Planning, planning

You’d think, at this time of the year, I’d be busy planning for Christmas and New Year’s events.  Luckily, we’re planning a low key holiday season, and most of our celebration will not require any more thought than what restaurant to chose.

So what am I planning?  My writing group is hosting a one day conference next fall.  Another member and I have been chasing down a venue and keynote speaker.  You’d be surprised at how hard it is to pull information from hotels.  You’d think they’d have all the information on their websites, as transparent as glass.  But no.  Like a salesman, they want personal contact.  Emails have been flying in and out of my yahoo account, and I’m still missing information from some of them (really?  You can’t tell me how much a buffet breakfast costs?) And don’t think I don’t know about the 20-22% “service fee” and the sales tax that you’ll add to the cost of conference rooms.  Your banquet room costs how much?  But your competitor is giving it to us for free.

Of course, price is only a part of what makes up a great writing conference.  Does it have an inviting lobby?  Clean rooms? An ambiance that matches our group?  And, most importantly, what’s the bar like?

We’ll have a decision soon, after we run it by the rest of the committee.  In the meantime, think about visiting West Michigan in mid-October.  We can’t wait to meet you.

I’ll have more announcements soon.

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Yes, I am a bookaholic

Our writing group (http://bit.ly/GRRWG) has a book exchange every month.  Books for Bucks.  Contribute a book you no longer need (ha! like that’s likely in a group of writers) and buy someone else’s for a dollar.  All money goes to the treasury.

Every month I send out a reminder and pick a handful of paperbacks to take along to the meeting.  It’s like drawing blood from one of my children.  It hurts.

Yes, I know I have too many books.  Too many bookshelves.  But the world is conspiring against us bookaholics.  There’s always a library sale.  And the bookstore’s discount table.  And don’t even get me started about www.paperbackswap.com! Everywhere I go, there’s a book begging me to take it home.

I grit my teeth, think of DH’s disapproval (not really) and remember the towering TBR pile spread across the house.  Sometimes, I’m successful in resisting the temptation.  Sometimes, I’m not.

How do you resist the urge to “buy one more”?

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A writing retreat

This weekend marks my writing group’s (http://bit.ly/GRRWG) semi-annual retreat.  We rent a bed and breakfast and hunker down for hours of writing, eating, drinking and talking, not necessarily in that order.  The action moves, sometimes on the porch, around the library table or in the living room.  We pitch in for Chinese food for one meal and pizza for another.  Potluck rounds out the rest.  Believe me, no one has ever gone hungry.

This time, I’m only driving up for the day.  DH and I are on a mini-vacation next week, and I’d rather spend time and money with him (sorry girls.) I’m planning on deconstructing last winter’s NaNo project and find out what’s needed to finish it.  I’ll also bank a blog entry or two over at www.writerslikeme.com.

Do you regularly slip away for uninterrupted writing time?  If not, what would be your dream retreat?  (pool boy optional, of course)

Take care,

Cheryl

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