Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thoughtful About . . . Scaring the Normals

So glad I got to share yesterday about how I've finally, after 19 years, sold the first book I ever wrote. Okay, so it's a little different than it was back then...which is why I'm plowing my way through a complete rewrite. As of this time last week, I was a little less than 1/3 of the way into my projected 110,000 words.

Right now, I'm at 76K. Chugging right along--and solely because of the awesomeness of a writing retreat with my best friend. Now, I know that lots of writers have get-togethers and retreats and writing marathons with each other. I don't know how often they look like this for approximately 18 of each 24 hours, but that's about what it was for us:

We were blessed to have an awesome home for our retreat--Stephanie's parents volunteered their house while they were on vacation. =) So what you're seeing here are the most amazing 0-gravity chairs I've ever had the pleasure of sitting in for 3/4 of the day, our laptops, our water, and our peanut butter M&Ms. You know, the staples.

Our meals most often looked like this.

And in the mornings we might be found at the breakfast bar.

But we did also surface about once a day to check in with the real world. One of our favorite destinations was Groundhouse Coffee, an awesome coffee shop also owned by the amazing parents of Stephanie. Here we daily received an amazing concoction of blackberry and espresso that they call, aptly, the Euphoria.
We stopped in on Saturday night for one of these, and there was live music. Apparently when one combines jazz with me shouting to the cashier "Roseanna!" when he asks for my name to write on my cup, you get this.

I decided to embrace the exotic appeal of Brizana (who is surely a Brazilian beauty) and answered to it the rest of the weekend.

But one of the highlights was when Stephanie took me to a Kansis City institution -- Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue. Apparently part of the OJB experience is the long line that trails out the door and around the corner. So, you know, we waited in it patiently. And because we're us, on a writing retreat, we started brainstorming. Our conversation sounded something like this.

"So I don't know what to do now that they kidnapped Piper. Why don't they just kill her?"
"Good question, yeah...does she know something they want to know?"
"Maybe. And then there's the other girl. I kinda want her to take a bullet for her. Or a raid, maybe? That could work. I have the undercover dude."
"Oo, yeah. But where's Mariano through it all?"
"I really don't know. He was at the police station. But they're trying to set him up, so...would they try to get him there?"
"Well that's what we need to figure out, I think. Once we know where Mariano is, we can figure out how to avoid killing Piper."

This would be about the time when, from behind us, we hear, "This is a very strange conversation going on in front of us."

Cue the laughter...and the memory of the sage advice from Brandilyn Collins, suspense writer extraordinaire: "Never talk about poisons and murder around normals. Trust me. You'll scare them." We'd never had to keep that in mind before, having spent our retreat last year brainstorming contemporary teen drama and how much faster travel was once trains came around.

Happily, no police came woo-wooing up to ask us what in the world we were plotting, LOL. And our next meals out, we kept our conversation tame. ;-)

Overall, a fabulous retreat. Stephanie actually got to The End, and I, by the time I had to shut off my computer for the plane to land in Washington Regan, had logged 40,000 words for the weekend. It was a great time with my best friend, and a great thing to come home to my hubby and kiddos, who both greeted me in Superman shirts.

The trouble now is easing back into the real world and out of 24-hour-a-day thinking about Lady Brook Eden, Baroness and Berkeley, and the secrets that killed her mother and now threaten her... ;-)


  1. Congrats on selling your first book! Your retreat sounds wonderful! I may have to do that myself someday with my critique partner.

    1. It's so much fun! We talked about it for years before our husbands finally said, "Why don't you just do it?" So one year she flies out to me, and the next I fly out to her. Perfect arrangement. =)

  2. Sounds like an incredibly fun time! Nothing like some good comradeship and time away from the craziness of "normal" life to get a novel written! :)

    1. So true! I'm in a bit of writing-time-withdraw now. Though it was definitely nice to get home to my cuddle-bugs, I could do without all the other "normal" stuff yet, LOL.

  3. Loads of laughter! Sounds like a great weekend, if you ask me. Congrats to both of you on your word counts and brainstorming sessions. Glad y'all had a blast!


  4. Ro, should I continue in this genre, we might need to have shirts that say "It's okay. I'm not crazy - I'm just a writer."

    1. I think those could be a best-seller for us at writing conference bookstores! LOL

  5. It sounds as if you had an amazing weekend. All that concentrated, uninterrupted writing sounds fun! I laughed at your overheard conversation. Been there, done that. I always want to explain, "Oh, I'm sorry, but I'm a writer and ..." but that can get a wee bit complicated. Sometimes it's better to say nothing and smile mysteriously! :)