Yeah, no. This isn’t what it’s like. Picture a dining room with a giant whiteboard covered with ideas, suggestions, plot devices and character assassinations.

It’s that time!

Starting early next week, we three will be getting back together here on the mountain for one of our semi-regular writing retreats. By then, Eden’s Fall may be in the hands of our advance readers (thank you, dear advance readers, for taking this long gestating baby we’ve finally birthed and nurturing it to go out into the big, scary world).

Our agenda for this retreat involves many things. We will spend some time sharing lessons learned in the self-publishing process. Then we’ll turn our focus to Winter’s Thaw, the manuscript for which is currently in an ugly state – the first bit is fleshed out pretty well, then there’s this big gap that I’m hoping to fill with some spackle before next week, then there are the middle bits (somewhat fragmented, plus I’ve tinkered with plot direction in the last week or so) and the ending is known, but not even in rough draft yet. Time permitting, we will also rehash plot and subplots for Venus Rising (the third book in the series). We will work on blurbs¹ for Winter’s Thaw and Venus Rising and discuss cover design. We will invent cocktails. We will take walks in the woods with puppies, fresh mountain air to blow the cobwebs out and emerging fall color to inspire.

Pretty much what we usually do …

No, not this either. Picture three laptops, binders of drafts, myriad office supplies, reference materials, snacks, drinks …

Nope. Picture yoga pants, t-shirts, PJs, flip flops …

So, I’m getting ready.

Tidying the guest rooms, planning menus, making meals ahead, finishing household projects, hitching up the buckboard with Fergus (and Sophie!) beside me as make our runs into town for provisions – food and alcohol – I need to make lists.

Fergus and Sophie are great little helpers!

I can’t wait! Spending a week with two of my most favorite people in the world, not to mention our characters who are members of our family, is amazing. Blogging may go on a hiatus for the week, but we’ll be back to report! We always part at the end of the retreat exhausted, possibly hungover, but buzzing with energy and motivation. For the first time, we can bask just a little bit in having reached a major milestone – publishing our first book in the series. We did it. We’ll do it again.

¹ As I recently wrote when we celebrated our cover reveal for Eden’s Fall, “Blurb” is a fancy, technical term for the summary description of the novel you typically see on the back cover. K R Brorman has gotten really good at that so she’s taking the first pass on these. Thank heaven.