Friday, July 18, 2014


Yesterday, I returned from my first writing retreat. Hardly anyone knew I was attending because I wanted to have this experience without the inevitable added pressure of, "Did you feel creative? Did you write a lot?" I've learned that there's only one thing that severely stifles my author brain: expectations.

But inspiration began the moment I stepped off the plane in Jackson, Wyoming at sunset.

The next morning, I drove to the Idaho cabin where seven YA authors would be gettin' their write on!

A cabin with its own waterfall right outside.

A cabin with a view like this!

Here's our host, Wendy Toliver, being interviewed by an Idaho station that did a story on us. The reporter who interviewed us was a lot of fun and asked great questions.

That first evening, during dinner, an intense storm blew through. Heavy rain! Hail! Clouds that wrapped around us, eliminating our view! Lightning! Wind that threw patio furniture, shattering a glass tabletop! Flickering lights!

And then, a rainbow.

We wrote at tables...

...or on the patio (once the furniture was put back in its place)...

...or at a downstairs desk...

...or sitting in a chair incorrectly (but comfortably).

And here we all are, the first seven attendees of the Cabin 'n' the Words YA Writing Retreat.

Here is the news report I mentioned earlier. Of course, as usual, they got my stats wrong. No, I don't know where they got that number. Yes, it was a running joke during the rest of the retreat. And yes, that made it worth it!

So, did I feel creative? Did I write a lot?

To both, I can answer...yes.

But even better, I made some truly wonderful, sweet, and inspiring friends.

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