Saturday, October 18, 2008

Retreat-ing with Friends

There's nothing quite so special as spending a weekend with friends, especially writer friends. Five weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a writers' retreat. It wasn't my first retreat, but it had been a few years since I had been able to go to one, and I was excited. We left on Friday evening for the Mennonite camp where the retreat was to be held, it had been raining for several days and a flood warning had been issued for most of the state and especially the area. We decided to trudge on, anyway. Reports from the camp indicated things were wet but calm there and not expected to get bad. They didn't.

We spent the weekend talking about writing, eating, discussing the world of publishing, eating, sharing stories about our families and lives, eating, debating how difficult it sometimes is to find the time to write, eating, and planning the future of the group. Oh, yes, and eating. Where there are women, there will always be lots of food!

By Saturday afternoon, the sun had come out, and several of us took walks around the large rural acreage of the camp. We walked down to the river that stayed just below flood level and watched the water rush over the small dam. We saw not only a covey of quail, but several deer grazing on the tall prairie grass. For me, having lived on a farm for twenty-four years and now being away from it for eight, it was a reminder of the quiet simplicity of the country. I miss that, but I don't miss having to drive miles for gorceries, gas, or time with friends. All in all, it was a terrific and memorable weekend, and I'm so glad I was invited to be a part of the group this year.

I had planned to blog about this last month, but sick family and a book deadline wiped my mind of nearly everything else, and I forgot to post. It's been so busy that I haven't had the time to visit here and read all the blog posts from the editors and the wonderful authors who wrote HARs in the early years. Maybe this weekend, I'll get a chance to do that.

Have a Happy Halloween, everyone!


Estella said...

I live in a small town and the country is just a short walk away. I don't think I could live in a city, miles from a rural area.

Ellen said...

Sounds like an ideal way to relax and rejuvenate yourself.