This week marked the end of a very hectic period of my life. After six weeks of various events, commitments, and chaos, I got my beach week.
Now, those who know me will realize that I get very nervous in new situations. The evil voice of lies in my head tells me that I'm going to invariably screw everything up and be revealed as a pathetic incompetent impostor. The slightly less evil voice of poorly understood probabilities tries to convince me that nothing can ever live up to my expectations.
Both of these voices got slammed by reality. First off, there was this:
Strike two: these are the wonderful ladies I was with, including the one who took the picture. I could not have asked for a better group to spend a week with if I became a supervillain and tried to design them in a computer. Their generousity, kindness, sense of humour, passion and wit is unparalleled. Any group that can both give a group hug to help someone dealing with difficult personal issues and continue sniggering over our newly invented vocabulary word "Ass-tertaste" is a pretty great group of people.
Strike three and the final blow: this week was both highly productive and fun. As you can see, everyone grabbed their own little writing spots through the day (mine was the blue couch on the left with the cushions piled to one side. I could lie on it and see this:
Since I do very well with writing in a semi-reclined state, it worked brilliantly.) I got five chapters completed (including writing two of them over twice). Now that the middle of Judgment is nailed down and sparking fire, it's a race to get the second half done. (Which is why I joined Nanorimo, though I'm having some trouble with getting my account working.)
We would write until five or six in the evening and then gradually begin to congregate in the kitchen or start using our laptops to share videos rather than working. Some of the ladies did some sight-seeing in Charleston, there was almost always someone ready for a break and a walk on the beach if you wished, and a delicious assortment of home-made meals served each night.
Now, I've done my own "writer retreats" where I go to a hotel and put my nose to the keyboard, but no matter how productive the day goes, there's no matching how much fun the night gets when you're with a group whose crazy matches your crazy.
I introduced the group to Deadpool and Lucifer, and they introduced me to Outlander and Good Behavior. We played Cards Against Humanity and invented our new word: Asstertaste (that sour taste you get in your mouth when you realize you're dealing with a complete asshole, Oxford English Dictionary patent pending). We talked about dating after divorce, love at first sight, promotion techniques, traditional vs indie publishing, our kids, our husbands (or exes), the best ways to hide bodies and whether or not its possible to ride a horse from New York to Savannah in under two days. We talked about our favourite books and authors, shared stories about different conferences and reader events, discussed the implications of Amazon's latest newsworthy faux-pas as well as the recent inclusivity push by RWA.
We would be up until well after midnight, laughing and barely noticing the time. Then crash and start it all again the next day. There would be periodic shout outs like "Does anyone know what kind of helicopter would be used to transport large animals?" or "Can you give me a name for my new villain?" followed by furious keyboard clicking.
It was exactly the kind of break I needed and while I settle back into temperatures that have a little minus sign in front of them, I'm already looking forward to next year.