Friday, August 22, 2014

Highlights Foundation Writers' Unworkshop

Just wow.  Just plain ole wow.

The Unworkshop was simply amazing!  It was so much more than I expected.  I got to eat and chat with so many published authors (including a NY Times best seller!!), and even a couple editors one night.  I really thought I'd be my typical anti-social, introvert self and walk my meals back to my cabin to spend the entire four days and three nights by myself, but I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and didn't.  I even talked to people :)

When I arrived I was told where my cabin was...
...it was the one with my name on it :) 
My writing area in the cabin- you can see 2 of the 3 beds (we all had our own cabins) 
coffee zone...I did bring my own coffee, almond milk and raw sugar.  But, none was needed as they had all those things in the kitchen if I needed it!
The cabin was amazing- totally modern, full bathroom, ceiling fan, AC, heat, mini fridge, and coffee pot.

When I got there, I kept walking around it, as small as it was.  I had no idea where to start!!  So, I opened our goodie bag...
Inside the bag were a couple Highlights magazines, the Boyds Mills Press publishing catalogue, a notepad, pen, name tag, and a folder with our itinerary (meals schedules) and other info.
Once I went through this, I got my writing area set up and got a nice surprise from my wife- a picture saying, 'Write from your heart'.  It sat perfectly by my computer :)  Then, I wrote for a bit and headed to our first dinner.
My writing area!  The sign is behind my computer.
Dinner, and breakfast, and dinner were ALL AMAZING!  I haven't eaten that good, that healthy for that many meals in a row in I don't know how long.  All the food at every meal was delicious!

Here's a view of the dining area from the loft.  The back area between the doors are the snacks.
And in between?  Well, there were always snacks out, including ice cream, and drinks- both alcoholic and non alcoholic ALL DAY AND NIGHT at no extra charge.  All the food was included!

After a couple days of sitting in my room and writing, emerging only for meals, one trail run, and a tour of the Highlights publishing facility, I became a bit stir crazy and headed to the loft to take advantage of the wonderful lighting and comfy chairs.
I was sitting in a chair even more comfy than the one you see.
I really do enjoy sitting in a comfortable chair and writing in a journal, but I hate transcribing...
Handmade journal from Haiti my wife picked up on her mission trip last January
 One of the many perks of The Highlights Foundations is their outdoor fridge stocked with soda and beer.  You can hit it up any time, day or night.

The Fridge!  I was happy to see Yuengling!
Of course, hitting up the free wine and beer whenever you want can lead to some...
They had dozens of word rocks for creating phrases in a rock garden
But, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end...
My crazed killer look...really supposed to be a sad face...
I met some amazing people on my trip, and I hope I get to see them again at another retreat or SCBWI conference in the future!!  I will be back to the Unworkshop again.  Here's a list of upcoming retreats they have!!

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