Thursday, June 13, 2013

Seekers' Semi-Annual Virtual Writer's Retreat!

Last week Mary Connealy talked about being unbalanced.

Like, pshaw, Dude. Was that supposed to be some well-kept secret????


But her post struck a nerve with me. Usually they just make me wince, or get sick to my stomach, in the nicest way possible, of course, BLESS HER HEART, but this time her words hit home... Writers are unbalanced and WE LIKE IT THAT WAY.

Tina says most of us are "A.D.D." but I was too busy twirling my hair and imagining my next hero to hear her.


And a lot of us are torn (as Mary said so succinctly) by life's expectations when we'd really rather Emily Dickinson-it and just write, write, write (with catered food, of course) in our gabled bedroom. With little or no interruption.

Well, that ain't about to happen, so we're plannin' the next best thing: A Virtual Writer's Retreat for youse!

Cost:  Nothing
Time Involved: Totally up to you, Individually-based
Lodging:  Green Mountain Dude Ranch in Northern Idaho
Food: Virtually Amazing!!!
Writing Time: As you wish
Communal Time with other writers: Nightly 8-9 PM Eastern

This is your chance to "get away" without going anywhere, without grabbing a credit or debit card for any reason, an opportunity to hobnob with other time-starved authors like yourself. A chance to work, create, brainstorm, laugh, report your word count, commiserate...

I love retreats and when I go on a writer's retreat I work. Writing is my gift to myself, so this is our chance to gift ourselves without hurting the budget and with the support of our own kind.

Definition: "Our Own Kind": Weird loners with strange people living in their heads. Like this one:

And this one:

And then there's THIS ONE!!!

And her...

And don't forget them!!!

 And where would we be without these guys???

Although only virtual pets are okay to bring on the retreat! Sorry, Lyndee!!!


So here's the skinny! RWR (Romance Writers Report, issue June 2013, the one that I'm in TWICE, by the way, once revealing my former stupid self, the second time listing 4 (Four) books coming out this year, a fact that I have to pinch myself to believe) talked about writer's retreats this month.  Years ago the late Janet Edgar (The Inn at Shadow Lake, Love Inspired Suspense 2006) 

hosted a retreat like this one cold, dark January to jump-start writers after the holidays. In her honor I'd like to do the same thing this spring/summer. So starting on Sunday June16,  we'll begin our eight-day retreat. E-mail us HERE!!!!! and I'll send you a Yahoo Group Invite to our "Semi-Annual Writer's Retreat." Remember to e-mail us from an e-mail address that is okay for the public to see because it will be visible to anyone on the loop.

And you know how these mountain men can get!!!  :)

Come to a place where you're not only understood, you're respected. Your time is your own. You can take advantage of the hunky (and very inspirational) cowboys or chill-lax in the shade of your porch and write as much or as little as you'd like. Each day will bring you inspirational messages....

Links to inspirational music....




And fellowship.

Taking time for ourselves and our careers is huge... Finding that time is difficult for so many of us. So this time treat yourself to a retreat that costs nothing...

But could be the turning point you've been looking for!

Basic Itinerary: 

1. Morning message from ranch owner and operator Jake MacKillian.

2. Free time to write or ride or peruse the ranch... check out the scenery... :) If the scenery is wearing Chaps, all the better!

3. Lunch

4. Free time to gather/sightsee/write/check out the cowboys

5. Dinner on own or with friends

6. 8:00-9:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time ( do not ask me to do the math, it's too right-brain for me, check Google time) you can pop into the Great Room and we can chat together! 

No dress code, comfy is recommended but totally stylin' is fine if that's your gig!

What do you have to do?
E-mail us HERE  (I'm posting it a second time just in case you slept through the first one or started skimming around paragraph 30).

and I'll send you and "invite" to the Dude Ranch. The Dude Ranch will look like a Yahoo Group, but we know the truth!

And the truth shall set you free.  :)

Stop in this morning, Helen should be by with coffee and I'm always grateful for her attention to detail! Breakfast is Dude Ranch style, sizzlin' fritatta, griddle cakes, real maple syrup or triple berry syrup put up by Jake's two daughters, bagels (Gus makes the bagels fresh daily), fresh fruit in season (which means shipped in from California because it's not a season for much yet in northern Idaho) and fresh, cold spring water.

We've got chairs facin' east, some lookin' west and free wi-fi. Mother Nature's on the house too.


  1. Okay, it's time for me to take myself to bed.

    I just read: Morning message from ranch owner and operator Jake MacKillian.


    Morning massage from ranch owner and operator Jake MacKillian.

    All I could think is that Jake would be a very, very busy man in the mornings....

    See y'all at the ranch! I'm buyin' some new boots for the occasion! (virtual, of course...)

  2. All riiiiiight!

    I've got the coffee pot all set.

    But I haven't clicked on that link yet. Gotta go do that.

    Let's see. I'm in central. So I THINK that means this daily get-together is 7-8 for me. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Please???

  3. Love this!

    What a great idea!!

    I'll bring some v-chocolate and coffee.

  4. Hey - at least Sandra asked before she used that pic ;).

    I'm totally in [email forthcoming].

    I'm editing right now [UGH! Hate thirdpersonizing a firstperson MS] but I had a hero [and heroine and plot thanks to Jessica Keller Koschnitzky] pop into my head over the last couple days and I'm soooooooooo wanting to write it and not wait until NaNo.

    [Oh - and Kristy Cambron? Yep, July 15, 2014 release date BABY! WOOHOO!]

  5. Oh my! I so need this. I could actually use more than virtual but I'll take virtual! It's been one of those months, actually several months, but I'm learning to breathe and write and function. ;)

  6. FYI -

    Ruthy - an email to that address bounced since I'm not part of the group.

    I did send one to this address and it did go through:

  7. Ay, ay, ay glad to know my email wasn't the only one that bounced. ;)

  8. A writer's retreat my last week of school seems all kinds of cruel. :(

    On the other hand, I may need the camaraderie to keep my sanity next week.

    I'll wait until the email issue is resolved before I try bouncing. :)

  9. My question is can readers hang out and maybe offer support and maybe some unintended inspiration (I know my travels to America and some wrong turns by more than one driver are sure to be good fodder!)
    or is it strictly writers only? (of course I would miss some of the chats due to work. as 8 - 9pm is 9.30 - 10.30am here.

  10. Oh I'm so honored to have made the post! But confess I spewed laughing when I reached " If the scenery is wearing Chaps, all the better!"
    This is why I love my Seekerville buddies. =)
    Mine bounced too but glad Carol figured that out for me.
    Ya'll bring food. I'm bringing the chaps! haha.

    I'm an assistant at the day job and plan lots of travel so I'm gonna help ya'll out. =)

    8:00 - 9:00 PM Eastern Daylight is:
    7:00 - 8:00 PM Central Daylight
    6:00 - 7:00 PM Mountain Daylight
    5:00 - 6:00 PM Pacific Daylight

  11. Woo! Hoo! Sounds like fun. I'd love to get up in a virtual saddle and brainstorm while riding the ranch.

    Smiles & Blessings to everyone!
    Cindy W.

  12. Well yeehawwwwww I've wanted to go to a dude ranch ever since I read about Trixie Belden going to one. Finally I get my chance. But booohoooo -- I'm with Mary Curry still in school (second last week) and crazy busy at both libraries so I don't know how much umph I'll have to putting into writing. But I'm game to give it a try!!!!

  13. OH DUH ON ME!!!! Of course mine went through when I tested the link because I'm part of the group. Carol, thank you! Good catch!!!

    And Carol, about the pic????


    Possibly laughter! I love that pic and it's in the blog files now which means.... up for grabs, darling!

    We set the time to try to be as balanced East Coast/West Coast as possible, but then there's always the rogue state of Arizona on its own time schedule which I believe matches up with Pacific Daylight time so whether they opt for Daylight Savings or not they do kinda' match, right?

    And Jake???

    Oh mylanta, I met him last week, the man is a WIDOWER....

    And youse know how much we romance writers love to take care of a man in need....

    SIGH.... Smile.... SIGH AGAIN!!!

    And Green Mountain Ranch is just to die for.

    I'm so excited to be seein' a bunch o' youse! And the fact that some of youse are bringing virtual food????

    I'M SO THERE!!!! :)

  14. JULIA REFFNER!!!! I love it when you stop by!!!! And hey, we can hop a flight together!!!! :)

  15. Hey, I fixed the links in the post!!!

    Just so youse know! JENNY The more the merrier!!! Of course you can come! Hit the new e-mail link and it will sign you up, chickie!!!



  16. Mary and Kav, you've raised a valid point that I'll take into consideration for next summer's kick-off. The people south of us have been out of school for weeks, but yeah, we're still in session up here... but even if your writing time is SHORT, the spiritual aspects of a retreat should never be overlooked.

    Cowboy church.... :

  17. Mary and Kav, you've raised a valid point that I'll take into consideration for next summer's kick-off. The people south of us have been out of school for weeks, but yeah, we're still in session up here... but even if your writing time is SHORT, the spiritual aspects of a retreat should never be overlooked.

    Cowboy church.... :

  18. Wait. There will be chaps involved? Count me in!

    Waving to Carol- so excited for the new idea...ever if we have to wait for NOVEMBER

  19. No problems, Ruthy. I never get to go to ACFW either because it's held right when school has just opened for us. At least here I can join in for Cowboy Church.

  20. Lyndee...fear not. I'll help you smuggle the poms in to camp. But if we get caught, don't tell them it was me. (Scrounges in closet for ski mask and big duffle bag)

  21. Packing my bags! See you all at the ranch :)

  22. JESS!!! I'm a sucker for pups too, so if you come 'round the back door, I bet Miz Sally or Gus will have some nips for the poms!!! :)

    Mary, yes. Cowboy Church. Reason enough right there to set a spell, pray and contemplate the wonders of Mother Nature.


  23. I think the fritatta needs more sharp cheese....

  24. Massage, Jan? This sounds like the perfect time to get my first massage.

    Helen, glad you've got the coffee.

    I'm so psyched about this retreat.

    I had a little trouble with the link and not sure it went through, so I tried again. If you get my registration twice, sorry.

    Virtual chocolate? I guess that has virtually no calories.

    Really I'm so excited. I wonder if I can schedule the guys to cook next week? Oops hubby's birthday is next week. I'll definitely have to cook for him.

    Thanks for having this retreat. I can't wait to start.

  25. cool will sign up tomorrow. Oh if you need grizzly facts from Gettysburg I have them. Or info on cougers im your person. Or what happens on a tour when they want to do an aussie in.
    Like the guy telling me you know if you want to get on the good side of a momma bear tickle the cubs on there tummy. I told him (with my best sarcastic voice) Im not that stupid I know if you want to pay with the cubs you have to cuddle the momma bear first!

  26. KAV, I remember Trixie Belden! And the Bobcats of the Glen. And Redheaded Orphan Jim Frayne.
    RUTHY, what will you people think of next? I'm with you, writing is my gift to myself. And I haven't been to a retreat or conference in a while. I'm targeting ACFW 2014, we'll see what happens. As far as the virtual retreat, I'm gonna try it. I am a newspaper reporter and have a lot of night meetings, but if I get out in time -- or if they're boring and I happen to have the laptop -- you'll hear from me.
    I will bring this great dessert, the one where you melt the chocolate bits over the saltines and then break it off into bark.
    DOES ANYBODY KNOW where I could submit some book reviews? Christian fiction of course. I've been reading EVERYTHING, my local library has a real feel for inspirational fiction and what I like. I just withhold my fines if I'm not satisfied. Joke.
    TALK ABOUT VOICE...Ruthy, I knew that was you posting before I looked at the name.
    I got my critique back from Tina and "made sausage" of my first three chapters! Once you get started, it's not that hard!
    My daughter is moving out next week and my husband works nights, so I envision more writing time (my real writing time, not the journalism which is hanging by a thread, I hope it lasts three years until I can retire but whatever, the Lord knows.)
    Wordy post from...
    Kathy Bailey

  27. You made me laugh. Jan made me howl. and all I ask is the bunk closest to the bathroom.

    There is a bathroom, right? You aren't making us go all historical with an outhouse, are you?

    Peace, Julie

  28. I'm in but need some tech help. My Yahoo account was hacked so I switched to aol. Do I need to have a Yahoo account to be in yahoogroups?! I think so, but this confuses me. :) Maybe I should set up a new Yahoo account for the virtual retreat?

  29. Jackie!!! It will be fun... and a great way to connect with others like ourselves, those strange ducks who walk around in netherworlds and historical fiction and contemporary made-up situations!

    Dorks-R-Us, LOL!

    MIA!!! See you there, chickie! Hey, see if you can get Julia Reffner on our flight west, 'kay???

  30. Cathy Shouse yeah, you do need a Yahoo ID so set up an account that you can then scrap if you want to.

    Or keep it handy for next January's Winter Getaway!!! :) Because hangin' with youse at two retreats a year is like the best gift I can give myself!

  31. I'm ready to go right now. But why I should leave a writing cave with no interruptions to go to a dude ranch full of chatty writers is beyond me... wait. Why AM I doing this?

    Because I need to be among my peers. Unbalanced, oddball, chatty loners who act out scenes and fist pump over things like the right adjective.

    oh, and the food. LOVE NOT COOKING and the cowboys.

    and please tell me it's NOT RAINING where we are going.

  32. I'd love to go to the retreat, but I have one question... will I get called on to stand up and say something intelligent?

  33. BATHROOMS PROVIDED!!! JHS, that's such a good point, because we're the true Dudes who put "dude" in Dude Ranch!

    Actually lovely bathrooms... and there are options for massages (not from cowboys!!!) from licensed massage therapists who know that new riders might suffer the "pangs" of those first days in the saddle. But even if you don't choose to take trail rides, if you just bask in the comfort of the ranch house, bunkhouses and stables, the fields and the elevated forest, you'll have the time of your life.

    And the scenery ... cowboys rustlin' cattle... calves... purple mountains majesty... Jake, himself... Well, right there's enough to put us in the mood for some beautiful story creations.

  34. DEB MARVIN, MY FRIEND!!! Hey, catch the Southwest flight that Mia, Julia and I are on and I checked the weather and no precip expected at Green Mountain until end of week, and then it's iffy.

    Yes, I hear you. We're flooding here, crops are failing, fields are turning yellow and I'm ready for some upland sun!

  35. SHERRI!!! The best kind of party with free....!!!!!YES!!!!!...unlimited encouragement to move us along, prod us forward, (no cattle prods used, I promise!)

    Can't wait!!! Come with us and smile the week away!

  36. Mary Hicks There is no one in this group or at the ranch that expects you to be intelligent.

    Promise! :)

  37. I'm in but I want the massage. Surely Ruthy or Jan could talk Jake into a little extra duty for a good cause

  38. Thanks Ruthy! Hitting the go button! :-D

  39. Cindy, Jake's a pretty amenable guy! :)

    But he'll most likely send one of the massage dudes to the fitness room...

    Of course the massage dudes aren't anything to take lightly!

  40. Sounds heavenly. Dusting off my Stetson and making reservations. :)

  41. Cathy - you need a yahoo caching but you don't have to use your yahoo email. Or if you have an att account you can use it. I use an att account to log in but my gmail for the emails.

    And actually I'm not 100% SURE you have to have the yahoo account. Let me look into it.

  42. Wow, Ruthy, a dude ranch with cowpokes wearing chaps--no way will I miss this retreat! Let the fun begin. Oh, wait, were we supposed to work? I think I'll take riding lessons from one of the cowboys. Yeehaw!


  43. Okay. That's what I thought. You don't NEED a yahoo account. Send an email to the address as described earlier. You'll get a response asking you to confirm your subscription.

    There's a link you can click that will take you to the yahoo log in page OR:

    2) REPLY to this email by clicking "Reply" and then "Send"
    in your email program

    You may have a harder time doing a few things (like changing your preferences) but for about 98% of the time you'll be fine.

  44. I also need to send my food restrictions. But wait a minute, it is virtual food so I can eat anything I want and not suffer the repercussions.

    This retreat is getting better by the minute!

    Peace, Julie

  45. Yay!!! My ticket is purchased! I'll bring green chile from New Mexico to spice up the frittata. Please sign me up for a massage EVERY day. Thanks for organizing this retreat! I'll be there with my hiking boots on!

  46. :-( Perhaps Canadians aren't allowed at the retreat? Or maybe somebody figured out I was going to smuggle Simba in my luggage? But I can't sign up. When I try the links in the post it pulls up a defunct email system that I don't have anymore. When I tried Carol's link it said the link was bad. :-( Help!!!

    from Outside looking in.

  47. I remember Jan's virtual retreats. Jan was amazing. I'd never talked about virtual food and ME going to virtual places before so I don't really remember participating that much, but I remember so many retreats and parties at the beach, ranches, Hawaii, Ireland, and she made it all come alive, and feel real.

    And why not? We love reading and writing FICTION, putting our characters in a fictional world, so why not go on a virtual retreat and enjoy ourselves just as much?

    Jan's amazing virtual imagination prepared me for Seekerville's virtuality (is that a word? lol).

    RIP, Jan.

    So, pass the coffee and a fritatta - extra cheese please.

  48. OH YEAH, I'm in for the morning massage...I mean MESSAGE.

  49. RUTHY! This sounds fun!!! And the ranch in Idaho sounds divine. Especially if it's lush and green and free of all smoke except for the campfire kind! You can send us some of your rain. Our fire fighters could use it. :)

    This sounds like a fabulous idea! 6-7 pm is our dinner hour, but I'll have to see if I can wrangle some time from my honey to participate in the evenings. I'll also pop in during the day when the littles are occupied with other things.

    I'm loving this idea!!! Can't wait to connect with everyone.

    Oh, and I'm with NANCY—I cracked up at the thought of the scenery in chaps. :) Love your voice, dear Ruthy!

  50. JANET, I think there's a longhorn with your name on it.

  51. Kav - pulling up the old program is probably the settings in your browser. Try right clicking the email link and "copy email address". Not all browsers have that through. Or copy my link? Then paste it into the to bar of your current email.

    If that doesn't work, holler :). There may be something else but I'm on my phone and can't look it up now.

  52. I don't often chime in here but I visit Seekerville everyday. I just started a p/t job so I'm working outside the house for the first time in 20 years. Ouch! It's only 3 days a week, but I still feel I have to learn how to balance my time between the job, the kids and writing. I'd love to join in. A virtual retreat is perfect for me!

  53. I'm coming...if Jenny can, so can much fun hanging with Seekervillers!!!!!!!

  54. Bridgett, howdy!

    Carol, I wish I had your techno brain! Good job keeping me square here because we know this isn't my forte... TALKING YES!!!!

    Technically leading anyone anywhere???

    Nope. Dagnabbit. :) Hugs to you for advising.

  55. Oops, Beth's signed in on my computer because she's here watching stinkin' cuties while I do some retreat fun stuff... Will sign in as ME now!

  56. SHERIDA!!!SWEET!!!!

    Glad to have you on board!

  57. Sounds like fun. I signed in. Now what time is 8 eastern in Oregon? Oh yes, you said you didn't want to do the math. Well heck. Now I have to.

    This will be my first virtual retreat. But I remember you were never the same after yours Ruthy girl. LOL

    I do know how to ride a horse so can teach anyone who wants to venture out.

  58. Jes' checked the weather for the comin' week, and it looks fine. Just fine...

    I'm Jake, I know you've heard a bit 'bout me and my family... What you probably don't know is that when times got hard back after 2001... And things got lean... we took a hard-workin' dust-raisiin' cattle ranch and decided to incorporate a "Dude" facility alongside.

    Weren't my idea. My daughter Kim was the brainstorm kid who wouldn't let it go, but she's been that way since birth. Between her and her Mom, I didn't stand much of a chance to say no and truth was, we needed the money.

    I hated to admit that then. Now? I've found a lot more important things to think about in place of money... and what others think.

    You'll love the ranch. The people. And half these cowpokes are married, so they won't be doin' the flirtin' but there's a fair number of singles here, too.

    My wife made sure of that before she passed. Mariella loved romance, an' yeah, I shoulda showed her more over the years. It's one of my regrets, for certain.

    But when she was gone I knew she'd started somethin' special here, her and Kim. And I stopped thinkin' negative and just took the helm the way I should have in the beginnin'.

    Well, we all make mistakes. And we learn. That's what the Good Lord asks of us, ain't it? No matter what line of work we're in.

    Although you won't catch me wearin' a suit marchin' to an office.

    My office?

    The hills.

    My climate?

    Whatever the sky and God provide?

    My "lunch break"?

    As I choose, where I choose, with a good horse.

    But I won't pretend I don't like a good bed beneath my bones come nightfall. And great food.

    Lookin' forward to makin' your acquaintance. Tippin' my hat your way...

    And Cloud, my usual mount? He's givin' you a nod of courtesy as well, but he just might be after an apple.

  59. KAV—I loved Trixie too. :)
    JENNY—You made me laugh with your tour guide bear story. :)
    JULIE HS—Isn't that one of the greatest things about virtual retreats?! We can eat whatever we want, even doughnuts! :)

    And, I am ALL about those daily massages. Great idea, SHERIDA!

  60. Christina!!! Welcome to Seekerville! And we can totally empathize with that going back to work thing! Honey, you've come to the right place of writers who have to pick, choose and sometimes steal (nicely, of course!) writing time.

    A support network of folks who understand is huge. So glad you're here!

    And CAROL!!! Thanks for your techno expertise. I'm putting you on the payroll, honey.

    God bless you for being a wonderful and willing helper!!!

  61. Marianne, awesome! I haven't been to this part of the mountains ever so I'm totally psyched to have some quiet mountain time...

    fireside chats....

    Walks and trail rides...


  62. Payroll?! Where?!

    Check your inbox, Ruthy, dear ;).

    One of them. Both of them? I dunno which one to use!

    I too loved Trixie Belden!

    Did you know there's, um, Trixie fan fiction out there?

    That's all I'm going to say about that...

  63. This will be my first writing retreat!! So excited! Bags are packed and one of them is just full of chocolate for everyone :)

  64. Well yeehaw, Carol. thanks! I'm in. Goofus me had been cutting and pasting your link into google search not Yahoo. Duh!

    Next question: Can I change my profile so that it says Kav instead of my lame email address? I'm soooo clueless.

    Simba is some ticked that he can't join. He's afraid I'll become attached to some cute cattle dog without a squirrel fixation. :-)

  65. Kav -

    Probably. Depends on what email/webmail program you're using and how the settings work.

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. FYI -

    Totally not loving Jessica Keller Koschnitzky right now.

    She emailed with some brainstorming thoughts on that MS I can't work on until November.

    They just happened to mesh with and expand on some thoughts I'd had and now I'm wishing this was a REAL writing retreat, so I actually could spend all those hours a day pounding this sucker out :p.

  68. Be still my heart.

    Jake is darling. Watch out Captain may have to work to maintain your status in Seekerville. Jake could give you a run for your money...or your rum.

    Ruthy, what would the editors say about Jake and Jack? Such similar names. Hmmmm?

    I've signed up for the Dude Ranch. Glad the weather will be pleasant. We're hot in Georgia. Too hot. It's Hot Altanta today, for sure!

    Sending sweet tea and lemonade to keep Seekerville cool and hydrated.

  69. Hey, we've got over two dozen folks comin' so far! LOVE IT!!!!

    CAROL!!! Of course it's real, sweet cakes, except for the true-life setting of kids, house, etc, LOL!


    Hey, I make moving on to those new projects my FORWARD THRUST goal.

    I had a great idea a few weeks ago and I worked on it and sent it in to Melissa and she liked it... BUT... They want more Kirkwood Lake because it's doing well...

    So that idea I had and the mini-map of the series is on hold until we play some more in Kirkwood Lake...

    and it just so happens I've tried to create enough "WEB" (think/envision spider web) reach to have several more Kirkwood stories set in various areas and families around the lake...

    The wonderful thing is that folks are enjoying and buying Kirkwood and I love writing stories there....

    But that amazing and wonderful idea is on hold until I can get to it, and that's okay.

    It's all about focus. Remember: Editors love focus. Bosses love focus.

    Husbands just want food.


  70. .
    May the K9 Spy


  71. DEB!!! Lovin' the sweet tea, thank you!

    Beth just proof-read a manuscript for me and her comment (the brat!!!):

    "You're heavy on names beginning with "S", "M" and "J". SHOCKER!!!"




    But in all fairness, Disney created Jack, so I'm not even close to responsible, right?

    And Jake's mama is to blame for his name, right??? Well, his virtual Mama, LOL, but "Jake" just equates "Cowboy" to this Eastern girl's heart!


    Vince, oh keeper of the cashew brittle, thank you for the reminder!

  73. I’m Honored to Have My Picture on the Front Page of Seekerville! …

    ...and to be included with all those other Seeker friends!

    To get ready for the big event I’m going to a physical writer’s retreat this Friday and Saturday, in a little town in Kansas, to get literally ready for my virtual retreat. What a treat! Two retreats in a row. That's what I call being re-treated. : )

    I’ve sent my retreat email and I have a question: will there be a way to post pictures to the group as there is sometimes on Yahoo? Many of us have Seeker pics.


    P.S. Remember: tomorrow, June 14th, is Flag Day! Be sure to fly your flag! Happy Birthday to America’s Flag, Donald Trump, and many more Great Americans! : )

  74. Kav, if you give Simba an e-mail address and a Yahoo ID, he can come...


    We'll have a virtual pet-sitting service attached to the main barn, LOL!

  75. And for those of us who like an evening break you do have evening entertainment...right?

    Boot Scootin?

    Marshmallow Chess?

    Campire Smore's Contests??

  76. Note to self: Tina's In Charge Of Evening Entertainment!

    PERFECT!!!! :)

  77. Vince, yes, all the normal accoutrements of a well-run Yahoo group will be available to the dude ranch folks!

    Which means you can "attach" away!

    I love seein' pics, big guy and two retreats, back-to-back!


  78. ANNA WEAVER! First, I love that old-fashioned sound of your name and I'm so glad you're here!

    Happy dancing in upstate. In the rain. Huge puddles and some flooding from this huge storm front that decided to roll across the U. S. of A.!!!

  79. "M" names are my downfall, Ruthy.

    Just kidding about Jack and Jake.

    My recently submitted manuscript has a Joshua.

    Storms coming to GA with lots of warnings. They'll hit between 4 and 7 PM. Surely the temp will drop...along with the hail. :)

    Continuing to sip my tea.


    Waving to Vince. My flag will be flying tomorrow, weather permitting.

  80. Oh, count me in! Just took a look at Jake's profile and (sigh) I wouldn't miss meetin' him for the world!

    I'll be flyin' in from Arizona, so I'm bringin' nachos, chimichangas, burritos, enchiladas, and lots of picante sauce.

    Off to shop for some cowgirl boots and a new hat!

  81. Do we get virtual horses, too? I hope, I hope! (I don't know how to ride but always wanted to learn...and wanted my own horse, too, of course...)

    LOL to Jan and the "morning massage"! :D

    Already sent the e-mail, crazy person that I am. Will I be up for this? *sigh* Just confirmed and have the page open.

    Just have plenty of water for me, thanks--no coffee or tea. Chocolate and peanut butter though--yum!

    Is it just me, or does Jake look a bit like George Strait? Does that mean he'll be playing guitar and singing 'round the campfire every night ("every night" because the weather will be GORGEOUS)?

    Not sure I should hang out with a bunch of crazies since I'm surrounded here at home (hubby out of work, son who just returned to work after a short paternity leave, d-i-law who is adjusting to 2 kids, 22mo grandson who is entering the Terrible Twos, and week-old granddaughter, plus a dog and a cat who dislike each other). Oh, yeah, my One Word for this year is "persevere". Ha!

    Since this is all virtual anyway, I have a new virtual body to play at being a dude on the ranch, too! :D

  82. can't sign up for retreat right now, certain webmail sites blocked here at work and yahoo is one of 'em. daily chat time occurs when i'm usually settling my little Guppy into sleepy time, so i don't know how connected i'll get to be. *sigh*(all day blockage from work and short spurts at home? *double sigh*)

    need to work on my virtual skills. the retreat looks AWESOME. thanks for all the planning that has gone into this.


    "Uh, there WILL be cowboys there, right????" the CDQ asks with a hint of alarm in her voice ...


  84. Ruthy -

    I have GOT to get this third personizing done.

    But maybe I'll let me play with my new characters [the cover I saw in my head this morning? A lot like a Helen Hunt movie poster. One in particular. That's all you're getting for now.] in between rounds of editing. Like as a reward for finishing 255 pages of third personizing. Then again as a reward for third personizing the next manuscript [yeah, 386 pages].


  85. One little Jan Drexler oopsie! and now the entire group is getting morning massages.

    Way to go JAN.

  86. Tina, I know, I love the massage in fact I just contacted Jake to make sure he's got everyone on staff who's certified... or just plain good looking... available!!! :)

    Melanie... "And this too shall pass..."


    Life hands us turns and twists and we flounder along but with God, all things are possible.

    He constantly amazes me. Makes me smile. So I know that despite the down-cycles life throws us, we cling to the hem of the garment until that wheel moves us into a more manageable position.

    And grabbing twenty minutes here or there... even if no writing gets done! Is a wonderful gift to ourselves after a long day of work... or writing... or cleaning... or minding baby...

    It's that "grown-up" type connection that keeps us grinning and keepin' on!

    Glad you're in! We've got room on our upstate NY plane (Southwest) for you!

  87. Carol, yes..... GET IT DONE... As long as God keeps you breathin', kid, you've got time.

    And you've got the ambition, the talent and the know-how so it will all work out.

    I make the new project be my self-reward for successfully completing the old project. I never skip around. (Although I do work on two and sometimes three projects at once, at different stages. And that's not skipping around, it's just the best way for me to make use of limited computer time, right?)

    Hang in there. And keep on chugging!

  88. Evening Entertainment?

    So you're saying some of you don't go to bed at 8:55pm? well, keep the noise down because the day starts at 4am. OH WAIT I can sleep in until 5.


    Sunshine here we come!
    I'm even excited about the flight.

  89. Deb H, sign up later after work and don't worry about the "chat time"... A lot of folks will be busy then, but I knew we'd have writer buds who could pop in then... but you can stop by anytime, late day, early morning, whenever... Your pep talk will be waiting for you!

    With hugs, of course!

  90. Jan Christiansen what a fun smorgasbord of great food! Yes, bring it!

    So excited you're coming along... and Jake assures me we've got lots of room at the main lodge and more in the "Bunkhouse" a fun, quaint log cabin style house to the left of the main lodge.

    And I'm in love with their North Woods decor! SUHWEET!!!!

    Bears. Deer. Trees. COLOR ME HAPPY!!!

  91. That's what I prefer too Ruthy - and I hope it'll be easier once [note the positivity in that statement ;)] I'm contracted and have something more specific to focus on.

    These two just sort of happened like this. The one MS [semifinaled in Genesis last year] is "done" until someone suggested changing the POVs [since I'd gotten feedback from a couple places that they weren't crazy about the 1st person]. The other one isn't done in the first place but editing the pronouns and then working on the subplot additions etc. The confluence is weird :/.

    I do think I'm going to take a notebook to the pool with me when I'm not actively editing hard copy. I have 2-3 hours there a night [some of it more distracted than others] but I can handwrite even if I don't let myself type ;).

    That's my plan and I'm stickin' to it.

    And now I'm off to pick up kids and back to only my phone until much later tonight :p.

  92. And I'm bringing Lambert's. Yep. The whole thing. They'll throw your food at you but it'll be great fun while they do [and they'd fit in on a ranch].

    From the website:

    "Why We Love It: Grammar problems aside (Throwed rolls? Really?), we can't help but appreciate the gusto with which Lambert's employees toss bread at us. And it's not just a wimpy little lob; they pitch those rolls clear across the dining room. Sometimes you just need to loosen up and appreciate a silly tradition. And the roll is... quite good. Super hot, super soft, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth bread.

    Extra Perk: Well, this one's more of a fun fact. The Lambert's in Sikeston made the No. 19 spot on the Travel Channel's Chow Down Countdown, a list of the 101 best places in America to gorge."

  93. Hi TINA:

    Evening Entertainment:

    Scary campfire tales (can you make the girls scream?)

    Cowboy poetry reading (can you make the women scream?)

    Park ranger sets up his telescope for hands on astronomy lesson. (All the guys without dates will talk science fiction.)

  94. Julie Lessman, cowboys, yes... because there just SHOULD BE, right???? :)

  95. Yay. Always wanted to go to a writer's retreat.

    Will try to sign up soon!


  96. Ms. Susan, we're pleased to have ya along. Plenty of time, Ma'am and lots of room.

    It's a pleasure to meet the likes of you cross the big ponds.

  97. Vince, my daddy flew in Korea, seems like so long ago. I was but knee-high to a fresh colt but I remember the pictures we all had of Daddy on that plane.

    I think that turned me off planes for life, but I do fly if'n I have to. Blake, the youngest, lives in the East.

    We're not sure what we did wrong, but he heard a different callin' from the get-go.

    Still is nice to visit there. Appreciate what I got a little more.

    Lookin' forward to shakin' your hand, sir. One of America's finest. Glad you're comin' along.

  98. Yay! Symphony season just got over and I have several writing goals for this summer, so this couldn't have come at a better time. I am there!

    Thanks, Seekerville!

  99. Laughing with Vince and nodding my head at the scary campfire stories! YES!!!

    I'm in!

    I'll bring the marshmallows and Hersey's chocolate bars.

  100. I heard there was some photo of me and when I saw the monkey, I thought, "Well, at least I look HAPPY."

    Oh, okay. THAT picture. :)

    And I'll totally go for a massage from this Jake dude. Just don't tell hubby.

  101. All signed up! And because it's close I enough I can DRIVE (thanks, Ruthy!) I'll bring a pig to roast whole and a bunch of fresh garden produce. Grilled asparagus is DIVINE with just enough garlic to make the chocolate fudge pop for dessert.

    Um, you think the guys at the border crossing will notice a dead pig in the trunk of my car? Better to be a live one?


  102. Ruthy, Evening Entertainment assignment just Vince.

  103. SO funny, to scroll through the article and see Pippa Pom and sister Zobird begging to come along!

    Jess, thanks for the offer. Good idea, until they bark!

    This is such a fun idea and I love the details! Sure seems real. I hope I can join for some of the week!

  104. This is my first writers retreat and I've always wanted to go.

    Just in time too.

    Have a lot of editing to do and this week has not been as productive as I'd hoped. Getting busy right now so I'll be in full swing come Sunday.

  105. I already claimed a bunk. Looking forward to the motivation and encouragement to get to crackin' on the manuscript I need to have finished by mid July.

    Not sure why I'm struggling with writing this manuscript. :-/

  106. Camaraderie AND free wi-fi! WooHoo!!! Where can you get that kind of special treatment other than at a Seekerville event?

    Although I'm going to be travelling the second half of next week, my laptop will be accompanying me, so the retreat is doable. I'm off to find that link again and commit myself with a click. (Somehow that doesn't sound like what I mean it to say, but hey, who was it said we're an unbalanced bunch???)

  107. I'm for a get away of ANY type.

    I'll bring plenty of chocolate and coffee. I'm paranoid we may run out. It could get ugly. :o

  108. Miz Stephanie !!!! I love that you're coming and you're done with school! HAPPY!!!! :)

    Donna, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone ISN'T after your chocolate!!!! Hide it! I'll sneak over and we can feast together! :)

    But we'll have to share some... it's the right thing to do!

  109. Carol, it's in the post twice, I have faith in you!!!! Go find the link (thank you Carol for correcting m!!!) and we'll gather 'round the evening fire together!

  110. We've got nearly 40 folks signed up!


    And you do not have to be a writer OR have time to write next week to come on the retreat.

    It's the camaraderie... the togetherness... solidarity... knowing we're not certifiable!!!

    And that gift of the spirit raining down on us, gifting us with words... attitude... goodness.

    Of course Jake and the food don't hurt a thing! :)

    I almost always come away from something like this with two things:

    A heightened awareness of one or more people who cross my path, like the late Janet Edgar whose warmth reached out to new writers without a hint of condescension...


    Something that helps gel a story idea in my head. So no matter what my word count is, my value is increased by the contact with like people.... and raised awareness.


    Well. And Cowboys!!!

  111. Gina Welborn!!! So stinkin' glad you can make it!

    I'm psyched to see your pretty little self there!


    Do not short sheet my bed.


  112. A writer's get away. Sounds like a lot of fun. Will sign up.

  113. Note To Self: Vince has volunteered to take over evening entertainment by virtue of incredible intelligence and imagination.

    GOT IT, TINA!!!!

  114. Carol, honey, you smile that pretty down-home Canadian smile at those guards and I'm suspecting they won't go near the trunk.

    Or have the pig shipped (I'll pay) and we can just receive the "goods" so to speak in Idaho!!!

    I'd hate for you to spend the retreat in jail, honey.

    The ranch is way more fun!

  115. So glad this is cyber retreat as this means no on snores! (means I dont have to accidently damage someone for keeping up all night!)

    Ok anyone seeing bears, squirrels,chipmunks let me know as you will hear me squealing with delight but if you find a couger or bob cat I will be ecstatic. (my comment after a talk on local flora and fauna about cougers kinds loses alot in translation but the gist is if I would love to see one and with my luck I would be the one mauled by a couger but then the comment was What a way to go and I had a couple others agree but its all in the delivery and you had to be there!)

  116. many harsh words for me today. Goodness...maybe I'll just keep all my plot ideas to myself...

    Also...Ruthy said, and I quote: "thanks for your techno expertise" - all I picture now is you busting a move to loud dance tunes. So...will there be a dance night in the barn or something that I'm not aware of??? '

  117. Ginny, you can be the monkey.

    If you WANT to.


  118. JESS, LOL!!! I think the dances might be more the "True Country" type with some line dancing and a little boot stompin', but I expect there'll be music out at the barn!

    And cowboy partners.

    After writing time, of course!

  119. Pat Jeanne, awesome! It wouldn't be complete without you, honey!!

    I'm making strawberry rhubarb pie to take to Boston Finance Boy. Not to be confused with Rochester Finance Boy. But Rochester Finance Boy is visiting Boston Finance Boy today... and then we go to Boston tomorrow and Rochester Finance Boy and family leave for Maine.




    But then I get to go to Idaho, so whatever!

  120. Just heard we've got some cattle and a few of the men caught on the other side of a rushing gully. Yesterday's rain must've had a lingering effect.

    We're takin' Cloud and a couple of the Jeeps out now.

    Prayers appreciated. It's comin' on dark and it's an hour ride by road.

    Well... We call them roads. Not like you probably see most often.

    I'll check back in once things are back to normal over this way.

  121. cowboy dance partners after writing?

    I call that a reward worth working for!

  122. Jess, I have three words for you:




    I will steal your cowboy line dance partner if you do.

    And you'll never find out what happens to the chainsaw.

  123. I still think you need a "don't run with chainsaws at home" disclaimer.

    Just saying...

  124. Oh Ruthy--the retreat sounds WONDERFUL!!! ~ We're having really BAD storm here right now, so I'm about to get off computer for a bit. ~ Hugs, Patti Jo (who gets very nervous in severe weather)

  125. Dancing with cowboys.

    Line dancing with cowboys?


    I'm still excited about the scary campfire stories.

    It's all good.

  126. uh, i've been informed in the past that REAL cowboys don't line dance. this was several times during my single days hitting the boot scootin' circuit.

    the line dances were for all the ladies who weren't getting asked to dance by the goat ropin', bubble gum chewin', wanna-be cowboys... (again, on high authority from a gen-U-ine Texas cowboy *heh*)

    will have to sign up tomorrow after work. the Gupster is beggin' momma to close the 'puter and "listen you me"

  127. Oh Ruthy, I always thought Mary was the funniest Seeker, but you gave her a run for her money today. I had to laugh, but I think I saw Mary behind Jake.

    I like the pictures. They all look so serious, except the monkey, and maybe the dogs.

    I'll sign up tomorrow. It's too late today. I've been on church retreats but never a writer's retreat. I'm thinking they're different.

  128. Ruthy said:

    "A heightened awareness of one or more people who cross my path, like the late Janet Edgar whose warmth reached out to new writers without a hint of condescension..."

    Oh, sweet! So, this would be like calling someone by their name instead of 'young grasshopper' and promising they, too, will someday be as great?

    LOL! Love those straight-forward types.

  129. This is so cool, Ruthy! Thanks ... now to read comments. I could swear I see a cowboy's pic.

    Nancy C

  130. I love that we've gotten a bunch o' youse signed on to go "WEST" with us! SO FUN!!!!

    Virginia...aka 'Grasshopper'... LOL! When one is in proper Zen mode the term grasshopper is said with utmost respect!! ;)

    Nancy, we'll have a great time even if Deb's right and the real cowboys don't dance...The slackers!

  131. I've called the virtual farm and told them to get my virtual horse ready.
    But published that picture of me?? (As always, Debbi G. looked fab!) You shoulda warned the folks. But then again, maybe it'll scare someone out of writers block! :)

  132. Ruthy!!!

    First of all, I'm in need of a retreat so badly I'm a whole day late moseying over here to even tell you. And second, I totally did not get my June issue of RWR. I've been watching for it, but it still hasn't arrived. Maybe I should email RWA, huh? Cuz know that I know you're in it a gazillion times, I really, really want to read it. ;-)