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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday...

Halfway through the week! Thank goodness!

Tomorrow is K4's show! She is exhausted and migraine-y. Thankfully we were able to pick up her meds and the migraine I brought her home with was stayed. She was able to eat and relax, which is awesome. Especially considering she was near puking when we got home.

I have to tell you, I'm looking forward to Friday!

Don't forget about this!

That's all for now! I have some editing to do!

Behave!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It's here and It's Free!!

Go forth and get your free copy of this awesome anthology!!

This whole thing started at a conference a few years ago. We were sitting at dinner talking about how each of us would write a completely different story even if we all started with the same sentence. Then we decided to do it and see what happened. And here it is...


This was a lot of fun to write! I'm in the presence of amazing company! And guess what else? We're working on a second one where each stories will have the same second sentence!

Getting Back To Normal

Yeah, I'm home.

Glad to see my family and sleep in my own bed!
Not so glad to do the working thing, the cleaning thing, and the cooking/shopping things... Already running through things for next year's retreat! (It's our 15th year, so it's going to be epic)

This week is insane. K4's school performance is Thursday and this week is full of late rehearsals. She and I are up early making sure she has everything she needs, packing lunch and dinner, and copious amounts of coffee. Two more days. Tomorrow is another late rehearsal and then Thursday night is the show.

Then... weekend plans that should be awesome!

That is all! I have to get some editing done before I crash into my bed.

Behave!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Retreat: Day Five - Last Post

It has been an amazing retreat!

Everyone leaving is full of only good things! I have a list of things I want to do next year for my peeps, and I wrote the rooms down so I don't expect my brain to remember what it can't. Ha!

I'm packed. The only thing remaining is my laptop and to load the car. We'll leave in a few hours - at check out time - once we make sure the lingering folks are out the door and that our meeting room is back in place.

I am ready to go home. I miss my family and my bed (though there's nothing wrong with this one). I miss my puppy. However, I am not looking forward to the work week and that routine starting up again. ha!

For now, I'm going to work on my next story for the next Sentence anthology (more posting on that once Amazon actually makes it free... they are taking so very long!)

Behave!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Retreat: Day Four - Post Two

 

Better pictures...
These are from outside our meeting room. In the second one, you can see the edge of the main part of the building. I thought I'd gotten the cool balcony in the pictures, but nope. Above where I was standing is the dining room, which has floor to ceiling windows. There was a wedding going on and we spent a little bit of time outside dancing. Ha! The place is really huge. It's probably over a mile from the dining room side to the edge of that building in the second picture.

Our game was a blast. We played our version of Wheel of Fortune. I was Vanna. One of the answers was "Zee Joan Wilder". (Romancing the Stone). It was a hoot. Our "wheel" was a See and Say, complete with animal sounds. Everyone loved it, so we'll do it again next year with more answers.

Then we did our prize drawing. We had one main prize that had a whole lot of tickets in it. We started with that one, because we figured it was for the best. The coveted prize... if you will. The winner was thrilled. It had a couch-side table, a journal, cool pens, a mermaid cup, and a bunch of other things. We also gave away a coupon for next year's membership in our writing group. I also won a prize! Calendar white board, journal, cool pens... I can't remember what else. Believe me, at first I struggled with winning a prize since I organize the event, but our members were adamant about it being fair that I did. Just because I do all of the organizing and preparations, I pay just as much as everyone else, and in no way should I take myself out of the drawings. So that's cool.

We lost two people earlier. They made the hard choice to head for home when they realized they had a meeting they had to attend tomorrow. It was either leave when they did, or have to get up super early to be on the road by six. It sucks. They're new members and I had a blast getting to know them!

We're in the final hours of retreat 2017. I'm a little sad, but I'm also exhausted. I miss my family. I miss my bed. And my brain is a little broken (though super happy). We've decide this retreat is about "figuring it out". Many people made career goals. Some figured out what their next step is. Some realized what they need to do to move forward. Some napped and colored their hair and painted their nails because that's what they needed out of retreat. I'm all about that.

For me, well, I have been reassured that I am doing what I love. I have a plan of what is up next with my projects, and I have a plan to get there. I have written a lot since Wednesday and am fully aware of what I'm capable of, but not stupid enough to believe I can hit it every single time. I just need to manage the time I have and make the most of it.

This is why I love retreat so much. It is always exactly what each person needs. Everyone walks away with a fresh perspective, new ideas, new plans, and confidence. I cannot wait until next year. The contract has been signed and the deposit paid.

Probably one more retreat post tomorrow. We have breakfast and then a few hours until we have to be out. We always leave last since my name is on the contract and I need to make sure everyone leaves without issues. And that's okay. It gives me a few extra minutes of productivity.

Behave!

Retreat: Day Four - Post One

Last full day!

The temperatures have dropped incredibly. I am now in a sweatshirt and socks. Yeah, my window is open, but I'm okay with that. We had a thunderstorm and then it rained on and off all night.

I did sleep, but went to bed after midnight. We had to call the desk because the teenager retreat that came in yesterday were ridiculously loud and out in the parking lot playing ball at 11:30, and riding around a luggage cart that very nearly hit a brand new Charger and then Simon's car. I have no problem with the noise, but at 11:30, right outside our rooms was a little much. Love the staff here, though. Within five minutes of the call, the shenanigans had ended.

Anyway. Our social time was a blast. I ended up staying way later than I intended, but then I exceeded my word count from yesterday by a few hundred words. I'm almost done with the first draft of the project, which is awesome!

My goal today isn't word count oriented. It's to finish the chapter, read through and tweak, and work on the synopsis. And take a nap. Which I may do sooner than later. Even though I slept decently, my butt is dragging.

We have our annual game tonight. Always a blast. We give prizes, which are also funny. Then we'll do the prize drawing. It's definitely evident which prize is the most coveted. The ticket bag is three times as full as the others. I get it. I put most of my tickets in there, too.

Okay. Time to work.

Behave!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Retreat: Day Three - Post Two

Here's a picture. Ha!

Yeah, it's taken from my room window. I was just outside, but didn't have my phone on me. Then, I remembered I'd promised to get one on here.

Even with the screen, it's an awesome view. Beyond that gazebo is a pond. You can also see the dark clouds building, which may or may not produce a much-needed storm. We thought we were getting one earlier - there was thunder, black skies, and maybe about four raindrops before the sun came out again. It's very disappointing.

Usually when we are here, we have weather like we had at home last weekend. Abundant rain and chill. We like it like that. It makes it easy to hunker down and write. Okay, not like any of us are having trouble getting the words down, but that's not the point.

I've done well word count wise. I may or may not meet my awesome count from yesterday. I have about an hour and a half until our Friday night gathering. It's a social time where we talk, hand out tickets to be entered into our prize drawing, and maybe play a board game. I wasn't planning on being down there long, but was just informed that many people are excited about playing Cards Against Humanity, so...

Tomorrow is our last full day. Tomorrow night, we have our annual game which was put together by Simon. It's going to be a blast. We laugh so hard and have so much fun. After the game, we draw the big prizes and kind of start the prep to head for home.

I don't want to think about that right now.

Behave!

Retreat: Day Three - Post One

I didn't sleep much better last night. I woke at 3:30am again, but managed to fall asleep again until 5:30. Oh well. It is what it is. I attempted a nap after breakfast. Attempted. I dozed a little, but then the workers here dropped something outside and it made a loud noise and then I was done.

But I'm racking up the word count, which is an acceptable exchange for sleep.

I'm still on track to start writing this new project after lunch. Though I will probably attempt another nap, too - depending. Tonight we have our social time. How long I stay will depend on how things are going with the story, so we'll see.

I'll be back later.

Behave.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Retreat: Day Two - Post Three

It's late.

But I'm jazzed.

After dinner, I met up with Simon to do a little brainstorming. Not about the stuff I said earlier though. This is not something I'd planned on for this weekend. There's a purpose for the switch and my time is going to be tight, but I'm excited. And I can get it done. The plan is to finish the backstory in the morning and actually start working on it after lunch.

I had a totally awesome word count today, and I'm confident that it will be equally so tomorrow. Which means I'll be super close to finishing this project before I go home.

I'm a little worried that I won't sleep again. Not only is my brain full of ideas and stuff, but I haven't slept well for the past week. Which is why I'm still up though my awesome bed looks inviting and I'm so tired I've had to make a crap ton of corrections just typing this and I kind of think my eyes have stopped working. I have my windows open and I can hear the peepers in the pond. It's quite outside. There is no traffic here, no sounds of civilization... Yeah, I'm going to bed in a minute.

Tomorrow is Friday. Retreat Day Three. We have social time scheduled for the evening, which is always fun and is a much needed break. I love that earlier there was hysterical laughter throughout the hall, and I participated in some of that myself.

That is all for now. I have promised pictures and hopefully that will happen tomorrow. The thing is that I purposefully leave my phone behind when I leave my room. But I will take pictures.

Behave!

Retreat: Day Two - Post Two

I'm rocking the word count! I have a little over 5K words and it's only 3pm! Yay! The story is flowing, but now it's time to take a break. I will do this post and then take a nap, or at least read for a bit.

All of my peeps are in the house! Also, YAY!! We've had a room relocation due to flying ants. I love my retreat peeps. They are so chill about stuff happening. And the staff here is amazing. They treat us like we're their most important guests. I love it and I totally appreciate how easy they make this for me. Our newbies are settled in and it seems like they've been here every year. Also love that.

So now I have to think about my sequel book for Into the Fire. I also need to think about the short for our second "Sentence" anthology. Plotting/idea wrangling is in my near future and I'm excited.

We've been talking a lot about what this retreat is about. Everyone has different needs, they're at different stages in their writing, lives, and are dealing with different things in their life. Usually, we end up with a singular theme that covers everyone and it's awesome. It's either something like renewal, regeneration, discovery - that kind of thing. Sometimes we know what it's going to be shortly after we get here. Other times, we know before we leave on Sunday. This year we're still working on it. Part of that is due to some folks just getting here, the other part is that it sometimes takes a little bit to shake off the real world and focus in and then there's the getting to know the new people. Most of us have only been officially here for twenty-four hours now.

Don't know if I'll be back today or not... It will depend on my plotting schedule...

Behave!




Retreat: Day Two - Post One

It is a beautiful day here! The sun is shining, there's a wonderful breeze, birds are chirping. (We won't talk about the construction guys with the stuck lift beeping constantly on the road out front.) My windows are open and the breeze is coming through. My bed is huge and comfy. (though I only got about 3 hours of sleep and was up at 3:30am. Showered by 5:30. And have already napped once...)

Okay. I just spent the last ten minutes trying to find something to tie my blinds up because, though the wind is quite lovely, it made a horrible clacking noise as it goes through the blinds. That's all fixed now and I'm back to being in "beautiful" mode. Ha!

Something weird just happened though...

I was looking for a hair tie to tie up the blinds. It hasn't been that long since I've had no hair, so first I looked in my bathroom bag. None. Then, I looked in my briefcase as it tends to become just like a purse (i.e. catchall). I looked into a little pocket where I generally keep appointment cards and the like - a pocket I have looked in a million times - and I found my mom's ring.

To back up - this was her first "Mother's Ring". One with her and my dad's birthstones, my brother's, and mine. When we were cleaning the house, it was decided that I should have this. It's not worth anything - the stones aren't real - but it has sentiment. I wore it constantly and then one weekend while over there, I took it off because we were doing something gross, and I could never find it again.

And I found it today... On her birthday. On the anniversary of the day we had her services. This day is pretty hard, but finding this ring is an amazing thing. I feel like my momma is looking over me. I also have to add that this briefcase was my dad's. I immediately texted my sisters - as one said "that's crazy, but comforting". Exactly.

It's amazing how this little thing has made such a huge difference in how I feel. I have to go write now. I already have over 500 words and I want to hit as close to 2K as possible before lunch!

Behave!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Retreat: Day One - Post Two

Yeah, I' m back...

The newbies have arrived and the grand tour has been given. I love these newbies. I haven't had a chance to get to know them since they joined our chapter, and honestly, I was a little nervous about so many new people at retreat. There are six and ten folks that have been here numerous times.

But. They are awesome. I'm having a good time getting to know them and they've only been here a few hours. Our tour was filled with a ton of laughter, bad jokes, and silliness. I also love the fact, even though I knew it would be so, that our old-timers are all about taking the new people under their wing and helping.

Our hallway kind of got split up - meaning we have at least four rooms in the middle of the hall that are unused. They weren't offered on my rooming list, so we assume that they are under construction as we were told we are on this hall by ourselves. Which is fine, but it kind of changes our dynamic a little. No one seems to mind at all though, which is cool. And I'm not saying there are miles between us, it's just a little more spaced out than usual.

The rooms are pretty awesome though. I have a king-sized bed all to myself, super cool desk with a desk chair and my desk faces the door, so that Feng Sui is all in the right place. I have a connecting door with Simon, which is awesome. The only weird thing is the shower chair in my bathroom, but it's now the home for my cooler, so I'm okay with it.

Oh, and I wrote a bunch - not as much as I will tomorrow, but way more than I have recently. All while doing my Retreat duties.

And now, the three hours of sleep is catching up with me and I must sleep.

More tomorrow. Maybe even pictures?

Behave!

Retreat: Day One - Post One

Yay Retreat!!

We rolled in after nearly dying because of a hay bale in the road, taking a different route that we weren't familiar with, counting dead animals, Simon surviving a spider in her hair, and an awesome lunch.

Let's talk about lunch quickly. We always stop at the same place in the town right outside of where our facility is. The first time we stopped, it was a Mexican restaurant and so good. The second time, it wasn't Mexican, but it wasn't what it is now, and it wasn't that awesome. But for the past few years, it's been the same and each year, the quality goes up. I had an amazing portobello and gouda wrap, which was just enough to make me happy, but not feel like Thanksgiving dinner. Like the perfect lunch - I didn't feel like I needed a nap, and now that dinner time is coming quickly, I am hungry. But you don't really care about that. Ha!

I have three more people to check in today, and two tomorrow. Everyone is super excited to be here, which I love, and they thing the swag is cool, too. After dinner, I will take the newbies on a tour, and then settle in to write.

We'll see how long I make it tonight. I couldn't sleep last night and the last time I looked at the clock, it was 3am. So... I know it's going to catch up with me at some point - hopefully later than sooner. I told That Man it's fine - I always have a bit of trouble sleeping the first night and the exhaustion should help. Ha!

So last night as I was getting ready to get on my computer, it decides to update on it's own (don't worry - that stuff is turned off now). Yep. It crashed again. Took me several hours to do a system restore, and obviously that worked. I was in a panic though. What was I going to do for five days with no computer to write on, in the middle of nowhere? Everything is good now though. Keep your fingers crossed.

I don't know if I'll be back with an update later or not...

Behave!