Escape from Branson

I’m home! I’m pleased to report that I was neither eaten nor sacrificed to Freddy the Moose during the giant writers’ retreat in Branson.

Despite being snowbound for an extra day and falling one by one to the plague, it was a wonderful trip. I’m grateful to have been included. It was fantastic to meet so many other writers. It was fantastic to feel like no one questioned who the random pink-haired girl with all the “real writers” was. When I mentioned that one of my goals is to be able to say I’m a writer without and I work as an admin assistant, I got lots of “but you are a real writer!” responses. Which was super-affirming—but I don’t always feel that way when I have to spend more time as the latter. So just having a place at the long, laptop-laden table—being able to read the first page of my new ms when we went around the table reading from our WIPs—chiming in with my goals and strengths and weaknesses—that meant something to me.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m shy in big groups of people? Like, occasionally, really, really shy? And there were so many amazing conversations to listen to! I was a tad worried that I’d be remembered as the strange silent staring girl, but hopefully instead they’ll remember me for my cardamom cookies and that cute birdcage Fossil bag. But I was a little intimidated at times. I mean, I queried Awesome Agent Jim in part because he repped Carrie Ryan and I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so writing next to her on the couch was pretty incredible. Can I tell you how fantastic it is to meet someone whose writing and career you really, really admire and discover that she’s an amazingly friendly, funny, inclusive person too? Saundra Mitchell taught me how to bake bread. Natalie Standiford and Jeri Smith-Ready couldn’t have been friendlier to a newbie. Frankie Mallis is hilarious and a total Etsy enabler. Dawn Metcalf has gorgeous crazy hair and fantastic taste in art. Beth Revis tells awesome stories in her Southern accent. I could go on…

In terms of actual work done, I think I’ve finally committed to my next WIP after Thrice. I’ve gone back and forth, back and forth, between three or four potential projects, but when we had to go around the table and read a page from something we were working on, what I really wanted to read from was CoT (my Sleeping Beauty retelling). I think that’s telling. I’m hoping to make some serious progress next weekend, when I head to Key Largo for my third and final winter trip. Now I’ve just got to do some laundry and recover from the plague and, oh yes, celebrate Valentine’s Day with my poor patient husband first…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.