Recently I attended the Novel Revision Retreat sponsored by SCBWI Mid-Atlantic chapter. It was like going to camp with 20 of your best friends. Nineteen participants plus Alisha Niehaus, Senior Editor, from Dial Books for Young Readers converged on Big Meadows off the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.
The Big Meadows Lodge has a rustic look from a bygone era, much like a New Deal WPA work project with its hand-hewn logs. From its great room there are stellar views of the Shenandoah Valley below. This was where our retreat began on Friday night with a get-to-know-ya session.
Three of us (myself, Caroline, and fellow Slushbuster Stephanie) opted to camp. The campground is located adjacent to the lodge. This turned out to be a bonus when Alisha came to our s’more campfire party. My long-time friend and tent mate Caroline suggested the party. Alisha jumped right on it. Turns out as a kid she camped with her family in her home state of California.
Some of the purists insisted on real sticks for roasting their soft, white puffs of pure sugar. They wanted nothing to do with the new-fangled metal prongs, which looked like miniature pitchforks. But all strived for a toasted golden brown confection. The flame-broiled mishaps occurred but were quickly discarded into our bonfire.
Once the s’mores hit the stomachs talk turned to writers, good books and just about any topic you could imagine. This went on for hours. No, we did not end with campfire songs but we were three happy campers.
Stayed tuned for details about the craft sessions in next three blogs.