TWRP Retreat – Asheville, North Carolina finally

May 13, 2011 Charlotte, NC- Asheville, NC

After yesterday’s long excursion, 5 a.m. is very early. The alarm goes off and I wonder why my phone is ringing. LOL I just want out of here and on the road. Slept in clothes (only ones I have, shower seemed pointless), so get up, wash face, take shampoo and conditioner so I at least have that, gather tote bag and I’m downstairs for some really strong coffee.

Then I can’t leave right away, it is still dark outside. What time is sunrise in this place? Was going to have continental breakfast before I left but at 6 a.m. it is still no where in sight.

Once it is light enough to make out the trees across the parking lot from the lobby I am on my way. With retreat address in the GPS (love this thing) I hit the road. Things look so much better by sunlight and a few hours of sleep.

The scenery is breathtaking through North Carolina, South Carolina, and back to North Carolina. I’m really bummed that I pass the Welcome to … signs and can’t take pictures because I’m the driver. There is hardly any traffic on the road to this California girl and I just cruise along. I see signs for Civil War battlefields I would love to stop at, but I have a place to go and it is probably too early for them to be open anyway. LOL

Stop at Target for 3 tee shirts, a hoodie, sweat pants, underwear and socks and a tote bag to carry it in. Don’t want to see so hopeless when I arrive at the retreat.

Once I’m finally at the retreat I’m greeted by Rhonda, the owner of TWRP, who appears like an angel with a room for me and eggs, sausage and O.J.

I am in time to finish breakfast, get settled in a room, get settled in a different room, and go to the first workshop of the day.

I change in my room to one of the new tee shirts. I’m ready to throw the turtleneck I started the trip with away. I feel like I’ve been in it forever and turtlenecks and North Carolina in May are not a great combination.

Writers at Work

My first workshop is brainstorming. Rhonda put mystery items in a brown paper bag. We dump them out and must use all the items to free write. Our table got a picture of a hunky beach guy, candle, star, seashell, keys, and an armadillo.

Here is my entry for the exercise:

Tad Beaumont hated Texas. Not the state itself, just armadillos. You could shoot them, the dang bullets just bounced off. Little armored bastards!

Now the critters dug into his power lines and he was forced to paint the house by candlelight.

The old house looked better by candlelight anyway. It was falling apart since Sherry left. He had keys for non-existent doors and doors he couldn’t open unless he took them off the hinges.

It all started with their trip to Galveston Bay. Sherry picked up a seashell as they walked along the moonlit shore. She wished on a star and heard fame calling in the shell.

Sherry left for Nashville that week and he was left with fading paint, no power, and the armadillos.

We get a break, then another great workshop on all the ways to “Lose an Editor”.

A fantastic lunch and a time to meet the other writers and tell them my flying adventure of yesterday.

Beating Promo Butt Workshop

After lunch we have an informative workshop on doing promotion. What works and what doesn’t.

Then I take a break to go to Wal-Mart because when I got those clothes earlier I kinda forgot some stuff, like toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, and a purse for our field trip on Saturday.

Sitting porch

After, I sat and talked to Judy, a fellow writer for the longest time. She has a million ideas for stories. I love her descriptions of her cozy mysteries with Penelope. Can’t wait to read them all.

After dinner we go back to the meeting hall for “Death of an Editor” to figure out who, what, and why of the killing of Rhonda Penders, owner of TWRP. Like Clue, with a whole room and lots of friends to play.

Afterwards in ones and twos the ladies start heading back to their rooms. As the room gets less crowded and more quiet I decide to stay and write with the sound of pouring rain on the roof and a cool, scented breeze through the windows. As the last to leave, I turn off the lights and fans, close the doors, and trek to my room in a cool drizzle.

–continued on Wednesday

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17 thoughts on “TWRP Retreat – Asheville, North Carolina finally

  1. A lovely post, Jill. Our retreat was a special time. The best part was meeting everybody and putting faces to email signatures. So glad to meet you.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a detailed memoir of the retreat. I couldn’t go and this is the next best thing. Enjoying your posts very much.

  3. Jill, I had my share of missed planes, getting lost, and lost baggages. I REALLY REALY sympathize. I hope the retreat made up for your traveling peripety.

  4. I’m so jealous! Wish I could have been there. And now, I’m curious. I want to read more about Tad and the blasted, armored armadillos! You have got to finish this story and submit it!

    • Lilly, it was a lot of fun once I was actually there. Tad and his armadillos may have to be a short story one day. Maybe he can fall for the female locksmith who helps him with the ‘keys’ problem.

  5. Wow, what a trip, and I have heard the Carolina’s are beautiful. I love that you wrote about Galvestion Bay. During WWII, at the end my dad was stationed there, recovering from war wounds. My mom joined him, and it was the first time she ever saw the ocean, was right there. She use to talk about it, and how it so beautiful.

    • It was so beautiful there. I loved just sitting on the rocking chair porch and watching the birds and later at night listening to the rain.

  6. I’m sorry for being a day late, but I’m on digest. I thoroughly enjoyed your adventure and will stay tuned for the next post. Loved what you wrote from the prompts.

    Again – wish I could have been there (a fellow California girl)

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