Write Now Work Shop Brand Board logo

Retreat to Move Forward

March 19, 2012

I had the best week!!! My friends Lauraine and Kathleen invited me to a writing retreat, just the three of us, and we had a great time!!

We brainstormed until our brains hurt. We helped Lauraine work through a new idea she came up with, adding some really cool twists to it. We helped them both finalize the storyline for the third book in The S.A.V.E. Squad series, and it's gonna be fun! (Check out the web site! The first book, Dog Daze, came out March 1.)

We also went through my ideas for Love at the Fluff N Fold and made it into both a better book and a far better series than it had been. The series name is The Strays of Loon Lake. Every book will be a romantic comedy where a man and a dog both get rescued, and all the characters are connected. I can't wait for the first book to come out!

When we were too tired to do any more brainstorming, we did a few fun things. Kathleen read aloud to us one night the first few chapters of Dog Daze. It's great to hear a book read by the author with all her inflections!

Sometimes we went down to the Lazy River and walked or floated around and talked about whatever. But every time, we'd end up brainstorming again because of something that caught our attention. For instance, on our last poolside trip, we ran into two characters from The Strays of Loon Lake! 

Kathleen elbowed me and said, “Hey, isn't that Danny standing there?” I looked over her shoulder and, sure enough, this guy was exactly Danny from Love at the Fluff N Fold!

Then as we were going around the Lazy River and waiting to get a second peek at him, we started talking to Tabitha, who will be in books 1 and 2, but will have her own story in book 3. The Tabitha in the pool is from Oregon and I've already forgotten her real name – because she's Tabitha!

Another day we needed a brain break, so we went to Staples. Lauraine has this amazing notebook system from a company called arc. You can pull the pages out of one section and put them in the other section without having to unclasp any binder rings. Just pull up and push down. She loves it so much she offered to buy one for me and Kathleen, too. I LOVE IT!! I used it all week and my three books are totally organized instead of having stuff from all three books all jumbled up in one section. Here it is in a picture of my workspace at the dining room table.

We spent quite a bit of time writing in addition to brainstorming. Lauraine worked on A Place to Belong, book 3 in her Wild West Wind series. Book one of the series, Valley of Dreams, is already out. Kathleen finished the final edits on The Great Cat Caper, book 2 in The S.A.V.E. Squad series. It will be available in September. And I finished the edits on a short story called “Hero in Disguise” that's set in my superhero world. It'll be published in an anthology later this summer.

Brainstorming about marketing was more difficult. What works? What doesn't? How can you tell? I know I have to do a lot more to help romantic comedy readers find Little Miss Lovesick. It's not only hard to figure out what to do, but how to balance your time between marketing and writing. This week was a writing week, though, so I worked on the second draft of Love at the Fluff N Fold. As a writer, it feels good to write! 🙂

On the last day, we went out to The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday! It was so good. (It's always good there!) But better than the chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, better than the complimentary hot fudge sundae with a candle and the waiters singing “Happy Birthday” for the whole restaurant to hear, the best part is hanging out with friends you love, who love you back. 🙂

It was an amazing week! God was so generous in every way, blessing us all with so much love and laughter and fun – and helping us get lots of work done!! (Thank you, God!!) I'll let you all know when Love at the Fluff N Fold comes out. And if you'd like to read more of Lauraine's and Kathleen's books, you can go to Lauraine's web site or The S.A.V.E. Squad web site where Kathleen hangs out, or follow Lauraine on Facebook or Kathleen on Facebook. You know you can click the button on the top right to follow me on Facebook. 😉

P.S. Guess what?! Lauraine's book, Ruby, the first in her Dakotah Treasures series, is free on Kindle right now! I just downloaded it. Yay! If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app to your phone or tablet or computer. Enjoy!


more from us