When writers meet…

1valchloesmall Anne here. Last month I went away for five days on a writers' retreat, and since some of you have, at various times, asked about such things as critique partners and writers groups, I thought you might be interested in what we did. It's the third year we've gone on retreat — the same group of 11 people, roughly the same time of year, and we follow the same process, but of course, each time it's different.

It's a very special time for all of us, as we live far apart, coming from five different states in three corners of the country, and one from New Zealand, so it's simply wonderful to see each other face to face. Most Australian romance writers only see each other at the annual conference — there's only one for the whole country, and as Australia is geographically a similar size to mainland USA, you can see why we talk about the "tyranny of distance."

Australia&usa

This makes our retreat even more special, as most of us also don't live near any other romance writer, or any other fiction writer.

Our first retreat was near a beach and the second one was in spa country, and we decided after that that we had to be near a beach. There's something magical about being beside the sea — dawn walks, sitting on the beach in the dark, listening to the waves and watching the moon, drawing a labyrinth in the sand, walking it contemplatively and later, watching the sea wash it away— it's all very inspirational.

Coogee1 Since we couldn't return to the first place (the owners of the eleven room Victorian era guesthouse sold it and the new owners are turning it into a family house) we decided that Sydney was probably the most central — none of us live there, several of us could drive there and for the rest of us it was just one flight. We stayed at Coogee Beach, and this was the scene from my room. Yep, it's a tough life, but someone has to do it. 😉

On the second night a storm blew in and those palm trees were whipping around and the waves were crashing in all night. It was warm and muggy and I slept with my sliding doors open and listened to the surf and the wind in the trees. It was superb. 

But even though it's beautiful, it's a work retreat. We're all working writers, earning our own living, so we can't justify the time away from computers and families for simple frivolity, and indeed we'd be foolish to waste the opportunity.CoogeeRain1

We start by meeting on the first night over wine and fish and chips and we plan a program for the 5 days. We have a formal session after each breakfast, lunch and dinner —  business discussions, craft-of-writing sessions,  "a writer's life," whatever — we brainstorm all the things we'd like to talk about during the retreat, assign a group leader for each one and then slot them into a timetable. 

In one session we had a pearl-knotting class, in which we talked about writing as we made necklaces — that one was filed under "refilling the creative well." We talked about endings and what makes a really good ending (I'll keep that for a separate blog topic), we talked about layering, we talked about where we were in our careers, we talked tax and the economic situation, we talked about breakout books, and continuities, we discussed editors and agents and about remembering to find the joy in our writing. 

Bronsnecklace

In between those sessions we wrote. Some also met to brainstorm in small groups, or walk along the beach, or critique each other's work, but the writing time is inviolable — it's practically a crime to interrupt anyone who's writing, and since three of us were on deadline at the end of that week, nobody needed reminding. (They all made it, by the way.)


Critique is a growing part of our interaction. It's not so much a critique group — it's usually one or two individuals showing another their work  to a couple of others for particular feedback — "I've rewritten these first few chapters several times and now I don't know if it works, can you have a look, please?" or "There's something not working in this scene and I don't know what it is," — that sort of thing. We know each others' writing, our strengths and weaknesses and over the three years an amazing level of trust has grown between us. And within the group there is a level of wisdom and supportiveness and appreciation that's extraordinary. Carol&Fi2

A highlight for me was when four of us holed up in someone's room one rainy afternoon and  brainstormed someone's three part series. We also brainstormed an alternative ending for another book and made it so much stronger. It's very stimulating process — really , IMO, the job of the brainstormer is not to tell the author what to do, but toss suggestions around in order to get her out of the plot possibility rut she'd been stuck in. The longer we do this, and the more we know each others' writing the better we get at it.

I must admit that another feature of this particular retreat was the food. Coogee is simply stuffed with fantastic eating places only 2 minutes walk in any direction. We went out for every meal — some had the full cooked breakfast, others a toasted sandwich and coffee. Lunch ranged from the most fabulous array of salads, to fresh sushi, noodles, or sandwiches. And dinner — well, let's say we did well for ourselves.

Trish&kelly

We developed a favorite breakfast restaurant, not because the food was so much better than other restaurants, but they had better um, ambience.  As one retreater recalled,  "the French waiter came over, fixed us with a stern visage and said…something. We're not sure what because the moment he started to speak our mouths went slack, our eyes glazed over and we lost all power of comprehension." Linda&rosie

It's always sad when the retreat has to end, but I feel so lucky to be part of this group. Friends are so important in life, but writing is a solitary occupation, and to have such supportive writing friends is a real privilege, I think. 

Do you have a group you regularly go away with? Where do you go? What do you do? What do you like about it? Do you have friends from work you share a special bond with? Do you have a critique group, or a reading group, or do you get together with friends for craft or other activities? What do you do with your friends that's special and fun and wonderful?

One person who leaves a comment will win a book by me and one by one of the other retreaters.

100 thoughts on “When writers meet…”

  1. Fish and chips and wine? Sign me up!!!!
    This sounds like a really fabulous high level, professional combination of retreat and mini-conferences. Luckily, with e-mail writers can keep touch with each other on a daily basis, but there’s no substitute for face to face contact.
    I have two other writers whom I regularly brainstorm with. We kick around story ideas, share ups and downs, and are a mini-support network. It’s really valuable–friendship, respect, and trust intertwined.
    Interesting that none of the pro romance writers live in Sydney, while Melbourne has a mob of ’em. Of course, Melbourne has the reputation of being a more cultural and literary place. 🙂
    Mary Jo, wondering if Anne took a picture of that French waiter 🙂

    Reply
  2. Fish and chips and wine? Sign me up!!!!
    This sounds like a really fabulous high level, professional combination of retreat and mini-conferences. Luckily, with e-mail writers can keep touch with each other on a daily basis, but there’s no substitute for face to face contact.
    I have two other writers whom I regularly brainstorm with. We kick around story ideas, share ups and downs, and are a mini-support network. It’s really valuable–friendship, respect, and trust intertwined.
    Interesting that none of the pro romance writers live in Sydney, while Melbourne has a mob of ’em. Of course, Melbourne has the reputation of being a more cultural and literary place. 🙂
    Mary Jo, wondering if Anne took a picture of that French waiter 🙂

    Reply
  3. Fish and chips and wine? Sign me up!!!!
    This sounds like a really fabulous high level, professional combination of retreat and mini-conferences. Luckily, with e-mail writers can keep touch with each other on a daily basis, but there’s no substitute for face to face contact.
    I have two other writers whom I regularly brainstorm with. We kick around story ideas, share ups and downs, and are a mini-support network. It’s really valuable–friendship, respect, and trust intertwined.
    Interesting that none of the pro romance writers live in Sydney, while Melbourne has a mob of ’em. Of course, Melbourne has the reputation of being a more cultural and literary place. 🙂
    Mary Jo, wondering if Anne took a picture of that French waiter 🙂

    Reply
  4. Fish and chips and wine? Sign me up!!!!
    This sounds like a really fabulous high level, professional combination of retreat and mini-conferences. Luckily, with e-mail writers can keep touch with each other on a daily basis, but there’s no substitute for face to face contact.
    I have two other writers whom I regularly brainstorm with. We kick around story ideas, share ups and downs, and are a mini-support network. It’s really valuable–friendship, respect, and trust intertwined.
    Interesting that none of the pro romance writers live in Sydney, while Melbourne has a mob of ’em. Of course, Melbourne has the reputation of being a more cultural and literary place. 🙂
    Mary Jo, wondering if Anne took a picture of that French waiter 🙂

    Reply
  5. Fish and chips and wine? Sign me up!!!!
    This sounds like a really fabulous high level, professional combination of retreat and mini-conferences. Luckily, with e-mail writers can keep touch with each other on a daily basis, but there’s no substitute for face to face contact.
    I have two other writers whom I regularly brainstorm with. We kick around story ideas, share ups and downs, and are a mini-support network. It’s really valuable–friendship, respect, and trust intertwined.
    Interesting that none of the pro romance writers live in Sydney, while Melbourne has a mob of ’em. Of course, Melbourne has the reputation of being a more cultural and literary place. 🙂
    Mary Jo, wondering if Anne took a picture of that French waiter 🙂

    Reply
  6. From Sherrie:
    Ooohhh, critique groups! Yes. I’ve belonged to the same group for something like 10 years, and we are all very close. There are 6 of us–5 women and 1 man–and each of us writes in a different genre. I’m the only romance writer.
    We meet religiously every Thursday (except for the 1st Thurs of the month) at a restaurant, whether we have something to critique or not. We sit in the back at “our” table, away from the noise and bustle, and the restaurant makes us very welcome.
    We spend the first hour catching up on each other’s lives, and mostly laughing a lot as we eat. After eating, we dig out our MSS and start critiquing, or just brainstorming. I am so blessed to be a part of this group. Each person brings to the group not only value, but friendship. Each of us has gone through a life crisis or two since we began meeting, and the support of this group has helped us weather our storms. I jokingly refer to our critique group meetings as our weekly therapy group. *g*

    Reply
  7. From Sherrie:
    Ooohhh, critique groups! Yes. I’ve belonged to the same group for something like 10 years, and we are all very close. There are 6 of us–5 women and 1 man–and each of us writes in a different genre. I’m the only romance writer.
    We meet religiously every Thursday (except for the 1st Thurs of the month) at a restaurant, whether we have something to critique or not. We sit in the back at “our” table, away from the noise and bustle, and the restaurant makes us very welcome.
    We spend the first hour catching up on each other’s lives, and mostly laughing a lot as we eat. After eating, we dig out our MSS and start critiquing, or just brainstorming. I am so blessed to be a part of this group. Each person brings to the group not only value, but friendship. Each of us has gone through a life crisis or two since we began meeting, and the support of this group has helped us weather our storms. I jokingly refer to our critique group meetings as our weekly therapy group. *g*

    Reply
  8. From Sherrie:
    Ooohhh, critique groups! Yes. I’ve belonged to the same group for something like 10 years, and we are all very close. There are 6 of us–5 women and 1 man–and each of us writes in a different genre. I’m the only romance writer.
    We meet religiously every Thursday (except for the 1st Thurs of the month) at a restaurant, whether we have something to critique or not. We sit in the back at “our” table, away from the noise and bustle, and the restaurant makes us very welcome.
    We spend the first hour catching up on each other’s lives, and mostly laughing a lot as we eat. After eating, we dig out our MSS and start critiquing, or just brainstorming. I am so blessed to be a part of this group. Each person brings to the group not only value, but friendship. Each of us has gone through a life crisis or two since we began meeting, and the support of this group has helped us weather our storms. I jokingly refer to our critique group meetings as our weekly therapy group. *g*

    Reply
  9. From Sherrie:
    Ooohhh, critique groups! Yes. I’ve belonged to the same group for something like 10 years, and we are all very close. There are 6 of us–5 women and 1 man–and each of us writes in a different genre. I’m the only romance writer.
    We meet religiously every Thursday (except for the 1st Thurs of the month) at a restaurant, whether we have something to critique or not. We sit in the back at “our” table, away from the noise and bustle, and the restaurant makes us very welcome.
    We spend the first hour catching up on each other’s lives, and mostly laughing a lot as we eat. After eating, we dig out our MSS and start critiquing, or just brainstorming. I am so blessed to be a part of this group. Each person brings to the group not only value, but friendship. Each of us has gone through a life crisis or two since we began meeting, and the support of this group has helped us weather our storms. I jokingly refer to our critique group meetings as our weekly therapy group. *g*

    Reply
  10. From Sherrie:
    Ooohhh, critique groups! Yes. I’ve belonged to the same group for something like 10 years, and we are all very close. There are 6 of us–5 women and 1 man–and each of us writes in a different genre. I’m the only romance writer.
    We meet religiously every Thursday (except for the 1st Thurs of the month) at a restaurant, whether we have something to critique or not. We sit in the back at “our” table, away from the noise and bustle, and the restaurant makes us very welcome.
    We spend the first hour catching up on each other’s lives, and mostly laughing a lot as we eat. After eating, we dig out our MSS and start critiquing, or just brainstorming. I am so blessed to be a part of this group. Each person brings to the group not only value, but friendship. Each of us has gone through a life crisis or two since we began meeting, and the support of this group has helped us weather our storms. I jokingly refer to our critique group meetings as our weekly therapy group. *g*

    Reply
  11. I don’t write- I only read- but I am in awe of those who do, and very interested in hearing about the writing process. Can you give us the names of any of the other authors in your group? Are any of their works available in the US? I am always looking for a new book to read…

    Reply
  12. I don’t write- I only read- but I am in awe of those who do, and very interested in hearing about the writing process. Can you give us the names of any of the other authors in your group? Are any of their works available in the US? I am always looking for a new book to read…

    Reply
  13. I don’t write- I only read- but I am in awe of those who do, and very interested in hearing about the writing process. Can you give us the names of any of the other authors in your group? Are any of their works available in the US? I am always looking for a new book to read…

    Reply
  14. I don’t write- I only read- but I am in awe of those who do, and very interested in hearing about the writing process. Can you give us the names of any of the other authors in your group? Are any of their works available in the US? I am always looking for a new book to read…

    Reply
  15. I don’t write- I only read- but I am in awe of those who do, and very interested in hearing about the writing process. Can you give us the names of any of the other authors in your group? Are any of their works available in the US? I am always looking for a new book to read…

    Reply
  16. My family goes to folk dance camp every summer for a week, where we always meet up with the same group of people. It’s a very relaxed, fun time, the highlight of our year. Last year my son finally started joining in the dancing.

    Reply
  17. My family goes to folk dance camp every summer for a week, where we always meet up with the same group of people. It’s a very relaxed, fun time, the highlight of our year. Last year my son finally started joining in the dancing.

    Reply
  18. My family goes to folk dance camp every summer for a week, where we always meet up with the same group of people. It’s a very relaxed, fun time, the highlight of our year. Last year my son finally started joining in the dancing.

    Reply
  19. My family goes to folk dance camp every summer for a week, where we always meet up with the same group of people. It’s a very relaxed, fun time, the highlight of our year. Last year my son finally started joining in the dancing.

    Reply
  20. My family goes to folk dance camp every summer for a week, where we always meet up with the same group of people. It’s a very relaxed, fun time, the highlight of our year. Last year my son finally started joining in the dancing.

    Reply
  21. I really loved hearing about your retreat Anne. I too am a reader so I don’t have wonderful get aways like that but there is a group of us at work and we call ourselves the Steel Magnolias we get together for lunch whenever we can and always have a wonderful time laughing and talking they don’t happen enough because of the different shifts we all work but they are wonderful times when we get together. I also went to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention down in Melbourne in Feb and have made some wonderful new friends who love romance books as much as I do and we keep in touch via a yahoo group and a couple of weeks ago 9 of us got together at a cafe in Darling Harbour for a great lunch and of course a great discussion of romance books a great day was had by all. Coogee really is a wonderful place I haven’t been over there for years need to make a day trip.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  22. I really loved hearing about your retreat Anne. I too am a reader so I don’t have wonderful get aways like that but there is a group of us at work and we call ourselves the Steel Magnolias we get together for lunch whenever we can and always have a wonderful time laughing and talking they don’t happen enough because of the different shifts we all work but they are wonderful times when we get together. I also went to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention down in Melbourne in Feb and have made some wonderful new friends who love romance books as much as I do and we keep in touch via a yahoo group and a couple of weeks ago 9 of us got together at a cafe in Darling Harbour for a great lunch and of course a great discussion of romance books a great day was had by all. Coogee really is a wonderful place I haven’t been over there for years need to make a day trip.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  23. I really loved hearing about your retreat Anne. I too am a reader so I don’t have wonderful get aways like that but there is a group of us at work and we call ourselves the Steel Magnolias we get together for lunch whenever we can and always have a wonderful time laughing and talking they don’t happen enough because of the different shifts we all work but they are wonderful times when we get together. I also went to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention down in Melbourne in Feb and have made some wonderful new friends who love romance books as much as I do and we keep in touch via a yahoo group and a couple of weeks ago 9 of us got together at a cafe in Darling Harbour for a great lunch and of course a great discussion of romance books a great day was had by all. Coogee really is a wonderful place I haven’t been over there for years need to make a day trip.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  24. I really loved hearing about your retreat Anne. I too am a reader so I don’t have wonderful get aways like that but there is a group of us at work and we call ourselves the Steel Magnolias we get together for lunch whenever we can and always have a wonderful time laughing and talking they don’t happen enough because of the different shifts we all work but they are wonderful times when we get together. I also went to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention down in Melbourne in Feb and have made some wonderful new friends who love romance books as much as I do and we keep in touch via a yahoo group and a couple of weeks ago 9 of us got together at a cafe in Darling Harbour for a great lunch and of course a great discussion of romance books a great day was had by all. Coogee really is a wonderful place I haven’t been over there for years need to make a day trip.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  25. I really loved hearing about your retreat Anne. I too am a reader so I don’t have wonderful get aways like that but there is a group of us at work and we call ourselves the Steel Magnolias we get together for lunch whenever we can and always have a wonderful time laughing and talking they don’t happen enough because of the different shifts we all work but they are wonderful times when we get together. I also went to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention down in Melbourne in Feb and have made some wonderful new friends who love romance books as much as I do and we keep in touch via a yahoo group and a couple of weeks ago 9 of us got together at a cafe in Darling Harbour for a great lunch and of course a great discussion of romance books a great day was had by all. Coogee really is a wonderful place I haven’t been over there for years need to make a day trip.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  26. Aaaw, Anne, you make me want to go back there. Now. Straight away.
    I’m one of the mob who attends the retreat. Don’t we sound diligent! But somehow – I’ve no idea how – the writing happens, crammed in between cliff walks and catchups, tute sessions, and long leisurely breakfasts. Even if we do have to ask the waiter to repeat the morning’s breakfast specials. Twice.

    Reply
  27. Aaaw, Anne, you make me want to go back there. Now. Straight away.
    I’m one of the mob who attends the retreat. Don’t we sound diligent! But somehow – I’ve no idea how – the writing happens, crammed in between cliff walks and catchups, tute sessions, and long leisurely breakfasts. Even if we do have to ask the waiter to repeat the morning’s breakfast specials. Twice.

    Reply
  28. Aaaw, Anne, you make me want to go back there. Now. Straight away.
    I’m one of the mob who attends the retreat. Don’t we sound diligent! But somehow – I’ve no idea how – the writing happens, crammed in between cliff walks and catchups, tute sessions, and long leisurely breakfasts. Even if we do have to ask the waiter to repeat the morning’s breakfast specials. Twice.

    Reply
  29. Aaaw, Anne, you make me want to go back there. Now. Straight away.
    I’m one of the mob who attends the retreat. Don’t we sound diligent! But somehow – I’ve no idea how – the writing happens, crammed in between cliff walks and catchups, tute sessions, and long leisurely breakfasts. Even if we do have to ask the waiter to repeat the morning’s breakfast specials. Twice.

    Reply
  30. Aaaw, Anne, you make me want to go back there. Now. Straight away.
    I’m one of the mob who attends the retreat. Don’t we sound diligent! But somehow – I’ve no idea how – the writing happens, crammed in between cliff walks and catchups, tute sessions, and long leisurely breakfasts. Even if we do have to ask the waiter to repeat the morning’s breakfast specials. Twice.

    Reply
  31. Mary Jo, we are in touch on a daily email basis, and it’s a huge source of everyday friendship and support. We’re also a great recipe source. For a recent family christening-Barbara Hannay made a rice salad that’s from Alison Roberts from NZ and so many people at the christening asked for the recipe she put it on her blog.
    http://tinyurl.com/q54kpw
    And I can’t wait to try Lilian Darcy’s baked pumpkin with brown sugar and grated ginger recipe, either. Apparently it’s brilliant with a roast leg of lamb (the classic family Sunday meal here is roast leg of lamb)
    And no, alas, we didn’t take a photo of the waiter… at least I didn’t. I’ll check 😉 But it was the voice, deep dark chocolate laced with brandy and spices, divine accent — really, we need a podcast.
    My guess is that man will end up in a few books.

    Reply
  32. Mary Jo, we are in touch on a daily email basis, and it’s a huge source of everyday friendship and support. We’re also a great recipe source. For a recent family christening-Barbara Hannay made a rice salad that’s from Alison Roberts from NZ and so many people at the christening asked for the recipe she put it on her blog.
    http://tinyurl.com/q54kpw
    And I can’t wait to try Lilian Darcy’s baked pumpkin with brown sugar and grated ginger recipe, either. Apparently it’s brilliant with a roast leg of lamb (the classic family Sunday meal here is roast leg of lamb)
    And no, alas, we didn’t take a photo of the waiter… at least I didn’t. I’ll check 😉 But it was the voice, deep dark chocolate laced with brandy and spices, divine accent — really, we need a podcast.
    My guess is that man will end up in a few books.

    Reply
  33. Mary Jo, we are in touch on a daily email basis, and it’s a huge source of everyday friendship and support. We’re also a great recipe source. For a recent family christening-Barbara Hannay made a rice salad that’s from Alison Roberts from NZ and so many people at the christening asked for the recipe she put it on her blog.
    http://tinyurl.com/q54kpw
    And I can’t wait to try Lilian Darcy’s baked pumpkin with brown sugar and grated ginger recipe, either. Apparently it’s brilliant with a roast leg of lamb (the classic family Sunday meal here is roast leg of lamb)
    And no, alas, we didn’t take a photo of the waiter… at least I didn’t. I’ll check 😉 But it was the voice, deep dark chocolate laced with brandy and spices, divine accent — really, we need a podcast.
    My guess is that man will end up in a few books.

    Reply
  34. Mary Jo, we are in touch on a daily email basis, and it’s a huge source of everyday friendship and support. We’re also a great recipe source. For a recent family christening-Barbara Hannay made a rice salad that’s from Alison Roberts from NZ and so many people at the christening asked for the recipe she put it on her blog.
    http://tinyurl.com/q54kpw
    And I can’t wait to try Lilian Darcy’s baked pumpkin with brown sugar and grated ginger recipe, either. Apparently it’s brilliant with a roast leg of lamb (the classic family Sunday meal here is roast leg of lamb)
    And no, alas, we didn’t take a photo of the waiter… at least I didn’t. I’ll check 😉 But it was the voice, deep dark chocolate laced with brandy and spices, divine accent — really, we need a podcast.
    My guess is that man will end up in a few books.

    Reply
  35. Mary Jo, we are in touch on a daily email basis, and it’s a huge source of everyday friendship and support. We’re also a great recipe source. For a recent family christening-Barbara Hannay made a rice salad that’s from Alison Roberts from NZ and so many people at the christening asked for the recipe she put it on her blog.
    http://tinyurl.com/q54kpw
    And I can’t wait to try Lilian Darcy’s baked pumpkin with brown sugar and grated ginger recipe, either. Apparently it’s brilliant with a roast leg of lamb (the classic family Sunday meal here is roast leg of lamb)
    And no, alas, we didn’t take a photo of the waiter… at least I didn’t. I’ll check 😉 But it was the voice, deep dark chocolate laced with brandy and spices, divine accent — really, we need a podcast.
    My guess is that man will end up in a few books.

    Reply
  36. Sherrie, your critique group sounds great — sharing your work with others is an act of trust and so when it works, friendship is a natural outcome. And when it continues over a long time, it becomes one of the precious rituals that enrich our lives.
    Gretchen, there is no only in “I only read” — you and people like you are the reason I write. Readers are the most important people in the world to a writer. And I’m not talking about money — when a writer writes a story, they’re hoping to please and entertain a reader. Readers are dreamers just like writers, and we share a special world. Keep reading.
    Almost all of the other writers in my group are available in the US — they all write category fiction for Harlequin. I’ll check with them to see if they mind me putting their names up.

    Reply
  37. Sherrie, your critique group sounds great — sharing your work with others is an act of trust and so when it works, friendship is a natural outcome. And when it continues over a long time, it becomes one of the precious rituals that enrich our lives.
    Gretchen, there is no only in “I only read” — you and people like you are the reason I write. Readers are the most important people in the world to a writer. And I’m not talking about money — when a writer writes a story, they’re hoping to please and entertain a reader. Readers are dreamers just like writers, and we share a special world. Keep reading.
    Almost all of the other writers in my group are available in the US — they all write category fiction for Harlequin. I’ll check with them to see if they mind me putting their names up.

    Reply
  38. Sherrie, your critique group sounds great — sharing your work with others is an act of trust and so when it works, friendship is a natural outcome. And when it continues over a long time, it becomes one of the precious rituals that enrich our lives.
    Gretchen, there is no only in “I only read” — you and people like you are the reason I write. Readers are the most important people in the world to a writer. And I’m not talking about money — when a writer writes a story, they’re hoping to please and entertain a reader. Readers are dreamers just like writers, and we share a special world. Keep reading.
    Almost all of the other writers in my group are available in the US — they all write category fiction for Harlequin. I’ll check with them to see if they mind me putting their names up.

    Reply
  39. Sherrie, your critique group sounds great — sharing your work with others is an act of trust and so when it works, friendship is a natural outcome. And when it continues over a long time, it becomes one of the precious rituals that enrich our lives.
    Gretchen, there is no only in “I only read” — you and people like you are the reason I write. Readers are the most important people in the world to a writer. And I’m not talking about money — when a writer writes a story, they’re hoping to please and entertain a reader. Readers are dreamers just like writers, and we share a special world. Keep reading.
    Almost all of the other writers in my group are available in the US — they all write category fiction for Harlequin. I’ll check with them to see if they mind me putting their names up.

    Reply
  40. Sherrie, your critique group sounds great — sharing your work with others is an act of trust and so when it works, friendship is a natural outcome. And when it continues over a long time, it becomes one of the precious rituals that enrich our lives.
    Gretchen, there is no only in “I only read” — you and people like you are the reason I write. Readers are the most important people in the world to a writer. And I’m not talking about money — when a writer writes a story, they’re hoping to please and entertain a reader. Readers are dreamers just like writers, and we share a special world. Keep reading.
    Almost all of the other writers in my group are available in the US — they all write category fiction for Harlequin. I’ll check with them to see if they mind me putting their names up.

    Reply
  41. Helen, your Steel Magnolias group sounds fabulous — I think often that type of work friendship group keeps you sane.
    I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you at the Melbourne Romance Readers Convention — but of course you met some fabulous people. 😉 And how lovely to met up at Darling Harbour.
    Ahh, Kelly Hunter speaks — they’re her words I pinched about the French waiter. Kelly has a real way with words. Check out the extracts on her website. If they don’t make you smile, I’ll be surprised.;)
    I’d go back there in a heartbeat, too, Kelly.

    Reply
  42. Helen, your Steel Magnolias group sounds fabulous — I think often that type of work friendship group keeps you sane.
    I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you at the Melbourne Romance Readers Convention — but of course you met some fabulous people. 😉 And how lovely to met up at Darling Harbour.
    Ahh, Kelly Hunter speaks — they’re her words I pinched about the French waiter. Kelly has a real way with words. Check out the extracts on her website. If they don’t make you smile, I’ll be surprised.;)
    I’d go back there in a heartbeat, too, Kelly.

    Reply
  43. Helen, your Steel Magnolias group sounds fabulous — I think often that type of work friendship group keeps you sane.
    I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you at the Melbourne Romance Readers Convention — but of course you met some fabulous people. 😉 And how lovely to met up at Darling Harbour.
    Ahh, Kelly Hunter speaks — they’re her words I pinched about the French waiter. Kelly has a real way with words. Check out the extracts on her website. If they don’t make you smile, I’ll be surprised.;)
    I’d go back there in a heartbeat, too, Kelly.

    Reply
  44. Helen, your Steel Magnolias group sounds fabulous — I think often that type of work friendship group keeps you sane.
    I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you at the Melbourne Romance Readers Convention — but of course you met some fabulous people. 😉 And how lovely to met up at Darling Harbour.
    Ahh, Kelly Hunter speaks — they’re her words I pinched about the French waiter. Kelly has a real way with words. Check out the extracts on her website. If they don’t make you smile, I’ll be surprised.;)
    I’d go back there in a heartbeat, too, Kelly.

    Reply
  45. Helen, your Steel Magnolias group sounds fabulous — I think often that type of work friendship group keeps you sane.
    I’m so sorry I didn’t get to see you at the Melbourne Romance Readers Convention — but of course you met some fabulous people. 😉 And how lovely to met up at Darling Harbour.
    Ahh, Kelly Hunter speaks — they’re her words I pinched about the French waiter. Kelly has a real way with words. Check out the extracts on her website. If they don’t make you smile, I’ll be surprised.;)
    I’d go back there in a heartbeat, too, Kelly.

    Reply
  46. Willaful, I love the idea of the folk dancing camps. Such a fun idea. And lovely that your boy finally joined in. I love it when boys finally see that dancing is a manly thing to do. A man that can dance is halfway to being a hero, I think.
    I used to teach what we called “bush dances” (ie folk dance) at a girls high school where I taught, and we had a big bush dance in the gym once — a sock hop. All the girls knew how to do the dances, none of the boys did and they were all a bit reluctant at first to let down their coolth. But teenage girls have power 😉 and the boys soon jumped in and stumbled along, hamming it up like cowboys at first, and you know, much to their surprise, they had a really great time.

    Reply
  47. Willaful, I love the idea of the folk dancing camps. Such a fun idea. And lovely that your boy finally joined in. I love it when boys finally see that dancing is a manly thing to do. A man that can dance is halfway to being a hero, I think.
    I used to teach what we called “bush dances” (ie folk dance) at a girls high school where I taught, and we had a big bush dance in the gym once — a sock hop. All the girls knew how to do the dances, none of the boys did and they were all a bit reluctant at first to let down their coolth. But teenage girls have power 😉 and the boys soon jumped in and stumbled along, hamming it up like cowboys at first, and you know, much to their surprise, they had a really great time.

    Reply
  48. Willaful, I love the idea of the folk dancing camps. Such a fun idea. And lovely that your boy finally joined in. I love it when boys finally see that dancing is a manly thing to do. A man that can dance is halfway to being a hero, I think.
    I used to teach what we called “bush dances” (ie folk dance) at a girls high school where I taught, and we had a big bush dance in the gym once — a sock hop. All the girls knew how to do the dances, none of the boys did and they were all a bit reluctant at first to let down their coolth. But teenage girls have power 😉 and the boys soon jumped in and stumbled along, hamming it up like cowboys at first, and you know, much to their surprise, they had a really great time.

    Reply
  49. Willaful, I love the idea of the folk dancing camps. Such a fun idea. And lovely that your boy finally joined in. I love it when boys finally see that dancing is a manly thing to do. A man that can dance is halfway to being a hero, I think.
    I used to teach what we called “bush dances” (ie folk dance) at a girls high school where I taught, and we had a big bush dance in the gym once — a sock hop. All the girls knew how to do the dances, none of the boys did and they were all a bit reluctant at first to let down their coolth. But teenage girls have power 😉 and the boys soon jumped in and stumbled along, hamming it up like cowboys at first, and you know, much to their surprise, they had a really great time.

    Reply
  50. Willaful, I love the idea of the folk dancing camps. Such a fun idea. And lovely that your boy finally joined in. I love it when boys finally see that dancing is a manly thing to do. A man that can dance is halfway to being a hero, I think.
    I used to teach what we called “bush dances” (ie folk dance) at a girls high school where I taught, and we had a big bush dance in the gym once — a sock hop. All the girls knew how to do the dances, none of the boys did and they were all a bit reluctant at first to let down their coolth. But teenage girls have power 😉 and the boys soon jumped in and stumbled along, hamming it up like cowboys at first, and you know, much to their surprise, they had a really great time.

    Reply
  51. I haven’t been on a vacation since my 5th wedding anniversary and at that time it was one state over! And we’ll have our 26th anniversary next month. I do remember tho two best friends (and their names were both Kathy, as mine is Cathie) and we had a blast always trying to figure out who we asking! We went on a few weekend trips. It was really my only trips I’ve gone on then or ever since with 6 children, my parents didn’t do vacations. We too did ceramic classes! One moved to where I am and we are soon going to take ceramics again! I love making things for others!
    I’m really in comfort of being home. I love sitting under a tree in the park with a book or in my yard. I remember a favorite Jane Austen quote that I always remember because it fits! Its:
    “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”
    When I went to find the exact words of the quote, I found this! (So neat since I was just speaking of that!)
    “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
    I do have two dear reader friends that my hubby promised that I’d some day get to meet. We have a love for reading romance and always there for each other!
    Even tho I love being with my family, I really love to go to Ireland with my hubby. He’s Irish and wants to look up more of his family history and visit there! I told him too I’d love to go to Scotland! I know that I often read Medieval Romances and think of those Castles still being there but I think some still stand and the beautiful land I saw of hills, I’d love to see that all too!
    Thanks for letting me share! So glad to visit here again. Cathie, a reader

    Reply
  52. I haven’t been on a vacation since my 5th wedding anniversary and at that time it was one state over! And we’ll have our 26th anniversary next month. I do remember tho two best friends (and their names were both Kathy, as mine is Cathie) and we had a blast always trying to figure out who we asking! We went on a few weekend trips. It was really my only trips I’ve gone on then or ever since with 6 children, my parents didn’t do vacations. We too did ceramic classes! One moved to where I am and we are soon going to take ceramics again! I love making things for others!
    I’m really in comfort of being home. I love sitting under a tree in the park with a book or in my yard. I remember a favorite Jane Austen quote that I always remember because it fits! Its:
    “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”
    When I went to find the exact words of the quote, I found this! (So neat since I was just speaking of that!)
    “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
    I do have two dear reader friends that my hubby promised that I’d some day get to meet. We have a love for reading romance and always there for each other!
    Even tho I love being with my family, I really love to go to Ireland with my hubby. He’s Irish and wants to look up more of his family history and visit there! I told him too I’d love to go to Scotland! I know that I often read Medieval Romances and think of those Castles still being there but I think some still stand and the beautiful land I saw of hills, I’d love to see that all too!
    Thanks for letting me share! So glad to visit here again. Cathie, a reader

    Reply
  53. I haven’t been on a vacation since my 5th wedding anniversary and at that time it was one state over! And we’ll have our 26th anniversary next month. I do remember tho two best friends (and their names were both Kathy, as mine is Cathie) and we had a blast always trying to figure out who we asking! We went on a few weekend trips. It was really my only trips I’ve gone on then or ever since with 6 children, my parents didn’t do vacations. We too did ceramic classes! One moved to where I am and we are soon going to take ceramics again! I love making things for others!
    I’m really in comfort of being home. I love sitting under a tree in the park with a book or in my yard. I remember a favorite Jane Austen quote that I always remember because it fits! Its:
    “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”
    When I went to find the exact words of the quote, I found this! (So neat since I was just speaking of that!)
    “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
    I do have two dear reader friends that my hubby promised that I’d some day get to meet. We have a love for reading romance and always there for each other!
    Even tho I love being with my family, I really love to go to Ireland with my hubby. He’s Irish and wants to look up more of his family history and visit there! I told him too I’d love to go to Scotland! I know that I often read Medieval Romances and think of those Castles still being there but I think some still stand and the beautiful land I saw of hills, I’d love to see that all too!
    Thanks for letting me share! So glad to visit here again. Cathie, a reader

    Reply
  54. I haven’t been on a vacation since my 5th wedding anniversary and at that time it was one state over! And we’ll have our 26th anniversary next month. I do remember tho two best friends (and their names were both Kathy, as mine is Cathie) and we had a blast always trying to figure out who we asking! We went on a few weekend trips. It was really my only trips I’ve gone on then or ever since with 6 children, my parents didn’t do vacations. We too did ceramic classes! One moved to where I am and we are soon going to take ceramics again! I love making things for others!
    I’m really in comfort of being home. I love sitting under a tree in the park with a book or in my yard. I remember a favorite Jane Austen quote that I always remember because it fits! Its:
    “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”
    When I went to find the exact words of the quote, I found this! (So neat since I was just speaking of that!)
    “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
    I do have two dear reader friends that my hubby promised that I’d some day get to meet. We have a love for reading romance and always there for each other!
    Even tho I love being with my family, I really love to go to Ireland with my hubby. He’s Irish and wants to look up more of his family history and visit there! I told him too I’d love to go to Scotland! I know that I often read Medieval Romances and think of those Castles still being there but I think some still stand and the beautiful land I saw of hills, I’d love to see that all too!
    Thanks for letting me share! So glad to visit here again. Cathie, a reader

    Reply
  55. I haven’t been on a vacation since my 5th wedding anniversary and at that time it was one state over! And we’ll have our 26th anniversary next month. I do remember tho two best friends (and their names were both Kathy, as mine is Cathie) and we had a blast always trying to figure out who we asking! We went on a few weekend trips. It was really my only trips I’ve gone on then or ever since with 6 children, my parents didn’t do vacations. We too did ceramic classes! One moved to where I am and we are soon going to take ceramics again! I love making things for others!
    I’m really in comfort of being home. I love sitting under a tree in the park with a book or in my yard. I remember a favorite Jane Austen quote that I always remember because it fits! Its:
    “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”
    When I went to find the exact words of the quote, I found this! (So neat since I was just speaking of that!)
    “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
    I do have two dear reader friends that my hubby promised that I’d some day get to meet. We have a love for reading romance and always there for each other!
    Even tho I love being with my family, I really love to go to Ireland with my hubby. He’s Irish and wants to look up more of his family history and visit there! I told him too I’d love to go to Scotland! I know that I often read Medieval Romances and think of those Castles still being there but I think some still stand and the beautiful land I saw of hills, I’d love to see that all too!
    Thanks for letting me share! So glad to visit here again. Cathie, a reader

    Reply
  56. Devil’s advocate here. I don’t belong to a critique group or have a critique partner. The few times I’ve asked for a critique, from a contest or a course, I found myself doing everything the other people suggested. Apparently, I can’t pick and choose what information is useful and ignore the rest.
    I also don’t think I could stand another meeting. The day job has altogether too many. How I would love to stay all by myself for a long time.

    Reply
  57. Devil’s advocate here. I don’t belong to a critique group or have a critique partner. The few times I’ve asked for a critique, from a contest or a course, I found myself doing everything the other people suggested. Apparently, I can’t pick and choose what information is useful and ignore the rest.
    I also don’t think I could stand another meeting. The day job has altogether too many. How I would love to stay all by myself for a long time.

    Reply
  58. Devil’s advocate here. I don’t belong to a critique group or have a critique partner. The few times I’ve asked for a critique, from a contest or a course, I found myself doing everything the other people suggested. Apparently, I can’t pick and choose what information is useful and ignore the rest.
    I also don’t think I could stand another meeting. The day job has altogether too many. How I would love to stay all by myself for a long time.

    Reply
  59. Devil’s advocate here. I don’t belong to a critique group or have a critique partner. The few times I’ve asked for a critique, from a contest or a course, I found myself doing everything the other people suggested. Apparently, I can’t pick and choose what information is useful and ignore the rest.
    I also don’t think I could stand another meeting. The day job has altogether too many. How I would love to stay all by myself for a long time.

    Reply
  60. Devil’s advocate here. I don’t belong to a critique group or have a critique partner. The few times I’ve asked for a critique, from a contest or a course, I found myself doing everything the other people suggested. Apparently, I can’t pick and choose what information is useful and ignore the rest.
    I also don’t think I could stand another meeting. The day job has altogether too many. How I would love to stay all by myself for a long time.

    Reply
  61. Every month my friends and I go salt caves. One of my best friends is polish and in her country, they hang out in caves made out of natural salt and it is supposedly a remedy for respiratory ailments, fatigue, high blood pressure, you name it. There is a place here where salt has been imported from Poland and caves are recreated.
    We go every month and follow up with tea and cucumber sandwiches.

    Reply
  62. Every month my friends and I go salt caves. One of my best friends is polish and in her country, they hang out in caves made out of natural salt and it is supposedly a remedy for respiratory ailments, fatigue, high blood pressure, you name it. There is a place here where salt has been imported from Poland and caves are recreated.
    We go every month and follow up with tea and cucumber sandwiches.

    Reply
  63. Every month my friends and I go salt caves. One of my best friends is polish and in her country, they hang out in caves made out of natural salt and it is supposedly a remedy for respiratory ailments, fatigue, high blood pressure, you name it. There is a place here where salt has been imported from Poland and caves are recreated.
    We go every month and follow up with tea and cucumber sandwiches.

    Reply
  64. Every month my friends and I go salt caves. One of my best friends is polish and in her country, they hang out in caves made out of natural salt and it is supposedly a remedy for respiratory ailments, fatigue, high blood pressure, you name it. There is a place here where salt has been imported from Poland and caves are recreated.
    We go every month and follow up with tea and cucumber sandwiches.

    Reply
  65. Every month my friends and I go salt caves. One of my best friends is polish and in her country, they hang out in caves made out of natural salt and it is supposedly a remedy for respiratory ailments, fatigue, high blood pressure, you name it. There is a place here where salt has been imported from Poland and caves are recreated.
    We go every month and follow up with tea and cucumber sandwiches.

    Reply
  66. Caffey, I think sitting under a tree and reading is a wonderful thing to do. I’m not saying anyone “needs” to travel — readers travel a great deal in their head, anyway. But I do hope you get to visit Scotland and I hope you enjoy it.
    Your ceramic get-togethers with your friends sound lovely, too, and I’m with you on the pleasure of making things for others.

    Reply
  67. Caffey, I think sitting under a tree and reading is a wonderful thing to do. I’m not saying anyone “needs” to travel — readers travel a great deal in their head, anyway. But I do hope you get to visit Scotland and I hope you enjoy it.
    Your ceramic get-togethers with your friends sound lovely, too, and I’m with you on the pleasure of making things for others.

    Reply
  68. Caffey, I think sitting under a tree and reading is a wonderful thing to do. I’m not saying anyone “needs” to travel — readers travel a great deal in their head, anyway. But I do hope you get to visit Scotland and I hope you enjoy it.
    Your ceramic get-togethers with your friends sound lovely, too, and I’m with you on the pleasure of making things for others.

    Reply
  69. Caffey, I think sitting under a tree and reading is a wonderful thing to do. I’m not saying anyone “needs” to travel — readers travel a great deal in their head, anyway. But I do hope you get to visit Scotland and I hope you enjoy it.
    Your ceramic get-togethers with your friends sound lovely, too, and I’m with you on the pleasure of making things for others.

    Reply
  70. Caffey, I think sitting under a tree and reading is a wonderful thing to do. I’m not saying anyone “needs” to travel — readers travel a great deal in their head, anyway. But I do hope you get to visit Scotland and I hope you enjoy it.
    Your ceramic get-togethers with your friends sound lovely, too, and I’m with you on the pleasure of making things for others.

    Reply
  71. Linda, I didn’t mean for my post to be a wholesale advocate on critique groups. I’ve seen some dreadful damage done by enthusiastic and well-meaning critique groups. Writers need to be very careful of who they trust with their work, and for many people, showing their work to others at an early stage is not at all helpful.
    And I cannot bear “critique” that is really “correction” of the “I would have done it like this” school. Your own unique individual voice is your most precious asset as a writer, and I’ve seen heavy-handed critique over a long period crush the individuality from a voice under the guise of removing the faults.
    But there is a real joy in finding a person or two who understands your writing and appreciates your voice who will read your work as a sounding board. Or who you can consult when you have a problem with your writing.
    I had to laugh at your “meeting” comment — I’m with you there. In my life as a teacher I went to more meetings than you could poke a stick at — I was on so many committees and I’m now on one and aiming to get down to none.
    Our retreat meetings weren’t at all like that, and aren’t formal in that sense. It was just that we gathered and had a focus, and that one person led/organized the discussion, more or less. And they were usually accompanied by food and drink, and often a great deal of laughter.

    Reply
  72. Linda, I didn’t mean for my post to be a wholesale advocate on critique groups. I’ve seen some dreadful damage done by enthusiastic and well-meaning critique groups. Writers need to be very careful of who they trust with their work, and for many people, showing their work to others at an early stage is not at all helpful.
    And I cannot bear “critique” that is really “correction” of the “I would have done it like this” school. Your own unique individual voice is your most precious asset as a writer, and I’ve seen heavy-handed critique over a long period crush the individuality from a voice under the guise of removing the faults.
    But there is a real joy in finding a person or two who understands your writing and appreciates your voice who will read your work as a sounding board. Or who you can consult when you have a problem with your writing.
    I had to laugh at your “meeting” comment — I’m with you there. In my life as a teacher I went to more meetings than you could poke a stick at — I was on so many committees and I’m now on one and aiming to get down to none.
    Our retreat meetings weren’t at all like that, and aren’t formal in that sense. It was just that we gathered and had a focus, and that one person led/organized the discussion, more or less. And they were usually accompanied by food and drink, and often a great deal of laughter.

    Reply
  73. Linda, I didn’t mean for my post to be a wholesale advocate on critique groups. I’ve seen some dreadful damage done by enthusiastic and well-meaning critique groups. Writers need to be very careful of who they trust with their work, and for many people, showing their work to others at an early stage is not at all helpful.
    And I cannot bear “critique” that is really “correction” of the “I would have done it like this” school. Your own unique individual voice is your most precious asset as a writer, and I’ve seen heavy-handed critique over a long period crush the individuality from a voice under the guise of removing the faults.
    But there is a real joy in finding a person or two who understands your writing and appreciates your voice who will read your work as a sounding board. Or who you can consult when you have a problem with your writing.
    I had to laugh at your “meeting” comment — I’m with you there. In my life as a teacher I went to more meetings than you could poke a stick at — I was on so many committees and I’m now on one and aiming to get down to none.
    Our retreat meetings weren’t at all like that, and aren’t formal in that sense. It was just that we gathered and had a focus, and that one person led/organized the discussion, more or less. And they were usually accompanied by food and drink, and often a great deal of laughter.

    Reply
  74. Linda, I didn’t mean for my post to be a wholesale advocate on critique groups. I’ve seen some dreadful damage done by enthusiastic and well-meaning critique groups. Writers need to be very careful of who they trust with their work, and for many people, showing their work to others at an early stage is not at all helpful.
    And I cannot bear “critique” that is really “correction” of the “I would have done it like this” school. Your own unique individual voice is your most precious asset as a writer, and I’ve seen heavy-handed critique over a long period crush the individuality from a voice under the guise of removing the faults.
    But there is a real joy in finding a person or two who understands your writing and appreciates your voice who will read your work as a sounding board. Or who you can consult when you have a problem with your writing.
    I had to laugh at your “meeting” comment — I’m with you there. In my life as a teacher I went to more meetings than you could poke a stick at — I was on so many committees and I’m now on one and aiming to get down to none.
    Our retreat meetings weren’t at all like that, and aren’t formal in that sense. It was just that we gathered and had a focus, and that one person led/organized the discussion, more or less. And they were usually accompanied by food and drink, and often a great deal of laughter.

    Reply
  75. Linda, I didn’t mean for my post to be a wholesale advocate on critique groups. I’ve seen some dreadful damage done by enthusiastic and well-meaning critique groups. Writers need to be very careful of who they trust with their work, and for many people, showing their work to others at an early stage is not at all helpful.
    And I cannot bear “critique” that is really “correction” of the “I would have done it like this” school. Your own unique individual voice is your most precious asset as a writer, and I’ve seen heavy-handed critique over a long period crush the individuality from a voice under the guise of removing the faults.
    But there is a real joy in finding a person or two who understands your writing and appreciates your voice who will read your work as a sounding board. Or who you can consult when you have a problem with your writing.
    I had to laugh at your “meeting” comment — I’m with you there. In my life as a teacher I went to more meetings than you could poke a stick at — I was on so many committees and I’m now on one and aiming to get down to none.
    Our retreat meetings weren’t at all like that, and aren’t formal in that sense. It was just that we gathered and had a focus, and that one person led/organized the discussion, more or less. And they were usually accompanied by food and drink, and often a great deal of laughter.

    Reply
  76. Mari, tea and cucumber sandwiches in a salt cave sounds magical and very special. I love the small rituals we develop with friends through life. I’d love to hear more about this one. I’ve never been to Poland, but one day I’d love to go there.

    Reply
  77. Mari, tea and cucumber sandwiches in a salt cave sounds magical and very special. I love the small rituals we develop with friends through life. I’d love to hear more about this one. I’ve never been to Poland, but one day I’d love to go there.

    Reply
  78. Mari, tea and cucumber sandwiches in a salt cave sounds magical and very special. I love the small rituals we develop with friends through life. I’d love to hear more about this one. I’ve never been to Poland, but one day I’d love to go there.

    Reply
  79. Mari, tea and cucumber sandwiches in a salt cave sounds magical and very special. I love the small rituals we develop with friends through life. I’d love to hear more about this one. I’ve never been to Poland, but one day I’d love to go there.

    Reply
  80. Mari, tea and cucumber sandwiches in a salt cave sounds magical and very special. I love the small rituals we develop with friends through life. I’d love to hear more about this one. I’ve never been to Poland, but one day I’d love to go there.

    Reply
  81. Sorry to be chiming in so late, but Anne, this was SUCH a wonderful and inspiring post.
    Being around like-minded people who love the magic of creativity is amazingly inspiring. I don’t get a chance to be around other writers all that often, which is why a gathering like RWA is a fabulous experience. The energy just sizzles through the air, and recharges batteries that get drained in solitude.
    Your explanation of why brainstorming is so great really rings true—it’s that suggestion that takes you out of your own set patterns of thought that spark fresh ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
  82. Sorry to be chiming in so late, but Anne, this was SUCH a wonderful and inspiring post.
    Being around like-minded people who love the magic of creativity is amazingly inspiring. I don’t get a chance to be around other writers all that often, which is why a gathering like RWA is a fabulous experience. The energy just sizzles through the air, and recharges batteries that get drained in solitude.
    Your explanation of why brainstorming is so great really rings true—it’s that suggestion that takes you out of your own set patterns of thought that spark fresh ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
  83. Sorry to be chiming in so late, but Anne, this was SUCH a wonderful and inspiring post.
    Being around like-minded people who love the magic of creativity is amazingly inspiring. I don’t get a chance to be around other writers all that often, which is why a gathering like RWA is a fabulous experience. The energy just sizzles through the air, and recharges batteries that get drained in solitude.
    Your explanation of why brainstorming is so great really rings true—it’s that suggestion that takes you out of your own set patterns of thought that spark fresh ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
  84. Sorry to be chiming in so late, but Anne, this was SUCH a wonderful and inspiring post.
    Being around like-minded people who love the magic of creativity is amazingly inspiring. I don’t get a chance to be around other writers all that often, which is why a gathering like RWA is a fabulous experience. The energy just sizzles through the air, and recharges batteries that get drained in solitude.
    Your explanation of why brainstorming is so great really rings true—it’s that suggestion that takes you out of your own set patterns of thought that spark fresh ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
  85. Sorry to be chiming in so late, but Anne, this was SUCH a wonderful and inspiring post.
    Being around like-minded people who love the magic of creativity is amazingly inspiring. I don’t get a chance to be around other writers all that often, which is why a gathering like RWA is a fabulous experience. The energy just sizzles through the air, and recharges batteries that get drained in solitude.
    Your explanation of why brainstorming is so great really rings true—it’s that suggestion that takes you out of your own set patterns of thought that spark fresh ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
  86. My group is a mix of published and not-yet-but-hopefully-will-be fiction and nonfiction writers (I fall into the latter category). I find the critique group helpful because it pushes me to submit my best work on a monthly basis (we submit our chapters one month and review it the following month). My group also pushes me as a writer by asking questions about why my characters do things and help me to edit out what isn’t needed.
    I just had a retreat with the group over the first weekend in May. We ‘camp’ in cabins along a lake in Southcentral Pennsylvania.
    During the retreat, we typically have quiet time for writing all day, with breaks for meals. Meals are simple so we don’t spend time cooking. And once dinner is over, we enjoy wine, s’mores and a camp fires all while talking about anything under the sun.
    This was my second retreat and I found it so helpful.

    Reply
  87. My group is a mix of published and not-yet-but-hopefully-will-be fiction and nonfiction writers (I fall into the latter category). I find the critique group helpful because it pushes me to submit my best work on a monthly basis (we submit our chapters one month and review it the following month). My group also pushes me as a writer by asking questions about why my characters do things and help me to edit out what isn’t needed.
    I just had a retreat with the group over the first weekend in May. We ‘camp’ in cabins along a lake in Southcentral Pennsylvania.
    During the retreat, we typically have quiet time for writing all day, with breaks for meals. Meals are simple so we don’t spend time cooking. And once dinner is over, we enjoy wine, s’mores and a camp fires all while talking about anything under the sun.
    This was my second retreat and I found it so helpful.

    Reply
  88. My group is a mix of published and not-yet-but-hopefully-will-be fiction and nonfiction writers (I fall into the latter category). I find the critique group helpful because it pushes me to submit my best work on a monthly basis (we submit our chapters one month and review it the following month). My group also pushes me as a writer by asking questions about why my characters do things and help me to edit out what isn’t needed.
    I just had a retreat with the group over the first weekend in May. We ‘camp’ in cabins along a lake in Southcentral Pennsylvania.
    During the retreat, we typically have quiet time for writing all day, with breaks for meals. Meals are simple so we don’t spend time cooking. And once dinner is over, we enjoy wine, s’mores and a camp fires all while talking about anything under the sun.
    This was my second retreat and I found it so helpful.

    Reply
  89. My group is a mix of published and not-yet-but-hopefully-will-be fiction and nonfiction writers (I fall into the latter category). I find the critique group helpful because it pushes me to submit my best work on a monthly basis (we submit our chapters one month and review it the following month). My group also pushes me as a writer by asking questions about why my characters do things and help me to edit out what isn’t needed.
    I just had a retreat with the group over the first weekend in May. We ‘camp’ in cabins along a lake in Southcentral Pennsylvania.
    During the retreat, we typically have quiet time for writing all day, with breaks for meals. Meals are simple so we don’t spend time cooking. And once dinner is over, we enjoy wine, s’mores and a camp fires all while talking about anything under the sun.
    This was my second retreat and I found it so helpful.

    Reply
  90. My group is a mix of published and not-yet-but-hopefully-will-be fiction and nonfiction writers (I fall into the latter category). I find the critique group helpful because it pushes me to submit my best work on a monthly basis (we submit our chapters one month and review it the following month). My group also pushes me as a writer by asking questions about why my characters do things and help me to edit out what isn’t needed.
    I just had a retreat with the group over the first weekend in May. We ‘camp’ in cabins along a lake in Southcentral Pennsylvania.
    During the retreat, we typically have quiet time for writing all day, with breaks for meals. Meals are simple so we don’t spend time cooking. And once dinner is over, we enjoy wine, s’mores and a camp fires all while talking about anything under the sun.
    This was my second retreat and I found it so helpful.

    Reply
  91. Our Sacramento, California writers group has been meeting every Monday night for over 10 years. We write together from prompts, then read back to each other. It is amazing the creative force that arises out of writing together. We get inspired, get encouragement to keep going, and learn from each other. Two or three times a year, we set aside a Saturday to write. Once we visited a pioneer graveyard and used it as an inspiration for our writing. Another time, we went to the zoo. Out of our work together, we wrote a book, “Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity.”

    Reply
  92. Our Sacramento, California writers group has been meeting every Monday night for over 10 years. We write together from prompts, then read back to each other. It is amazing the creative force that arises out of writing together. We get inspired, get encouragement to keep going, and learn from each other. Two or three times a year, we set aside a Saturday to write. Once we visited a pioneer graveyard and used it as an inspiration for our writing. Another time, we went to the zoo. Out of our work together, we wrote a book, “Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity.”

    Reply
  93. Our Sacramento, California writers group has been meeting every Monday night for over 10 years. We write together from prompts, then read back to each other. It is amazing the creative force that arises out of writing together. We get inspired, get encouragement to keep going, and learn from each other. Two or three times a year, we set aside a Saturday to write. Once we visited a pioneer graveyard and used it as an inspiration for our writing. Another time, we went to the zoo. Out of our work together, we wrote a book, “Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity.”

    Reply
  94. Our Sacramento, California writers group has been meeting every Monday night for over 10 years. We write together from prompts, then read back to each other. It is amazing the creative force that arises out of writing together. We get inspired, get encouragement to keep going, and learn from each other. Two or three times a year, we set aside a Saturday to write. Once we visited a pioneer graveyard and used it as an inspiration for our writing. Another time, we went to the zoo. Out of our work together, we wrote a book, “Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity.”

    Reply
  95. Our Sacramento, California writers group has been meeting every Monday night for over 10 years. We write together from prompts, then read back to each other. It is amazing the creative force that arises out of writing together. We get inspired, get encouragement to keep going, and learn from each other. Two or three times a year, we set aside a Saturday to write. Once we visited a pioneer graveyard and used it as an inspiration for our writing. Another time, we went to the zoo. Out of our work together, we wrote a book, “Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity.”

    Reply

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