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Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend Webweaving

What a great weekend! I joined a group of fellow writers, some of whom I knew, some of whom were just names on a list, for a writers’ retreat at a funky hotel/B&B in Fairplay, Colorado, Elv. 9896 ft. This was not a writers’ workshop or a retreat where everyone sits around the fire and listens to inspiring speeches or does free-writing exercises. This was a working weekend for writers who are, or seriously aspire to be, published. We wrote.

I had been looking forward to the weekend as a way to get a jumpstart on the new book. I can’t stress the productivity boost of being away from cooking, laundry, mail, newspaper, the internet, the income tax stuff sitting on my dining room table, or the temptation to cuddle up on the couch with the spouse and watch some old movie we’ve watched six times before. (I felt a bit guilty even jotting down this post!) My friend Susan and I thought we might get done out of it by a spate of wild winds that close Kenosha Pass, the short way from Denver to Fairplay. But at 11:30am on Friday, the pass reopened and we ventured forth. Two hours later, I was ensconced in the sunroom of the Hand Hotel, looking out at the snow-drenched scenery and contemplating how to split up a chapter that had gotten way too long. [More about that next post.]

Our group filled up the Hand Hotel’s rooms, so we had the place to ourselves (except for the reputed ghosts, though nobody saw them). They have a bottomless coffee and tea supply, fruit and cookies in the afternoon. They served us breakfast two days, and a Saturday night dinner complete with the chef’s personal-stash-Washington-state-blackberry pie (to die for). We visited over snacks and dinner and wine, talking writing or kids or whatever, but the rest of the time we were plugged in with our laptops, working in the quiet. On Saturday, a couple of people were up writing before I went down at 7am, and five of us were still typing at 11pm.

Our group consisted of five fantasy/sf writers, four romance/erotica writers, one guy who swings all ways—sf, western thrillers, and one lovely spouse who read instead of wrote (We allowed that). We shared my thesaurus, and heads popped up to share the triumph when someone blurted out, “I figured out what the bad thing was!” or “I finished that scene.” A few people stopping by the hotel to check it out looked at us strangely – ten people in the heart of Colorado winter wonderland with their hand on keyboards. Writers are just cool people. My friend Susan and I chose to stay another day, just because. Now I’m home, envigorated and two chapters farther along in the new story. Next weekend anyone?????


D. Robert Pease said...

There is not a whole lot better than this. I've been trying for the past couple of months to get together with a writer friend of mine one day a week to write. We sit across a table from each other in a library, and just write. The simple act of having someone sitting across from you does wonders. I'd write like this all the time if I could.

ssas said...

Glad to hear you got home okay.

I'd love to do next weekend, too, (every weekend, actually) except I'll be on the snowboard and snowmobiles. Writers must never forget to live, otherwise, what would we write about?

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm. Blackberry pie.

Oh, and writing, too, of course. Sounds like you had a blast!

carolwriter said...

Writers must never forget to live, otherwise, what would we write about?

So true. And so easy to forget, especially when we get wrapped up in a book. I need reminding.