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September 2012
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The People at the Retreat

It occurs to me that I’ve spent three posts talking about the forest and I probably ought to talk about the retreat itself and the other writers here. I knew Mary Robinette before coming, of course. I’d also previously met Alethea Kontis. Everyone else was new to me. I figured they had to be good people since they were all invited by Mary. The group here is fairly small, ten people. Getting acquainted has been a leisurely process because most everyone is spending hours each day staring at their computers deep in story. When I began taking pictures of the folks here and asking permission to post them to the internet, staring at screens was most of what I photographed.

Mary Robinette Kowal, Michael Livingston, Monte Cook, and Shanna Germain writing on the porch in the evening.

David Levine deep in story.

Kate Yule at work.

It is not always work. Ellen Klages takes a break from writing by reading Glamour in Glass.

Alethea Kontis communing with the forest.

We tend to gather and talk at meal times. It helps that Mary cooks the most fantastic dinners.

Sometimes we talk about story or the projects we’re working on, but meal time conversations tend to be about anything and everything. Over lunch today we actually had a conversation about conversations, which was rather meta, but fascinating. I like being around other writers because they pay attention to random things and then think about them. I usually learn a lot. We talk and then we scatter and ignore each other for a couple of hours.

It is an odd mix of socializing and solitude. Yet it is exactly what it needs to be.

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