends.
I followed the retreat with a visit to the Randolph Writers group who gave me a lovely welcome and listened avidly to my "Adventures in E-publishing" talk. Since I was in the area, I contacted several groups to see if they might want a free lecture. These wonderful folks were the only takers. I'd like to think the others missed out on a fine opportunity. Didn't mind if they don't want me to speak, but a "No Thanks" note would have been nice in several cases. Ah well, that's the way it goes in the life of a writer. The Randolph Writers invited me back. I'll try to get there after my historical novel comes out in January and give them a new lecture, "Writing the Historial Novel-Pitfalls and Pleasures".
Meanwhile, back to polishing the draft of Kicks for a Sinner, soon to be sent off to my editor. I admit I'd rather be writing than retreating most days, but it did provide a refreshing break, and I wrote the last few chapters of Kicks in my mind on the long journey.