< class="pagetitle">Archive for the “Writing Retreats” Category

Retreat at the Rainforest is, as always, awesome. Took the critiques from my beta readers, organized the comments and rephrased them into positive scenes, determined where in the novel they go, and copied the notes above each appropriate chapter. Have re-written the prologue, mined old chapters out of previous versions and inserted them, interwoven two stories and edited chapter one. Nothing like a few days with nothing to focus on but the novel.

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It is great to get so much done at a retreat, but boy, when you come back, there is so much to do–haven’t got too much writing done in the whole last week! Did do some work on chapter 15, but thought I’d have it done by now. However, I have helped to arrange readings for the Imaginative Fiction Writers’ Association at a local book store on Thursday, did some volunteer work for the When Words Collide readers’ and writers’ festival this summer, and got back to my exercise routine–and worked on a murder mystery play. So, lots done–just not much on the novel. Sigh.

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As always, the Rainforest Writers’ Village was awesome. Highlights included Rob Sawyer’s two talks, one on theme and the other on adapting one’s work for television or film. Some very good stuff on pantsing (Jim Van Pelt), critiquing (Brenda Cooper) and what happens AFTER that first contract (John Pitts). I got to be part of a panel on literary vs. commercial fiction which was well-received, too. Of course, the food and camaraderie was excellent, but the best part was getting some very good ideas worked into my novel outline, and a good start on Chapter 15!

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Last weekend at Dead Man’s Flats was awesome. Seven of us wrote from Friday at 4 PM to Monday at 6 PM, with a few breaks to visit the Rose & Crown pub in Canmore for dinner (great food, reasonable prices), or dip into the hot tub for re-inspiration. And, of course, a few conversations on writing. I revised a novel outline and wrote the opening 3 chapters–but now I have to get back to my other novel.

When I leave for the Rainforest Writer’s Village in Lake Quinault, Washington, I’m back to chapter 15 of the vampire mermaids book. <grin>

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Tomorrow I head for Dead Man’s Flats for a 4-day writers’ retreat with six other friends. Simple enough: about a year ago we found this condo set in the spectacular mountains–has a hot tub in case we need to take a break from all that typing, and it’s only 5 minutes from Canmore where there are lots of restaurants for dinner and to get out of the condo. Really looking forward to it: dedicated, focussed writing time. And I have tons to do!

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So, I just came back from Edmonton, where I had two days alone in a hotel room while my husband was at meetings. My own, personal writing retreat! Edited my Green Man story and submitted it on time, and began editing another story I’d written and had critiqued, but never revised. Hope to get it done and in the mail this weekend.

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So, how cool is this? I spent a week, along with five other writers, at a writing retreat hosted by Rob Sawyer! I got lots done, though didn’t do nearly as much as Gerald, who got 18,000 words written! On the Tuesday evening, Rob invited his editor, Adrienne Kerr over for dinner, so you can imagine the conversation was very interesting.

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Got really inspired this week about my novel. As an alternate history, it is speculative, but it didn’t have any aliens or ghosts or anything magical–and now I have a cool idea about introducing evil mermaids. This is great, because they will help me save the antagonist at the end of the book. Took some time on September 29 to re-structure my outline, and am very excited about how the new line is weaving in with the old.

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So the Write-Off–IFWA’s semi-annual writers’ retreat–was awesome. Managed to revise a whole short story and re-submit, as per the editor’s request–fingers crossed!

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Aside from writing (and submitting) a complete short story and making a good start on a second, travelling to Washington to write with other like-minded people has been great. This is my fourth year at the Rainforest, and it was great to meet up with old friends and acquaintances, and meet new authors as well. My two daughters were completely starstruck that I met one of the writers for “Portal.” Good times!

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