I'm enjoying my second day at the Moss Wood Retreat, headed by Patricia McMahon along with this year's mentor, Gregory Maguire. Given it's the retreat's first year, I had no idea what to expect, so I went with the simple hopes of making new friends, writing in the serene countryside, and learning more about my craft.
First off, what a beautiful, beautiful place. The view from the kitchen window alone is worth coming for, and I'm already so inspired by being out of the city and surrounded by nature. There's six of us writers. Half of us write YA/MG, and the other half adult, and since every workshop/retreat I've done thus far has focused solely on children's literature, it's been a refreshing treat to re-learn how the craft of fiction applies to books for all ages and of all genres.
I've been especially excited to work with Gregory Maguire, whose workshop themes today were "Liftoff" and "Launching" our writing. We spent the morning discussing energy, intention, and direction...three focal points I intend to go over in my writing once I process everything that's been discussed today.
Among us six writers, we also spent a lot of time mapping each other's lives to better understand each other as people and as authors. It's an exercise I hadn't done before, and it's made me think a bit about how my geographical experiences have shaped me and how I approach writing. Lots of food for thought!
Sometimes it really pays off to take a step back from my writing and look at it from a different focal point. My goal's to pay attention to the concreteness of my details and the familial relationships!