Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Back from Paradise

I'm back from the retreat. Actually, I got back Sunday afternoon but was so mentally exhausted I didn't think I could string two coherent sentences together so I put off updating the blog for a day or two.

We had a blast. The cottage was the perfect setting. Ten of us converged on White Point Beach and the fun began the first night with a fun, creative exercise of collaging our WIPs. I like to do a collage for each book I write. Gives me a great visual to prop up on my desk near my computer and be inspired by. I still have room left on my collage to add to it. I had a corner for each of the four books in the series.

The next morning we were up bright and early. My crit partner and roommate, Pam, and I went for a walk (had to get those steps in!). Breakfast was over by 9 am and then we started our workshop sessions. We did World Building first, given by Renee Field and the writing exercise that went along with it landed me with a whole new book idea which I'm really excited about. Next up was Christine D'Abo who went over GMC with a great chart she constructed. More writing exercises ensued which helped me begin to create the GMC of the hero for the new book idea. We broke for lunch, then were back at it. Julia Smith went over Dialogue and John Garrett gave those secondary characters their due. Each session's writing exercises were very entertaining as we each read what we came up with and I was once again impressed with the caliber of writing amongst the members of our chapter.

We finished off the day with dinner at White Point Beach Lodge and then back to the cottage for movie night - Casino Royale. Two hours of drooling over Daniel Craig, which John graciously put up with, poor guy!

The next morning we broke up into groups and brainstormed new book ideas we had. Each group member had 40 minutes dedicated to their idea. In my own group we mapped out two new books and for myself I took Finding Home, pared it back to just the characters and the premise and reworked the plot into something that worked much better than what I had. And when I got home I wrote a whole new scene for it that I LOVE!

The time flew and it was hard to pack up and leave Sunday afternoon, another successful retreat over for another year. Already I can't wait for next year!

As for the Pedometer Challenge (after each walk I would come back into the cottage and yell out my step count), I ended the week with most steps in my office - over 127,000 for the week.

This is me, completely wiped out at the end of it with my collage in the background.


annette said...

I had a great time and can't wait until next year!

Thanks again for pulling it all together and keeping the schedule on track. :-)

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow! Looks like you had a very productive and fun time! AND, you got to see Casino Royale! A perfect weekend! ;-)

Annie Mac said...

Loved Casino Royale - okay, I loved Daniel Craig but the movie wasn't bad either.

I love the collages. And it sounds like everyone had a creative and inspiring time at the retreat. Wish I could have been there.

Michelle Willingham said...

Sounds like a great time! Wish I were artistic and creative with collages. I gave up on it last time. :)

julia said...

My synapses overloaded with the magnificence of it all. I slept for 11 hours Sunday night. Major reboot for my head. And now I'm chomping at the bit!