#WordsOnThePage Retreat is Madness, Mayhem, and many good times!
What an incredible weekend! There were Instagram posts, twitter posts and Facebook live videos from this weekend, but I want to debrief the experience and share my takeaways!
Over the course of my four days at The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley the main theme for me was Friendship. Author friends are truly unique in that even if you only meet up at RWA meetings or chapter events, or sometimes only chat online, author friends really get you. They understand your innate need to create, to get those stories out. They think it’s perfectly fine to play in your own creations and will often play with you. There’s always something to be learned, and author friends are truly lifelong learners. I’ve never met so many people willing to try something new or teach something new... and I’m a teacher! But see, many of my fellow teachers become content with their level of knowledge and feel like an opportunity to learn something new is a challenge to their credibility. Not so with most of the authors I’ve met. And probably most important: they are the best cheerleaders you will ever know. Again, I know cheerleaders! Used to coach them! But when it comes to pulling up a team member or holding up that winning sign for you, there’s no one I ‘d rather have at my back!
Author friends turn into wide-eyed drooling maniacs when it comes to old shit. Not only were we staying in the coolest hotel connected to the longest continuously operating saloon west of the Mississippi, but we took a field trip to the longest continuously operating school west of the Mississippi. Those are some major claims, almost like “award-winning chowders” that you’re supposed to just accept, but authory folks are really willing to ask those tough questions. Our field trip to the Grass Valley Museum was fascinating! It’s amazing that this little town, just three hours from our home, has such a rich history that isn’t so well-known but full of plot bunnies and inspiration for us authory types! We may have even peeked under the habit. Our tour guide Skip was fantastic and very patient with us!
I was especially fascinated with all of the music-making items. I even saw Jonah Bane playing there...
Paranormal vs Drunken Activity
The Holbrooke is known for being a hotbed of spooky happenings. When Rob, Karysa and I went last year, we had a questionable experience but were left with such a great feeling that we just knew we’d be back. We ended up with 19 folks this time and there was a bit of excited energy around whether any creepy things would happen.
My very first night, someone or something rattled the doorknob on my outside balcony door trying insistently to get in and a large shadow loomed over my bed from the corner. It made me a little giddy and rather than freaking me out, I fell asleep feeling like I’d come home. A few others mentioned strange occurrences, however most of the disturbances were of the inebriated variety and while I’m sure it was frustrating to have sleep interrupted, it certainly provided some wild stories!
The sounds in the writing room downstairs alternated between the furious tapping of keys, the scratching of pens on paper, and the popping of corks. Conversations ranged from incredibly useful networking to the location of a penis museum. I won’t go into detail but if you check my twitter feed you’ll get a taste.
Eva Moore and I also did some Facebook live action on Friday night in which there were music and wine tastings, near-flashing behavior, sirens, escaping balloons... it was nuts. You can find evidence on Facebook.
And there was shopping! I know I dropped a few Benjamins in downtown Grass Valley! Junk in the Trunk, Clocktower Records, The Lazy Dog Chocolateria, the book shop and my favorite... Cult of Gemini! I loved walking around with folks and meeting the super cool people from the town.
Oh... and getting shit writ.
Many words were written over the weekend. I’ll try to get a count once folks return home. I was able to make some headway on my second installment of the Banes Of Lake’s Crossing, which has become incredibly dense, and I am super inspired to get into this story even further.
So many folks made this weekend special for me. I got to talk to new folks, folks I went a little deeper with, and folks I bonded with, but I have to give a shoutout to my fellow Holbrooke OGs, Karysa and Rob. They both inspired me last year and I’m so grateful we could share our special place with everyone else!
I loved sharing my space with folks who dropped by to write, I loved catching meals with friends and overall, I came away feeling loved, supported and inspired everytime. After the last year we’ve endured full of negativity, I really really needed this. So thank you to all of my authors peeps, thank you to the phenomenal staff of the Holbrooke, and thank you my family for sharing me so I could recharge my creative batteries.
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Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance!!!