|2012 was our first year.|
Twice a year, I retreat to the Texas Hill Country with a group of amazing women writers. For three nights and four days we write, critique, talk and laugh. We sit quietly with our work, up early and up late, sometimes as many as 15 or so of us in a ramshackle old hunting lodge with frightening amounts of creepy taxidermy. The above picture doesn't capture that part of it, but think dead boar heads and a tiny baby deer inexplicably arranged in a row boat with flowers. Yeah, really.
We cook meals in shifts, bring and share copious amounts of snacks and wine and occasionally a bottle or two of the stronger stuff. We share all the happy stuff and all the sad stuff and the amazing stuff, all the scary and unfair stuff that comprises the writing life. It is hard to be a creative, to live a creative life and make books out of fleeting ideas. It is impossibly hard some days to endure the disappointments and rejections and micro-humiliations of the publishing world. And I think it's even harder because to write, you must feel the world and to feel the world means that it can rip open your soft little belly when you're not looking. But it's also a grand thing, this life, a true wonder as much as it's also painful and awful, and we celebrate hard as well.
There is power in this. Power in these women. Power in community. Power in the writing. Power in being away from the bigger world and consistently functioning Internet service and the daily grind. Power in being there for each other. Real power that keeps us all going and writing and succeeding for the rest of the six months until we meet again. (Not that we don't see each other in between; mostly we do. Kid lit writers run in the same circles and do the same conference circuits and appear together at events. But those 2 long weekends a year? They're our time.