I think I've finally recovered from my exhausting, amazing, and inspiring week in Breckenridge at the Writing Away Retreat hosted by this fab lady: CICILY JANUS
(NOTE: All photos in this post were taken by the lovely and talented Maureen Benes, a fellow writer at the retreat who knows her way around a camera way better than I do). Here's the link to more of her beautiful photography.
Cicily and Sue Ellen cooked their way through the whole week, and I haven't eaten that well in a really long time. After having amazing meals prepared for 5 1/2 days, it was really hard to get my butt back in the kitchen when I got home.
This was the view from our front porch, and it was even better when we went hiking in the mountains:
And this was the last of the beverages on the final day of the retreat....
The wine, vodka, rum, etc. were long gone at this point. CONFESSION: my roommate and I alone finished a case of Diet Pepsi--cuz we're wild and crazy like that.
The writing time was incredible. Those of you with jobs, kids, etc. can understand the joy of uninterrupted writing time. Aside from the occasional (okay, frequent) Diet Pepsi run, I wrote all day long. The 1:1's with staff were more helpful than any conference I've ever attended. Seriously. It was more than worth the money just to have those critique sessions. Plus, they were a captive audience as we all shared the same house. They were always happy to answer questions about the publishing industry or just talk about life, kids, etc. I couldn't have picked more amazing editors to spend my week with than Abby Ranger, Kevin Doughten, and Katie Gilligan. Also, don't tell anyone, but Kevin can sing (and dance).
I have so many great memories: karaoke night, Maritess' magic show, Folio agent Scott Hoffman's rendition of Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive", Lee Ann's Southern-tinged stories, laughing with my roommate until 5am when we finally fell asleep, and Chris' amazing take on "Kiss" by Prince. Also, did I mention the hot tub? My first night there, the moon was full and we watched the snow-capped mountain peaks glow from the hot tub. The hot tub was a relaxing way to end the day, and my roommate and partner-in-crime, Sue, spent a lot of time there with me...I'm still waiting for that meteor shower.
Overall, bonding with other writers was the highlight of my week. It was a truly magical experience, and I'm already saving up for next time. If you've ever considered a retreat, I can't recommend this one highly enough.