Back from ROR, and just back from work, with a few minutes till I crash into bed. ROR was, as it always is, fun, daunting, fun, and just the most incredible time you can have with a bunch of writers on the top of a mountain. I had the most amazing time reconnecting with some of my favourite people in the world.
Something that I am always delighted and humbled by is the sheer generosity of my fellow ROR folk. We're all friends now, but it doesn't blunt our critiques. There's something truly delightful and daunting about five minds focused utterly on your story. Each of us has a different idea of how a story works, but everyone of us is equally passionate about story, and story structure; about the words and the characters and the worlds. And that excitement, generosity, and passion is carried into every critique.
Which is wonderful, and exhausting, because you only want to give your best back.
We worked hard on that mountain, my friends. Very hard. And I can say that my novel will be much better for it: a stronger, more balanced piece of writing. For me that's priceless.
The critiquing was only the start of it. Six people (six writers no less) in one small house, and not a single argument. When something needed doing we pitched in and did it. Six writers, people, in one small house ten minutes drive out of Montville – and we left with all our limbs intact, remarkable.
And then there was Dirk's cooking – which has been addressed before, but hey, should be again. So much food and so good. Not to mention the Daiquiris! How is it that I'd never had one of those before?
I'd not been to a ROR with Dirk before – I stupidly missed the last one – and I have to say it was
a pleasure having him there. And not only for the food, his critiques were precise, concise and on the money – I've already got a new scene planned out for my book thanks to him, and one that closes a couple of serious plot holes. He added a whole new dynamic to the crits, and I can't imagine how we ever did without him.
Yes, it was an amazing four days, and a reminder to me of just how nice, and generous, my ROR family is.
I'm missing them madly, wishing all their manuscripts the grandest of outcomes, and wondering just what to expect in our next ROR in 2011.
Bring it on.