Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writing Retreat 2011

I have known Lindsey Leavitt for a long time. Years and years. We met on Verla's message boards, and swapped our boyish middle grade novels, and I fell in love with her sweetness and sense of humor. I knew she had talent and it would just be a matter of time before she was published. It's not just her writing I love though. I ADORE Lindsey, and am so blessed to call her my friend.

But back to her books. I can still remember when she sent me the first chapter of Princess For Hire. She wanted to know if she should keep writing, and what did I think of it? What did I think of it??? Oh my gosh - so cute, so funny, so good!! Write it, I told her in ten different ways. And write it she did.

And then, there was Sean Griswold's Head. I fell in love with Sean as I read the manuscript. I have an ARC I'm reading now, and it's so fun to see the story I loved years ago transformed into a real book! And lucky you, I'm going to give it away next week. Trust me people, you want to read this book. It's fun and funny and has a whole lot of heart. It's my favorite kind of book. (Bloomsbury, March 1, 2011)

Lindsey and I met face-to-face for the first time a couple of years ago at an SCBWI conference. And since then, I can't get enough of her. When her husband was looking for a place to practice dentistry, I was like, Oregon is a REALLY GREAT PLACE. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. So, imagine my happiness when she suggested a writing retreat at her parent's vacation home. Yes, please!!

So, this past weekend, we gathered in the beautiful state of Utah. Pictures don't really do it justice, but I took a few while on a walk one day, so might as well share.

I will be honest. It was a bit bittersweet going on this trip. Our dear friend Lisa M. was supposed to be on the flight with me. She was supposed to be going out to dinner with us, and standing around the kitchen, chatting with us. I missed her. But I'm really glad I went. I got some writing done, and we had lots of fun alongside the work. The last night we were there, we went in to Park City and had dinner at an Irish Pub. Becca Fitzpatrick, author of HUSH HUSH, let me have some bites of her soup (it was REALLY good soup)! The beautiful lady sitting next to Lindsey is Rachel Hawkins, author of the HEX HALL series. OH! HEX HALL is out in paperback this week. If you haven't read it, you should buy it - it's so good! I'm REALLY glad I got to meet Becca and Rachel (and Emily Wing Smith, who I somehow failed to get a picture of, dang it). I adored them, and hope I get to hang out with them again someday.

Writing can be lonely. It's hard being inside your own head all of the time. It's so nice to get together with other writers, to brainstorm, to talk shop, to laugh until you cry reading, um, well, I probably shouldn't say. But yeah, it's good. Especially when you reassure each other that you WILL get through the WIP and make it out to the other side. Hopefully.

So now I'm home, trying to finish the revisions on this book I've been working on since October. I am hoping to finish it soon and send it to my agent to see what she thinks. I have about 100 more pages to go through and revise. I can do it, right? RIGHT!? If I close my eyes, and pretend I'm back in Utah with the beautiful scenery and the wonderful friends, I bet I can.


  1. Oh man, that looks like so much fun! What a great weekend. I'm sorry I wasn't around to stop by!

  2. What a beautiful setting to write in and create last memories with friends new and old. Writing can be lonely and it is so nice when you can surround yourself with others who understand the creative process and not only support it but can be there when you are stuck. What a wonderful trip! Thanks for the fun peek

  3. Oh my gosh, what a fabulous idea! So sorry Lisa couldn't be there with you guys, but so glad that the rest of you were able to do it. I loved Princess for Hire and I can't wait to read Sean Griswold's Head.

  4. Looks like a fabulous time! And I'm sure your agent will love your next book.

    Not sure what we have to do to win SGH, but I'd love to!

  5. Beautiful scenery! I would LOVE to go on a writer's retreat. Someday, that's something for me to look forward to.

  6. Seriously, I'd love to go on a writing retreat. And the photos are lovely.

  7. I ahd such a fabulous time, Lisa!! So glad I finally got to meet you in person. That trip will sustain me for awhile. :)

  8. I could use a writer's retreat myself.