I am writing this from a beautiful rental home near Bird-in-Hand, PA, where I have had the privilege of being snowbound with five other writers. We gathered for a writing retreat in Lancaster County, a few hours from author Dani Pettrey’s home. We toured the countryside and an Amish house and farm, and also visited Hershey’s Chocolate World before winter storm Jonas hit.
We planned on a long weekend, but for a few of us, the weekend became even longer when flights were cancelled after the area received 30+ inches of snow.
Snug in a charming house, we spent time together writing, talking, comparing notes on marketing, social media, writing process, and more, and helped each other brainstorm plots. It was fun and very interesting to hear the ideas that writers of different genres came up with. For example, when brainstorming what a character might find hidden in a book, here are just a few of the ideas generated. Care to hazard a guess which came from an author of romance, women’s fiction, or romantic suspense?
- An alarming note of “Help me!”
- Something of sentimental value that gives clues to a past relationship and leads to reconciliation.
- A letter of unrequited love.
- A birth certificate that reveals an illegitimate sibling.
- A confession of a murder—unsigned. She has to find out who it’s from before it happens again…
Now I have more ideas than I could possibly use in one book! Hmm…a good problem to have.
Another fun experience for me (a Minnesotan accustomed to snow) was going outside during the storm with Katie Cushman (a Californian who had never seen so much snow) and relishing her childlike wonder and delight as she climbed snowdrifts and made her first snow angels. After a demonstration from Dani Pettrey, Katie mastered the technique.
For a few wintery days, we enjoyed delicious meals and soul-nourishing fellowship with like-minded women. It was a pleasure to witness the non-competitive camaraderie and the helpful sisterly-spirit between fellow authors. In my book, they are all (snow) angels.
Were you affected by this storm? When was the last time you made a snow angel?