Sunday, September 23, 2018

LoonSong Writing Retreat Adventures

If it's September, then it's time for LoonSong.

For the past couple of years, I've taken the long trip to Minnesota, up close to the Canadian border to attend this writing retreat.  Each year I learn something new, enjoy meal and lectures about writing and children's book art with other Children's Book Writers, plus still have time to sneak off to find places to write.

This year, since I live on the west coast and planes like to fly to Minnesota in the mornings (very early in the morning), it took me 17 hours to get there.  (only 11 hours to get back, tho.)

Why 17 hours?
Well, firstly I had to get up at 3:00 in the morning, to catch the shuttle at 4:00-ish, to get to the airport by 5:00, to board the airplane at 5:45 am.  Then there was the layover at Minneapolis. I always enjoy roaming around that airport because I can get food (great chicken marinated sandwich) plus stock up on chocolate covered orange peel at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company store.
Roam is the correct word because our plane from the west coast landed at area G and the smaller flight to Duluth takes of either at B or A.  Yes, I get my mile walk in that day going from gate to gate.  (and yes, I reversed that walk coming back home - and got more chocolate)

Once landed at Duluth, then I have to drive 2 more hours north to Elbow Lake Lodge.  This trip I learned not to trust my phone's GPS to get me there because it had me turn off the direct road and spend an hour getting lost in the woods.
I had asked the car rental person if they would consider the car being attacked by a moose as an act of God.  But they only laughed.  So, at every turn/ over the crest of every hill, I expected to run into a moose.  (didn't happen.  whew!)
I finally decided the GPS was crazy, went back to the original road, and eventually found Elbow Lake Lodge.
Did I mention that I lost all cell service and it got very, very dark on those tall grass overgrown road/paths in those woods?

Anywho, the almost week there was great.
I learned two shocking things about my writing.  One was that a picture book I had written was actually a middle grade short story.  Well-written, but NOT a picture book.  No wonder it hadn't sold.
The other thing was a correction I needed to do in my novel, which I am now fixing and rewriting.

Yes, I do want to go back next year.
You might want to come, too.

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