Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Writing Retreat and Reunion


I have mere days left to plan, list, pack, and recheck said list. Just days until my reunion retreat with my writing sisters, when I get glorious, writing-filled days when I don’t have to weed, or pick monster zucchini, or weed, or mow the lawn, or weed… seems I’ve got a theme going here.

I keep wondering at the sheer odds of seven women coming together like we have, writers or not. We are all writers, some published. One sister’s debut novel came out this spring. One has a debut novel due out around Christmas. Another sounds like she’s working on final tasks before a release. Our honored writing mentor released the last book in her bestselling Door County Fudge Shop mystery series this spring, and she’s working on a new cozy mystery series involving chickens and a mischievous 12-year-old. Still, it feels like there’s something more than writing that bonds us. Writing is the catalyst, but perhaps we’ve connected because some cosmic force decided we all need each other in some way, if only to encourage one another on our life’s journeys.

In any case, I’m looking forward to spending time with my “sistahs” (and I’m including a Skype session with our sister who’s in CA because she just visited the Midwest for another mission). We’ll spend time on writing–being together puts our creative energies into overdrive–but we’ll do a lot of catching up as well.

A thud echoes behind me. What the hell can he possibly pack that’s that heavy?

“It’s called a hammock, complete with its own frame.” My Muse drops a duffel bag beside the hammock. “Blog post? Really? Are you planning to share everything about your reunion?”

Per usual, he’s leaning against the door jamb, arms crossed on his broad chest. He’s wearing his worn-white-at-the-seams jeans and a t-shirt that advertises Señor Frog’s in Cancun. Funny, I don’t remember him being there on that trip; I never made it to Señor Frog’s. Maybe he knows where I left my–

“That’s not your WIP, love.”

“Hey, I’m writing, aren’t I?” I indicate the hammock-in-a-bag. “Planning on kicking back? This is a writing reunion, emphasis on writing.”

He tucks his hands into his front pockets, exposing the sombrero-wearing frog on his shirt. “You know I won’t be the only one. Everyone else’s muses will be there, too. That’s why there’s so much creative energy when your writing sisters gather. You know that.”

“So, that gives you an excuse to slack off? I’m counting on this trip to help me focus. I need you on your game.”

He chuckles, and my subconscious fills in a “silly girl” quip from somewhere. “You know, my job is a helluva lot easier when there’s six of us in one place. The vibe of gathered writers and muses is enough to keep you on task. Besides, it’s a reunion retreat, right? You’ll be chillin’ along with your gal pals.”

True. We do some writing, though. Honest. Our mentor is there to keep us from getting too distracted. We have an agenda and a list of writing subjects to discuss, like plotting and voice. We’ve submitted pages to each other for feedback. And sure, there’s wine and chocolate, but it wouldn’t be a top-notch writing retreat without chocolate. Or wine. “I won’t have to track you down in the backyard, will I?”

He pushes away from the wall and tosses an arm around my shoulders. His scent reminds me of a bookstore—no, library–with all the promise of wonderful adventures within so many pages. “I’ll be right there with you, love.”

T-minus days and counting. If you ever have a chance to head off to a writing retreat, whether formal or just with your own writing group, take it. There’s no substitute for the opportunity to focus on writing and good friends.


Author: Julie Holmes, author

Pen names: J. M. Holmes, J. M. Goebel A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I've been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. In real life, I am a technical writer with a family of two teens, a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, two chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

8 thoughts on “Writing Retreat and Reunion

  1. Have fun at your writing retreat. I’m jealous! 🙂
    And BTW, my sister and her hubby have a Senor Frogs license plate on their car, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously? They make license plates? It’s been almost 20 years since hubby and I were in Cancun. I remember wanting to pop into Senor Frog’s just to say I did, but we never quite got that far 😉

      I’m so looking forward to the retreat I’m having trouble focusing on anything else. I’m thinking I might have to schedule mini-retreats for myself a couple times a year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mini retreats sound heavenly. I like that idea!
    And yes, the license plates you put on the front of your car. My sister and her husband have a time share in Cancun, so they visit every few years. Senor Frogs sounds like a fun place!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful to gather with writing gals, wine and chocolate! The retreat sounds great.
    Love this line, Julie (just gotta say it): “His scent reminds me of a bookstore—no, library–with all the promise of wonderful adventures within so many pages.”
    Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t tried a retreat, but I’ve belonged to a writers’ group for a long time, and a few times a year, we do an all-day novel con at one of our houses. When we all get together and yak craft, it’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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