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.