Monday, May 10, 2010

Wanna Know what Really Happens at Writers Retreats? And the Winner of Princess for Hire

And the winner of Lindsey Leavitt's Princess for Hire (chosen by is comment #19...

Kristen Harmon
email me your address: brosam (at) gmail (dot) com
On to the post:

I went to a writers retreat with a bunch of writing buddies over the weekend. There are no pictures, and I'll explain why in a bit. 

I show up Thursday night, a little late to the party, and when I walk in, the condo is dead silent except for the clickety clack of fingers typing away at keyboards. 

The scene was unfamiliar to me, as I was expecting a writers retreat, and this was unlike other retreats I'd been to. (What was I expecting, you might ask? Well, at our last one, we spent the first night giving ourselves pedicures and Bree Despain did everyone's hair.)

But Joel (the lone male at the condo) didn't look like he was in the mood to braid hair. 
I was all, "What are you guys doing?" (I whispered, because it seemed appropriate.)
Nikki Mantyla (the host of the party) replies, "We're writing." Like, it should be obvious.

me: "Everyone's writing? When is the talking?"

Nikki: "We talked for a while. Now it's time to write. Did you bring your computer?"

me: "I think so. It's in the car. I didn't think I'd be using it right away."

Eventually, I got into the groove, and the next day Sam called. I whispered when I answered.

Sam: "Why are you whispering?"

me: "Because everyone's writing."

Sam: Confused pause. "Everyone? Writing?"

me: "Yeah. It's what we do at writers retreats. duh."

Sam: "It's not what you do at writers retreats."

me (whispering even quieter): "I know. Apparently I've been doing it all wrong." 

So, that's why there are no pictures to go with this post. There was no time. We had work to do!

How was all y'all's weekend? Productive? How was your Mother's day?


  1. Though the retreat doesn't sound as action-packed as it might have been if, say, YOU had been hosting, I'm happy someone managed to make you sit down and write. This way, I'll get to read your books so much sooner!

    Bless you, Nikki! :)

    I got to spend the weekend with my pseudo-brother and his new actual wife. We watched a really bad marshal arts movie out of Taiwan--it was a prequel to two other movies... and the main character was killed at the end. That's okay, though, because if the audience will clap their hands and say they believe in fairies, he'll come back to life for the next movies. No, I didn't clap. It was fun mocking the English dubbing, though!

  2. It was such an awesome weekend, Brodi. I got so much writing done, though I do have to admit there were a few times when I hit writer's block and needed to chat. Though in whispers, of course!

  3. I actually spent my weekend at a writers' retreat with my friends too. After seeing pictures of your previous writers' retreat, I kinda was expecting some pedicuring and hair doing, but no. We worked. I slept in the next day, but as soon as I got up and showered, even before breakfast, I got to work on my book. It was the greatest mother's day gift I've had. Going away and then coming back with my lovies.

  4. For the first time in my 11 years of motherhood, I feel blessed (and extremely shocked!) to say: My Mother's Day did NOT suck!

    Sorry about your writer's retreat. Clearly they did not get the message by reading your previous posts that writing is not what those things are for!

  5. Robin- I love English dubbing in those movies. It's so bad!

    Chersti- The weekend did rock. I made the mistake of working in the kitchen, which meant I was a little too close to all the snacks.

    Yamile- Apparently this notion of actually writing at writers retreats is spreading. Glad you had a great Mothers Day weekend!

    Sal- Here's to a Mother's Day that doesn't suck!

  6. We've written at a SIX writing retreats before...I think it was in 2007...remember that one time?

  7. Emily- I think I do remember that one time. We brought our computers too, I think.

  8. Wow - are you sure you were with the right crowd?? Hope you produced some good word counts.

    Are you going to blog about your Mother's Day? Would love to hear.

    My first gift of the day was diarrhea (I just tried about five spelling variations to get that blasted word right). Followed by Doug's first gift - a trip to the grocery store for Pepto. Followed by teaching RS after gnawing two more pepto tablets. Followed by a gorgeous meal Doug made that I couldn't eat. And two boys who threw up at 11PM. Loverly. Surely yours was better than that!

  9. Cath- I think you need to return that Mother's Day to the store for a full refund. That stinks! (Literally, apparently).

    I'll be blogging about my Mother's day on Wednesday. Preview: I got lots of flowers in paper cups.

  10. Writing at a writing retreat? Shocking!?! A weekend with out kids - I'm with you - where is the party??

  11. Sounds productive, but hopefully it was still fun. You didn't work the whole time?

    I had a great first Mother's Day, fairly laid back which was nice. Can't wait to hear about yours!

  12. It is good to have you home. While you were gone, it was just the opposite for me--I got no writing done, but I did do a lot of talking with 2 little boys.

  13. Apparently all the talking happened between the hours of midnight and 2:30 am. I think we just got our days and nights mixed up or something. :)

    It was a great weekend though and I'm glad we got to see you all there and discuss the talk that we didn't listen to.

  14. Cam- Exactly. Why waste a free weekend with writing?

    Una- Happy First Mother's Day! I remember that first one, where you think of your own man, and say to yourself, "Okay, now I understand."

    Sam- Um... Happy Early Father's day! For your present, you get an entire weekend of just talking with your boys.

    Jenilyn- That was a great talk on writing. Remember:
    1. Hang out in bars.
    2. Stalk agents and editors.
    3. Be beautiful.

  15. Sounds like you got a lot done. ;)

    I went to a kick-off for girls' camp on Friday night. It was fun, but not as exciting as Corey's Saturday evening. He was at the Provo Smith's when the shooting occurred. (Not sure if you heard about it.) He's okay, luckily. Well, everyone except the shoplifter is okay. But, it was kind of scary for him to be there.

  16. Jenni- Wow. I'm glad your hubby is okay. The only thing scarier than that is planning a young women's campout. Very scary.

  17. Wow. That does sound like a different kind of retreat for you.

    This weekend, you'll be so proud, I started setting up my own little writing group! I'm super excited. We have our first meeting this week which also means I gotta get my booty in gear.

    Hey if we have a writers retreat, I'm totally inviting you! You would come right? Please just say yes to humor me. Haha. :)

  18. Sounds like a (surprisingly) productive weekend. Although I'm sure you were all sad to miss out on Bree's hairstylings. ;-)

    Hope things are going awesome with Michael and your revisions!

  19. Debbie- Of course I would come! But I tend to be a distraction. (Or so I've heard.) I promise I'd be on my best behavior.

    Sara- Bree really is the Queen of Hair.

  20. Eeeee, I won! I'm so stoked, I never win contests and drawings, I have zero luck. This made my day! I can't wait to start reading it.

  21. I completely agree with you, Brodi. Planning girls' camp is much scarier than anything else. Luckily, I don't have to plan it. I just have to show up to the various events.

  22. Kristen- Yay! I'm so happy for you!

    Jenni- When I lived in D.C., my calling was to be in charge of girls camp. Thankfully we moved. :)

  23. Your posts always make me grin. I wish I could have been there to whisper and type with everyone else. Glad you had fun.

  24. LOL. I never have been good at hosting parties. I'm sort of lame at heart. But also, I think you just had bad timing on when you showed up! We partied Friday night, we swear. Next time maybe we'll schedule the partying portion so you know when to pop in (and yes, that proves exactly how lame I am: "schedule the partying portion"). Thanks for going along with our lameness!

  25. The retreat was great! We had the right amounts of games, movies (um... I skipped it, my wife forbid me to watch the chick-flick without her), writing, writing, and writing, and eating (maybe too much...) and failed Gelato runs. We fed goats, though! Watching them, I decided I'd rather be a writer than a goat. They didn't look particularly intelligent.

    Next time we need to get Brodi to commit to stay the whole time, instead of appearing and disappearing like Houdini. :-D

  26. Leisha- You have to come next time!

    Nikki- Thanks so much for hosting. And all your preparations were a something to be admired.

    Joel- I'm so staying the entire time next time. So please convince Nikki that there will be a next time.