Back to Back Writing Retreats

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t plan on abandoning my family for writing retreats on back to back weekends.  But this was a special case.  I committed to the Missouri SCBWI retreat last summer as one of their presenters.  Then word came down that my agent’s retreat would be in Chicago this year.  I knew it would take about two and a half hours to get from my garage to the parking garage.  I had to go.  It might never be this convenient again.  Before this,  EMLA (Erin Murphy literary agency) has had these events in New Mexico, Massachusetts, and Portland. When I told my husband about the situation, he immediately said, “Of course you’re going.”    

And what a weekend.  I had the chance to talk shop with an enormously talented group of twenty-seven writers.  Ordinarily, I’m terrible with names.  Since I already knew so many of the names, it was a matter of matching them to their faces.  In the morning sessions, I learned a great deal about making good professional decisions.  And goodness, the bedtime stories on Friday night were amazing.

During my one-on-one meeting with Erin, I received some encouragement to start playing with a young adult adventure novel set in Italy. At one point, I found myself calling it “THE DAVINCI CODE without the albino.”  Well, that’s an exaggeration.  But there will be chase scenes, clues, and red herrings in some interesting locations: Verona, Venice, Florence, and Rome.   And as I start plotting and planning, I’ll have a great excuse to read adventure novels.  It will be educational.  Heh.

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