Writing Retreat or Retreat from Writing?

I recently returned from one of the most epic weekends I’ve had…EVER. My reading/writing buddy put together a writer’s retreat which she and her husband hosted at their amazing home in Canyon Lake, Texas, about an hour outside of San Antonio.

So what goes on at a writing retreat, you ask? My dad asked me if it could be compared to the meeting of “The Romantics” at Lake Geneva, Switzerland in 1816.

Well, Dad, if Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelly, and Mary Wolstonecraft participated in any of the following, then you are absolutely right:

1)    You hang out with people you’ve never met in person before but feel like you already know them.

2)    You drink piña coladas. And margaritas. And bloody marys. And tequila. And rum. And wine. White wine. Red wine. Chocolate-flavored and sangria wine.

3)    You run and slide down the slip-n-slide after consuming all beverages in point #2.

4)    You feast and gorge until you gain all ten pounds you lost before you got there, all because Martha Stewart, Jr. can whip up a meal like nobody’s business, and has an eye for creative theme dinners.

5)    You drink more. Lots more. Everything in point #2 plus beer, champagne, and Prosecco.

6)    You climb the tree house in hopes you can climb back down without breaking any bones.

7)    You learn that coozies are still a “thing” and people actually use them.

8)    You also learn that the term “Yeti” takes on a whole other meaning in Texas.

9)    You play Cards Against Humanity until one person’s cards reveal how they lost their virginity. #dickfingers

10) You listen to Peter--the British guy on Natural Reader—read sex scenes from our books/current works-in-progress while Debbie Does Dallas plays on the side of Robin’s house. (Yeah, don’t ask me about this one)

11)  You drink a little more.

12) You wake up with a hangover.

13) You learn the only way to cure that hangover is with “hair of the dog.”

14) You make banana splits at midnight with Erica’s homemade ice cream.

15) You watch The Princess Bride on an inflatable outdoor screen, while your peripheral vision keeps a close eye on any critters trying to fly or crawl at you.

16) You talk books! My book. Robin’s book. Erica’s books. Fabi’s favorite books. Books we love. Books we hated. Books we DNF’d. Books that left us with a “WTF did I just read!” at the end.

17) You light fireworks even though the 4th of July is long gone but you can because it's Texas.

18) You talk, tell stories, and enjoy each other’s company.

You’re probably wondering where the writing part comes into play? Here’s the thing about a writer’s retreat:

You don’t really write.

The truth is, none of us could actually sit down and write. We had way too much fun getting to know each other and talking about the thing that brought us together in the first place—our love for the written word.

I thought for sure I’d return home with at least two more completed chapters of my work-in-progress, but I returned with so much more—memories, a whole lot of laughs, and new friendships.