Our last two days in Myrtle Beach went by far too quickly. Donna cooked a delicious dinner once night with breaded chicken breasts, seared asparagus and salad. It was probably the best meal I have eaten in months upon months.
Tuesday night we did readings. I pondered what to read and nearly read the scene of Erokath feeding, but I opted for the enchanted jars scene, which seems to be a favorite always.
At the end, I was struck once again with how extremely blessed I am to be included in this circle of writers. There is not a person among them who is not supremely talented. Of course, Jo is acknowledged not only by my opinion, but of the publishing world since she has two RITA finalists this year. She read the opening to her new book. She says it is flawed and all wrong, but it isn’t. It’s beautiful and emotional and hang the danged rules.
It was a very productive getaway for all of us, I think. Beth broke through a wall that had been troubling her. We all have hopes KNIFE GIVER will be finished this year. It is such an amazing story.
I came away from the retreat with a confidence I needed; an acceptance of who and what I am. I needed that because I had some hard decisions to face and I finally gained the courage to do just that.
And now for our cast of characters.
Jenny’s lovely foot.
The rest of Jenny. She always crafts the most amazing bookmarks for writer events. I am so impressed with her talent and creativity. Plus, she is just a lovely lady. It’s no wonder her girl scouts stay with her forever. She made some beautiful wine glass charms for Tara. See that smile. It’s a permanent fixture.
We sat down one night and worked on conflict. She showed me how to set up a conflict box, which is very interesting. We did it on a scene I was working on and it was intriguing to see how it works in action.
Tara did something quite wonderful when we first arrived. She made me go out to the ocean and we stood there and let the tide roll in. I waited and let the water wash over my feet. It was the most amazing feeling.
We just stood there reveling in the moment. At last she said. “You are at the edge of the world. Next stop, Europe.” I felt as if a prophecy had been passed. There will always be a special place in my heart for Tara for sharing this experience with me.
Jo Bourne of SPYMASTERS LADY and LORD AND SPYMASTER FAME. Jo is obsessed with killing people and things, but she eats lots of fruit and laughs often, so I don’t think she’s dangerous. She really is a very interesting lady to visit with. We tried to convince her she should do a master class at Surrey. Her techniques are wonderful.
Donna Rubino. A joy to shop with. “Where’s the wine? Did you get beer? Did anyone get Jenny’s margarita mix?” My favorite was probably uttered while following two twits blocking the aisle in the grocery store. “You’re much too polite, Julie. It’s time to go New Yorker on them.” Donna is proof positive people can have opposite political views and still have civil, intelligent discussions. I love her dearly.
Donna’s writing a historical. Don Maass asks her how it’s coming along each time he sees her. I think he’s interested. Who wouldn’t be? It’s riveting.
Jenny, Jen, Beth and I discussing something terribly important about writing.
Jen and Tara plotting against the world or maybe discussing autopsies and killers again. They were smiling a lot. Probably discussing killing someone.
Medieval Times group.
Jen and Beth. Beth is writing a fantastic book. We think if we nag her enough she will finish part seven. She probably has us all on ignore by now. Don Maass is interested in Jen’s manuscript. How cool is that?
Tara. See Tara up in the corner of the porch? That was just before we started feeding seagulls on the last day.
Isn’t Tara beautiful?
She reminds me a bit of the princess in the Medieval Times show. You almost expect her to start singing, don’t you?
Tara warned us about feeding the seagulls. “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”
We scoffed and tossed more bread chunks at the gulls with Gay Abandon! They weren’t too interested in Gay, but they loved the bread.
“I’m telling you, they’re going to turn on you.”
We trilled with laughter and threw more bread.
“Anyone seen my muffins?”
Tara watched as the seagulls became expert at catching bread chunks in the air. It reminded me of Julie Andrews on the mountain top singing, Sound of Music–only different.
“Stay away from me, you little bastards.”
Tara used to be in the navy.