Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Writer's Retreat Check-List

The Words in the Woods Retreat is fast approaching. I've so much left to do between now and Friday morning that I feel like my to-dos have to-dos. This and that for the rest of the week includes:

Packing—for me and for S & E who will be staying at Grandma and Grandpas house for the weekend while I go play with 50+ other children's book writers. The bags are already out and open. Packing as I wash/dry/fold. Can’t forget supplies for Jewel. Note to self: add service dog supplies and what not to the list.

Tweaking—my first-page prior to handing it in at registration. First pages will be read during two open mic sessions, one before lunch on Saturday, the other mid afternoon. The weekend's honored speakers--Holly Black, Barry Goldblatt, and Namrata Tripathi--will be in attendance. Kudos and hugs to my crit buddies for the advice and support they’ve offered as I fiddle and polish.

Finalizing—my synopsis which cannot exceed 50 words. Using the description found in a movie listing as a springboard template. Frustrating and satisfying the process of condensing down an entire novel into a couple or three sentences. Reminds me of my copywriting days.

Prepping--all the paperwork/reading materials/supplies/files I need in order to write while I’m there.

Critique Group--yeah, even though we're bunking together over the weekend, our face to face decided to meet, more for moral support and general rah-rah-ing before we leave Friday than for work-work. Well, I take that back. One of us--A--actually found time to send in a chapter for eye-balling. A are your ears burning? I sent in two versions of my first page for consideration, plus a little bit more to finish up the scene.

Targeted departure time—9 a.m. Friday, and counting.

Targeted arrival at Grandma and Grandpa’s—noon, as long as Mother Nature doesn’t hammer the water-logged Midwest with another flood or tornado.

Retreat registration opens—4:30

Book I plan to pack: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, a reread with an eye toward the craft.

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