Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I left home Friday at 1:00 pm; my Mapquest said the ride to the Retreat site was one hour, 59 minutes. I entered to door at 3:00 pm. How's that for truth in advertising? I like those maps a lot, because they give you the mile-marker Exit Numbers, which I can follow easily. Towards the end, though, when I was honing in on it, I suddenly remembered that scene in "The Color Purple" where the white lady drops off her "colored maid" to spend time with her family and then leaves to drive herself home - only to have a panic attack at driving alone and requiring her to come away immediately to take her home.

Well, maybe not quite THAT bad, as I did get there, on on time (!!!)

What to say? Well, just a quick synopsis here, as I haven't put in my photos yet, but in overview: YES, it was infinitely worth-while for me. I left here having written a bunch of kid stories, and came home the author of children's stories. I got just a fearsome lot of information about the nuts & bolts of getting something published, having had the privilege of hearing editors and agents both. And as for the craft of writing? Well - I discovered that I don't know many authors' names, but I am familiar with some of the books. VERY familiar.

For example, Holly Black . I imagine I'm one of the few who didn't know her name, but I OWN the first two books of her extarodinarily well-known Spiderwick Chronicles. She was hilarious, informative, interesting and interesting, and I sat listening, I suddenly remembered - they made her book into a MOVIE! I guess that's pretty good.

There was more, and I'll elaborate when I get my pictures; in the meantime, suffice it to say that I came away feeling like a really-truly author, and actually and really inspired.

"Details at 11:00".


Alwen said...

One of the joys of having a son of a certain age (9) is that right now we enjoy a lot of the same books. Spiderwick, Eoin Colfer, Terry Pratchett - I'm keeping this kid!

dale-harriet said...

Alwen - absolutely true! And...one of the joys of BEING of a certain age (65) is that you can enjoy all the kid books! I love Terry Pratchett, and have been reading & rereading his books. If you ever get doldrum-y, a few pages of Discworld shakes you right out of it.

MollyBeees said...

I'm so glad you got to go! You ARE an author. Now we just have to make you a published one so everyone else can know what we already know...that you got talent, Chick!

Kitty Mommy said...

When we were missing you at knit night, we were also conjecturing about what a fabulous time you must be having. Sounds like we were right! Can't wait to hear more about it!!! Will you be at Last Saturday Knitting?

kmkat said...

How did I miss The Spiderwick Chronicles? Must remedy that.

Glad the retreat was so productive and inspirational for you!

Marjorie said...

I'll never forget my first writers' conference. I was giddy for weeks afterwards! And I had a Plan, rather than just some stories I'd worked on. You rock, Dale! Now... before the memory of it all fades, back to the grindstone and *write!*

Hugs from yer ET