In a Word, Awesome

This past weekend marked the first annual Weekend of Awesome. If you lurk around here or around Kat's, Erinn's, or Pam and Quita's blog you might have heard something about it*. WOA was our version of a writer's retreat.

Neat. So it was a conference?
No, conference and retreat are entirely different. The purpose of a retreat is to focus on getting your project worked on. We scheduled a few non-writing activities like pitch practice and movie night, but everything did focus on craft in some form or another. Which, of course, is awesome.

Ah. What was the best thing about the weekend?
By far it was meeting Pam, Quita, and Kat in real life. (I've met Erinn before, but it's always fun to reconnect too.) It's always great to meet my "in the computer" friends. And as I've said before, some of my greatest friendships started through the internets**.

The WOA Ladies
However, there was more awesomeness to be had.

Four For Friday, Special Monday Edition: Weekend of Awesome***
  1. Skyping with Brendan Halpin. We had a Q&A session that lasted about an hour. He's funny and smart and answered all our questions about his process with honesty. Erinn's raved about him a few times and after our Skype, I totally see why.
  2. The work. I flew into Hilton Head with the plan to do prewriting. I've plotted out two novels. *throws tons of confetti*
  3. Talking. It's so refreshing to be able to discuss craft with other writers. Not only other writers, but other writers in your genre. We spent a lot of food time discussing strengths and weakness, the best books we've read, and the ones that are just too horrific for words.
  4. Reinforcement. The weekend was also a great reminder that I'm not alone in this. After this weekend, I have four other fantastic ladies to bounce ideas off of, to get feedback from, and to receive encouragement.

The weekend was such a great experience for all of us that we're planning on doing it again in 2012.

Lurkdom, tell me: if you've been to a retreat, how was the experience? Also, how was your weekend?

* You might have also heard Holly talk about it.
** Case in point, Miranda.
*** I really like looong titles.
__________ hit of the day: Temporary Peace by Anathema