Monday, November 12, 2012

Swagger Reunion Thanks



by Kim Van Sickler, Kathy Wiechman, Melissa Kline, and Jon Egan


This past week, four Swaggers gathered at Lake Arrowhead, to work on our writing craft. We wish more Swaggers could have made the trip to Jon’s writing mecca in California, but those that made it are thankful about what we’ve accomplished in our five days together.

 Kim’s thankful for the gang brainstorming on her chapter synopses of Muleskinner, helping her to strengthen the plot.

 Melissa’s thankful for the gang helping her break through writer block on her sequel to My Beginning, so she sees the potential in her story. She's excited about the new possibilities.

Kathy’s thankful for the gang helping her clear up loose threads on her unfinished civil war saga, Like a River, so she can write the ending.


 And Jon, dear Jon, is thankful that Melissa stopped drinking after two vodka and cranberry juices, that we left all the whiskey for him, and that his fellow Swaggers inspired him to finish and query his memoir, Invisible Stitches.

Photo album
We travel west this year for the Swagger reunion.

Kim and Kathy make friends.
Boat ride on Lake Arrowhead
Melissa tries Vegemite for the first (and last) time.

Jon and Melissa on KP duty.
                                                 

Ground zero.

Pie break.

Loved these Manzanita trees!

Lake walk.

Our wonderful accommodations.

Lake Arrowhead during boat ride.

Lake Arrowhead during a hike.

One of Lake Arrowhead's stunning homes. Features a 22-car garage with a turntable for the cars. For sale. Only $9.5 million.
Cocktails

Many of our evening sessions took place on the cozy first floor.

Waiting for our boat.

Writing time.

Melissa storyboarding My Beginning Part II

Kim and Jon.

Dinner!

Kim reviewing a first draft of Muleskinner.

Kim and Melissa during a lake hike.

Jon and Melissa.


18 comments:

  1. It looks like you all had a great time! :)

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  2. A fun, but very productive time. Only have a couple more chapters to write of Like A River! Missed the rest you and hope Graziella is feeling better.

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  3. It looks like you were all very productive and had so much fun! I am hoping you'll send us a detailed update :) So glad that you were able to enjoy the time together.

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    1. Thanks, sweetie! Missed you! Hope you can swing it next year. It was amazingly productive. We divided the day into time's for us to talk through our WIPs, brainstorming plot points and jump starting stalled manuscripts. Everyone seems to be excited to write, and isn't that how you want to leave a writing retreat?

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  4. What an awesome writing retreat!

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    1. It really was. Wild swings in the weather too. You would have loved the snowy, foggy days at the beginning. Looking down the mountain at the mist hanging over the lake was magical.

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  5. It looks like everyone had a blast. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.

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    1. And now I've got to buckle down and read Better Lives!

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  6. I. Am. So. Jealous. The pics are fabulous and you all look like you accomplished so much. I wish I were there, but then Jon would not have any whiskey left over. Thanks for sharing all the wonderfulness! <3

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    1. Ha! Jon loves his whiskey, but he's also one of the most generous men I've ever met. He would have been happy to share, and then would have bought more.

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    2. If there's one thing Jon always has just one more of, it's Jamesons and if there's one more thing Jon always has another one more of it's Jamesons...
      Sweet of you to say Kim, whada doll you are!

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  7. I LOVE that you do this!! Awesome pics. Kim, you must tell me about this new book.

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  8. Christina, here's the pitch (Melissa designed and presented us with NY Times bestseller jacket covers with our pitches emblazoned on the front.) :-) :
    Muleskinner. An historical fantasy adventure. An orphaned boy driving mules on the Ohio-Erie Canal is aided by a mysterious dog in figuring out who he is and where he belongs.

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  9. Looks and sounds like a ton of fun! I'd be thankful for that much awesome scenery, camaradarie and alcohol too, lol. Hopping along the T'giving blog trail...

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    1. I popped over to visit you too! Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. It sounds (and looks) like it was a wonderful writing retreat! I'm practically tuning pea green with jealousy. I hope everyone accomplished a lot!

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    1. Thanks Jocelyn! I hope you've got a great group of writers to bounce plot points off too.

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  11. What a fun idea to get together with fellow writers on a retreat. Looks and sounds like a lot of fun!

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