In the Company of Women

designingwomenThis weekend I’m going to be at a retreat.  And, believe me when I say, I could definitely use it.

My destination is In the Company of Writers, a retreat sponsored by the Washington chapter of RWA and includes local luminaries who could not possibly be more luminous – Mary Jo Putney, Patricia Gaffney, Susan Donnovan, Sophia Nash, and Kathleen Gilles Seidel to name just a few.  And this year’s special guests are very special, indeed: Roxanne St. Clair and Charlaine Harris.  (And, yes, that was an internal fan girl squee you heard just now.)

The gathering also includes editors and agents, so the chance to learn more about the business side of romance will also be invaluable.

Despite the fact that I’m speaking on Sunday morning and will be a bundle of nerves up until that moment, you know what I’m most looking forward to?  Spending a relaxing weekend in an out of the way hotel with a group of wonderful women who share my love of romance and who love to talk about it just as much as I do.

It’s empowering.  It’s relaxing.  And, gee, it’s just plain fun.

I’ll be reporting more about the weekend soon – including more about the panel discussion on social media and reviews that I’m sharing with Barbara Vey of Publisher’s Weekly.  But until then, what the best way you know to recharge?

– Sandy AAR

Okay, so the photograph of the cast of Designing Women wasn’t exactly on target, but I’ve been remembering with great affection some of my favorite Julia Sugarbaker moments.  RIP, Dixie Carter.

14 thoughts on “In the Company of Women

  1. Hope you have a great time, Sandy. How do I recharge? It’s a simple process for me. Get me near a body of water and it’s instant recharge. Something about the vastness of it, the rolling movements, the forever feel of it that just calms me. I can just feel myself relax. I mentioned this once before, but I read an article about those who react strongly to being near water. It’s a place where the four main life elements meet all together—earth, water, air and fire. It works for me big time. In fact, I hear it calling to me from a distance now.

  2. Sounds wonderful Sandy. The authors you mentioned…I would be starstruck. Have fun!
    I recharge by going to my cabin and reading on the porch with a wonderful view of the lake. Usually, I meet up with childhood friends who might be visiting their own cabins. They come from all over the country. Another way is to walk with my daughter. We do a couple spins around Lake Harriet in downtown MPLS. Lots of people and dog watching and some really great conversation with my daughter during those 6 miles.

  3. I recharge at a religious retreat. A couple of times a year, I go to Saint Meinrad’s Archabbey in Indiana for a weekend. The guesthouse is so comfortable, the food is good and the conferences are always interesting.
    There’s no TV, I leave my phone in the car and my laptop at home and I read, walk and talk to the other retreatants. By the time the retreat is over, I feel totally relaxed and recharged.

  4. In the words of the Fraggle Rock theme song: “Cast your cares away, worries for another day, let the music play, down in Fraggle Rock!” So your marching orders are clear: enjoy yourself in the company of women! And I know you’ll all be toasting the memory of the marvelous Dixie Carter.

    Just one thing, when you see Patricia Gaffney, would you mind just prostrating yourself at her feet and telling her that the day will never come when Romlandia stops obsessing and discussing her books!

  5. Will there be a tactful way for you to ask Kathleen Gilles Seidel if she is going to be writing again someday soon? I miss her!

    I recharge my best by being home. Weird, I know but if I can be home, with a good cup of tea and some favorite DVD’s, a few friends and a lot of chocolate — I recharge. Travel means work to me. Anything beyond my own city limits no longer spells vacation.

    maggie b.

  6. Can’t wait to hear about your weekend! I hope your presentation goes well and that you have a great time.

    I recharge by dancing. Our neighborhood studio has classes for adults as well as kids, and it’s a blast! I take ballet once a week nearly all year round. Besides the physical benefits, it calms me, forces me to focus on something besides whatever is bothering me, and lets me have an evening for myself. There’s also the dancing I do in my living room with the curtains closed and my favorite music on, but we won’t talk about that.

  7. I’m with Tee on this one. I find nature in general relaxing, but nothing beats a big body of water. The ocean or one of the Great Lakes is best, but even the tiny view of a lake I can see from my bedroom can help me relax.

    Enjoy the conference, sounds great!

    • Heather: The ocean or one of the Great Lakes is best, but even the tiny view of a lake I can see from my bedroom can help me relax.

      Any chance you’re from Michigan, Heather? Any of the Great Lakes is almost like looking at the ocean for me. Well, I did say “almost.” LOL

  8. Good luck with your presentation, Sandy, and have fun too! Can’t wait to hear more about it.

    Like maggie b. I enjoy being at home. I have young boys and it seems like we are all so overscheduled, that just being home is a vacation sometimes.

  9. I agree with Tee and Heather. I grew up in Chicago with the vastness of Lake Michigan as a recharging agent. Now I live in Seattle with views (from work) of Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. I could never live in a place without a large body of water nearby.

    Good luck Sandy! And I’d love to know which authors have new releases coming out later this year or next year.

  10. Have a wonderful time!

    I recharge by walking in the forest or riding horseback. Then again, just sitting in my backyard listening to the grass grow works wonders. Living in the country helps.

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