Awkward Hugs and High-fives

mikeAndDeborah

Traveling companions.

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.

retreatSketchBook030 retreatSketchBook031 retreatSketchBook029 retreatSketchBook028

-kevan atteberry

http://kevanatteberry.com

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Awkward Hugs and High-fives

  1. Magic can be hard to put into words, but this sums it up so perfectly. Thank you, Kevan!

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  2. Love, love, love! Well said, Kevan!

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  3. I wish so much that I could have been there to experience it. I love the sketches, Kevan. The second one is my favorite.

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  4. Kevan~your words and your sketches were the highlight of my day! And you captured the retreat experience brilliantly 🙂

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  5. And there it is. Thanks for summing everything up so well. And waaaaaaahhhhh I miss you all!

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  6. Love this, Kevan. Love the thoughts, LOVE the art, and love any chance I get to spend time with you in person. Bear hugs.

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  7. Oh hell, now I’m gonna break down weeping because I’m so grateful for EMLA and I miss everyone so much, thereby wrecking my image as a stoic man of mystery, GEE WHIZ THANKS KEVAN

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  8. Love this post, Kevan, as it sparks so many wonderful memories of meeting/reuniting with my agency-mates and friends. LOVE the sketches, too! Hope our paths cross again SOON!

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  9. I loved meeting you, Kevan, and everyone else in this magical realm. And adore the art. Hugs!!!

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  10. Love this post, love the art, love YOU, dear Kevan!

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  11. Mike Jung, stoic man of mystery? Ummm…Thanks for summing up the experience so beautifully, Kevan.

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  12. Beautiful in every way, Kevan!

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  13. Thanks Kevan. This was perfect and the art is awesome!

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  14. Sounds like a great group and something other groups should consider. Thanks for sharing. Loved the pictures.

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  15. The sketches make me happy. “Jubilate” makes me happy. Knowing such gorgeously creative people makes me really, really happy.

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  16. Love this post and your art, Kevan!

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  17. Kevan, Great post. You truly captured the sentiment and joy of the retreat. Loved spending time together. And, love the drawings.

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  18. Lindsey Lane

    Kevan, I loved EVERY minute I got to spend with you. Thank you for writing this post. Your art (and you) are amazing.

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  19. What awesome creatures you brought home with you, Kevan!
    Vermont is nice. Also free ice cream. That was nice.

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  20. So great to share a not-so-awkward hug with you!

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  21. I love your art. I hated when you left.

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  22. Awwww! That’s about it. Awwww! You nailed it, Kevan. I propose a twice-per-year retreat. Can we call the first one a dress rehearsal?

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  23. Looks like a wonderful group to be part of!

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  24. Although a book tour was a good reason to miss – I wish I could have done both! I’m eager to experience my first Gangos gathering!

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