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Monday, April 30, 2012

What I Learned at Retreat


 Fun weekend. Informative weekend. Exhausting weekend. I came home from Mid-Michigan RWA’s Retreat from Harsh Reality and promptly took a nap. My brain was on overload and my body does not like late, late night brainstorming anymore.
Take note that “fun” came first in my description of the weekend. It is always so much fun to get together with fellow writers. Writing is a solitary business. Creating fiction demands a lot of alone time with one’s computer. Contrary to the logo of a television production company, a pair of hands on a typewriter keyboard really doesn’t work. So when writers get a chance to come out of their caves, it’s great to talk with like-minded people. And talk we did. We’re women, what can you expect?
Now, that last comment was not being sexist. Our speaker, the incomparable Eileen Dreyer, did a workshop on the differences between men’s and women’s brains. Women have always known guys think differently and ever since Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus we’ve had validation. Eileen took this further by explaining the hows and the whys of “His Brain/Her Brain”. Very fascinating. Like many generalizations, there are exceptions and I’m proud to say my guy can find the butter in the ‘frig and I can read maps. Believe me when I say lunchtime conversations were very animated. I don’t remember when a topic generated so much talk.
Retreat is not just about workshops, though. The purpose of the weekend was a chance to kick back and recharge our creative batteries. Mine certainly were. I enjoy the camaraderie of friends I’ve known for nearly twenty years and meeting newcomers who are just dipping their toes into the fiction writing pool. We come from all walks of life. We’re from small towns and metro areas. We’re married, single, and divorced. Our ages range from early twenties through seventies. We are newly published, best-selling authors, or just starting our first novel. As different as we are, we have one thing in common. We write.
Since we’re women, we talk. That’s a no-brainer. Eileen told us why. It is how we bond. We share our experiences, our knowledge of the industry. To our competition. Guys, generally, don’t get that. Why do we help each other? Because others have helped us. It’s what women do. Thank goodness for that. There is so much information “out there” it’s difficult to keep up. At conferences, we share what we know and learn from others. How great is that!
I’ve saved the best part of the weekend for last. Every year, Mid-Michigan RWA recognizes one member for outstanding service to the chapter. I am thrilled to be this year’s recipient of MMRWA’s Angel Award. What an honor to be recognized by my peers.

22 comments:

  1. An award WELL deserved, Diane. I agree on the value of the weekend and its benefits. What a great time. Now . . . where to put all those books I brought home?

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy. I agree about the books. My honey just groaned when he saw them--esp. since I donated a box of books. He didn't expect me to replace them.

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  2. It was a fun weekend! And you are so deserving of the Angel pin, Diane. Congratulations again.

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    1. Thanks, Jackie. It was so good to see you.

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  3. You said it beautifully Diane, talking is how we bond. And what fun we have doing that! I am so proud and thrilled to see you get the angel award. I get chills during this wonderful part of retreat and sharing in the emotion. You're truly are one of Mid-Michigan's angels!

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  4. Congratulations, Diane! What wonderful news. Nancy is right, the award is well deserved.

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    1. Thanks, Patty. Wish you could have been there.

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  5. I was sorry I could only a attend the Retreat on Saturday, but as you said, Eileen's talks were great and the bonding with others was wonderful. We certainly have an abundance of talented writers in the chapter. And an abundance of "Angels." Glad to see you now have your wings.

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    1. Thanks, Maris. I joined an elite group (yourself, included).

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  6. Congrats on the Angel award! Well deserved! I'm glad you all had fun this weekend and am sorry I missed it!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Wish you could have been there.

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  7. I was so happy when I was informed that you would be this year's "angel". You soooo deserve it! Your observations of the weekend are spot on! What a great time we had!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I still can't believe all of you kept it a secret.

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  8. I have yet to go to a writer's retreat, but from your description, I'm going to have to do it soon. Sounds like a lot of fun, and congrats on your award!

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    1. Thanks, Jannine. You can come to ours. LOL It's a little hike from California to Michigan, though.

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  9. Didn't see my post, so I just have to say it again. Congrats! You are so deserving.
    All the best, Annette

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  10. I didn't get to personally congratulate you on receiving the Angel Award. (a little hectic for me) But I certainly want to add my congrats!

    Your comments are right on. I think bonding and recharging our creative batteries is so important.

    Anne

    P.S. My hubby can cook, well sorta, does laundry and shops for the groceries. Yes, I'm a little spoiled. And I can read most maps. :)

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    1. Thanks for the congrats. I'll say you were busy. I'm sure I didn't express how much I appreciate all your hard work on Retreat. This is a daunting task & you are to be congratulated on taking on the chair for next year.

      You are, indeed, spoiled by your husband--as I am by mine. They are definitely keepers!

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  11. Diane, you are so deserving of our Angel Award. Your work within our chapter absolutely defines 'service'! No one works harder or is more dedicated than you when you take on a project. I'm so glad I was able to be there when you received your Angel pin. Congratulations!

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    1. Loralee, you are so sweet to say all that. As I said to Maris, I've joined an elite group of Awardees. You all showed the way.

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