Once upon a time, I joined this snazzy little group of writers who have a website called READerlicious.com. We were more than critique partners. We became fast friends. Yes, all of us.
One day last year, we discussed flying cross-country to meet up and take a week long class together. The master writing class (AKA Margie Lawson’s Immersion course) was held at Christina Delay’s beautiful home in Texas.
Now you may think, “How nice for yoooou.” Did I hear sarcasm in your tone? Oh no, you didn’t (for full effect, read that last phrase with sass).
It took sacrifice to make the trip. Participants’ finances were stretched. Kids were left alone with fathers and grandparents. I didn’t have a kid at home, but my dogs had to stare at my husband for long minutes until he decoded the need-treat-now face.
The positives far outweighed the negatives. Here are some of the most memorable moments.
I am all about food. Ask any of my friends. So, I worried a little about what would happen with meals. You don’t want to see me hangry.
Surprise! I ate some vegan meals. I think. Whatever it was, all of it was good. Our hostess Christina planned menus. She did ask us for input. Of course, I told her about my daily requirement of chocolate and diet coke. In the photo, Kathleen and Carol are preparing the evening meal with dramatic flair. We took turns cooking. We also went out to eat a couple of times.
One evening, we acted out a scene in Carol’s manuscript. This helped Carol to see if the choreography and pacing worked. It also helped us to see how silly we can be. And how there’s only a few true actresses among us.
Action? Check. High emotions? Check. Giggles? Oh. My. Gosh. More like wet-your-pants laughter and snorting and hilarity.
We became an even tighter knit group than we were before. Although Kelly and I live in different states, we still communicate on a regular basis about writing things and totally odd non-writing things. Important things. Things like the best/worst/funniest texting autocorrect that actually happened to you. You know. These conversations can make your day.
Back to the writing. The professional benefit of attending the Immersion class is difficult to explain. We had lots of fun, but we also worked harder than we would alone. There were days when I thought my brain would turn to zombie mush. We delved deep into our manuscripts. Basement deep where it’s dark and scary. But at least I wasn’t alone with the spiders. I had these ladies to hold my hand.
I shared this with you today so you’ll give yourself permission to get out of your writing cave. Be with other writers. Attend a retreat. I promise it will be worth it.
Brinda Berry lives in the southern US with her family. She’s obsessed with cairn terriers, Kings of Leon, new technology and sandy beaches. She’s also terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.