Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mini-Writers Retreat

Today is Sunday, and I am looking at the most beautiful mountain scene, golden and orange leaves on big trees guide my eyes out to Grandfather Mountain miles away. Fog has wrapped us all morning in its haunting stillness, but now the distant sky pales with wisps of clouds skimming the ridge. 

We three are not here to hike or tour the region. We have come to write, to share writing ideas, to submerge ourselves in all things “writing.” We stopped for church, for me to go to the grocery store and to the pet shop. I purchased a sweater for my puppy, Lexie. She is not a cold weather dog. The pink sweater in extra, extra small fits her and she is like a kid at Christmas. Nothing could have made this little dog happier than to put on her a warm sweater.

My good friends, authors, Deanna Klingel and Miriam Jones Bradley, joined me this weekend for time away from home and a mini-writing retreat. I always learn so much from these two women of widely varied ages and I hope they learn something from me.

Deanna Klingel


Deanna astounds me with her in-depth research for each of her novels. The next book will be a fictional history of Chief McIntosh of the Creek Indian tribe. She was asked to write this book by a historical society so that children could learn about this fascinating man of the 19th Century.

Deanna has a way of writing about youngsters that made me ask, “How do you get into a fourteen year old boy’s head like that?”
She responded, “I raised four sons.”  I then learned she also raised two more boys who were not her biological sons, along with three girls.

Deanna’s award winning Avery series, Avery’s Battlefield and Avery’s Crossroad, about a boy who lived during the Civil War have been quite popular with middle grade kids.

I read her novel, Cracks in the Ice, a wonderfully told tale of a young girl who hopes to become a professional skater. Once again, Deanna Klingel delved into all things related to the life of this character, including uncovering what life as the niece of a mobster would be like. Yes, the heroine grows up with body guards driving her to school.  

Some more of Deanna’s books are: Bread Upon the Water, Rock and a Hard Place; a Lithuanian Love Story, The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, the Little Beth Series: Beth’s Birds, Beth’s Backyard friends, Amanda and the Lazy Garden Fairy. Coming soon are Walker Hound of  Park Avenue and Blue-Eyed Doll. Visit her website to order these books.



Miriam Jones Bradley

Miriam Jones Bradley, is author of children’s books as well as a collection of her columns published in the Newberry Observer titled, You Ain’t From Here, Are You?. This book is a gentle but humorous observation of what a new person in the community sees and hears from the good people who greet her. Miriam writes for young adults as well as for older adults who want to leave a legacy. Check out her website to order her books.

She is also author of a mystery series, The Double Cousins Mysteries, for 7 – 13 year old readers. I picked her mind as to how she comes up with a mystery. She takes tidbits of fact and weaves that into a plot that moves along taking the reader with it.

Miriam and Deanna don’t stand still. Miriam wonders how she is going to continue to manage her school presentations, book signings, blogging and writing another book this year as well as working as a nurse two days a week. Both women travel all over the country speaking and signing their books.

Miriam is originally from the western plains and Deanna lived longest in Atlanta where she and her husband raised their children. Now she lives in Sapphire, NC. Miriam lives in Hendersonville.

 Both busy writers are dedicated to their craft and both have active writing businesses. Both have husbands who are supportive and helpful behind the scenes. I heard high praise for both David and Bruce this weekend. 

We look forward to doing this again and hope others will join us either in the mountains or at the beach. Having time to share ideas, ask questions, and discuss publishing and online media is not a luxury but a necessity for those of us who are serious about publishing our work.

My readers, have you ever attended a writers' retreat? How many people were present? Did you enjoy it?


 Other posts on this blog you might enjoy:
Coffee with the Poets and Writers

5 comments:

Unknown said...

This is my favorite type of retreat. Good friends, beautiful setting, lots of writing time!

Abbie Taylor said...

I attended a retreat last spring with which I wasn't impressed. There were about eight of us, and it lasted a couple of days. I hoped to have a lot of time to work on my memoir, but instead, most of the time, the facilitators gave us prompts and expected us to share what we'd written, inspired by those prompts. I suppose I could have said to heck with that and spent more time on my memoir but didn't want to be rude.

When we were finally allowed to work on our own projects, the facilitators rang a bell every twenty minutes, and we were expected to take a break. This reminded me of when I was a family caregiver, and I had to drop what I was doing every so often to take care of my husband.

The menu was mostly vegetarian, and needless to say, when I got home Saturday evening, I put a steak on my indoor grill.

Elephant's Child said...

It sounds as if all of you epitomise the phrase 'if you want something done, ask a busy person'.
I am so very glad that you found/made time out to hone your craft.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Abbie, I chuckled at your comment on your experience at a writers retreat. Too much organization, it seems. We had no organization but we accomplished much.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

This is great, Glenda. I'm so glad you attended the writer's retreat and had a great time. Sounds like an awesome experience. Thanks for sharing with us.