Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wow, What a Weekend! by Alicia Dean

This past weekend was our annual OKRWA writer's retreat. I was responsible for the planning and then conducting/MC’ing it, and while it was a bit overwhelming, I did have help, and it turned out to be an amazing weekend! We invited non-members for a fee and I believe we had 6 who attended. I think 4 of them might join our group. We played some games, did some writing exercises, watched 'The Wedding Date' and broke it down using Blake Snyder's Save the Cat, we had lot of good food and lots of laughs. And, the highlight of the weekend was our own OKRWA member, Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall who gave a presentation on plotting and character. She was magnificent!! 

Some anecdotes from the weekend...

1) We had a hospitality suite to hang out in and watch the movie, in addition to our meeting room. We were gathering for pizza that night and I wanted to ice down some beverages. I had little time, but I grabbed our ice bucket and trucked down to the vending area, which was at the opposite corner from our room. The ice machine was out of order! I trucked back to the elevator, went to the third floor and to that ice machine, filled up the bucket and the bag, so I would have double the ice. I took them both back down to my floor, and trucked them to our room. My friends, Kathy and Krysta were helping. Kathy said she'd get her ice bucket and fill it. She did, and we managed to truck and haul and accumulate enough ice. We watched the movie, hung out, laughed, had a great time. The hospitality suite was connected to our room. After everyone left, we were cleaning up. In the corner was a big poly cart looking thing, next to our trash can. The trash can was full, so I opened the poly cart to see if we could add more trash there, and you'll never believe what it was filled with....go on, guess....

2) One of our members, we'll call her Kitty, is an adorable, precious, mild-mannered Inspirational author. She and Krysta and I were going outside for some air. On the way, Kitty said, "You know what word I heard for the first time? And I love it? Asshat." We all laughed (I'd heard it several times, and I kind of like it too). In a matter of moments, an exceedingly inebriated man stumbled out of the pool area and followed us outside. He said, "C-can I h-h-hang out with y'all?" 
Kitty said, "No." 
He said, "Whhhhaaattt?? No?" 
She said, "That's right, no. We want to visit and we don't know you. We don't want you here." 
He said, "A-are you sssserious?" 
She said, "Yes, I'm serious. No means no. Go away." 
He shook his head. "Huh, you're serious." 
She said, "If you don't go away right now, I'll go tell someone and they can make you leave." 
He staggered away and said, "Tattletale." 
Kitty turned around and said, "Asshat!" 
He stopped and said, "AssWHUT?" 
Then, we all just started laughing. I said, "Wow, this was kind of prophetic, you JUST told us you'd heard the word 'Asshat' and we immediately met one!" We'd just done an exercise using writing prompt/sentence starters. One of them was, "I've been stuck in an elevator before, but never...." And one of our writers said, "Never with a half-drunk woman holding a baby." Not long after Stagger McStaggerson staggered off, a man and woman came out the door and Stagger began talking to them. I heard him say, "I was banned." :D - Anyway...the woman was, I swear, drunk. AND, she had a baby on her hip. We were like, wow, another prophecy manifested!!!

We retold the story over the weekend and had lots of laughs. We also did some writing stuff, promise! :D

There is nothing quite like spending time with other writers, learning and feeding off one another. I think we all came away renewed and inspired. Do you guys often attend writer retreats? I would still love for us to plan a Roses of Prose one!


Jannine Gallant said...

Sounds like a serendipitous sort of weekend...and a lot of fun! Those are some hilarious stories you can use in a future book. I've never been to a retreat, and I want to! The idea of hanging out with other authors is wonderful. Maybe one of these years we can pull together a ROP retreat, but it's so difficult with all of us scattered across the country.

Andrea Downing said...

I like the sound of this retreat. Loved going to the one with TWRP a few years back. Thanks for the laughs!

Rolynn Anderson said...

See, the asshat story is what we remember of an event like this...learning something new, letting off steam and commiserating, notwithstanding. Someone will say, Remember that drunk guy who...then with a lot of laughter comes a chorus of "Asshat!" We're lucky to have each other to make memories in this crazy business!

Alicia Dean said...

Yes, Jannine, it was. :) It is tricky to get us all together. Maybe one day.

Ha, you're welcome, Andrea. Yes, I only made it to one of the TWRP retreats, and it was awesome!!

LOL, yes, Rolynn, so true. All weekend we were making asshat jokes. Kitty texted me and asked me something, then said, 'This is asshat, by the way' :)

Diane Burton said...

Sounds like a great time.

Unknown said...

It was an awesome time. I'm still laughing over the asshat. It was quite prophetic.

Margo Hoornstra said...

A ROP Retreat MUST.be in all our futures. Really. Our MMRWA has an annual retreat we started thirty some years ago. Always a blast. I went to one TWRP event and would love to do another. Yours sounded awesome.

Anna said...

Hahahaha �� Sounds like the best retreat EVER! But what kind of mild mannered inspirational author says words like asshat? �� Hopefully Kitty was just trying it on for size. (Get it? Trying asshat on for size...)

Leah St. James said...

Writing retreats are the best, and yours sounds like so much fun, Alicia! (It makes me want to move to Oklahoma so I can join you!) :-) I haven't been to one in years, but I love hanging out with other writings, sharing stories and the challenges and fun of writing.

Brenda whiteside said...

Fun post. Great weekend. I've yet to do a writer's retreat but sure would like to.