I spent 5 days last week with my agency and many of my agency siblings. (Those who weren’t there were sorely missed.) It was our annual retreat. Some 60-plus strong, we converged on Brandon, Vermont, a quaint little New England town that probably shines its brightest at the height of leaf season. We took over one centuries-old inn and overflowed into a couple of others nearby. It was as close to magic you can come and still be believable. Because, as writers, we tend to work in solitude, a gathering of soul mates like this is reason for jubilation. And boy did we jubilate. It was five days of adoration, adulation and celebration. We ate together, drank together, partied and wore silly costumes together. We were entertained by the inestimably talented house band, Erin Murphy’s Dog, as well as surprise talents popping up to take the stage. We read samples of what we are working on aloud to a rapt audience and were mesmerized by the abundance—nay, profusion— of talent. We had one-on-one time with our agents and we had time for long discussions with two, three, four or more of us about craft, about life, about dreams.
We have community online through Facebook and our agency boards and this blog. And in that community there is an on-going joke about “awkward hugs and high-fives” when we actually see each other. Of course this never happened. Every hug, every squeeze, every handshake, fist bump or high-five was heart-felt and treasured, and I remember each and every one of them. The joyous hello hugs, the sorrowful goodbye hugs, and all the no reason hugs in-between.
I suppose there is no real point to this post other than an opportunity for me to express how much I Iove my agent, my agency siblings, and the community we all make up. I feel I am a better, more confident writer by hanging with these kindred creatives. I’d put that high on the list of answers for when asked about how to get started in this business.
And now, here’s some sketches I knocked out during my trip. Just because.