Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hen & ink Literary Retreat

One of the many pleasures I had this summer was the opportunity to travel to Montpelier, VT and meet some of the agency sisters at Hen & ink Literary as well as my AMAZING agent Erzsi Deàk. Erzsi held a two-day retreat in the quaint village of Montpelier to discuss our current works-in-progress and to get to know each other better and to write.

Mima Tipper, Rae Ann Parker, Kathryn Kramer, Claudia Classon, me, Hannah Goodman and  Erzsi Deak 

I arrived on a Sunday at the Burlington airport, rented a sporty red Ford Focus and drove the short 45-minutes through the green mountains to reach Montpelier. The village didn't disappoint with its grand courthouse with striking white pillars and the old-fashioned red, white and blue banners that draped store fronts and decorated main street. I passed cafes, restaurants, toy and book stores and a delightful candy shop called Delish!

After settling into my room at the Capitol Plaza, I joined Erzsi and several agency sisters at Positive Pie for wood fired pizza, salad and white wine. It was a fun night of laughter, good food and the best of company. One of the pizzas we ordered was called Carcass, a meat lovers delight, and the other, a vegetable extravaganza with goat cheese and artichokes. To die for! Mmmmm.

The two days flew by as we chatted and pitched our wip's and discussed favorite books and had one-on-one sessions with Erzsi. It was inspiring and motivating and surreal. I can't wait until we can do it again!

Author and MFA graduate Mima Tipper graciously gave me a tour of the Vermont College of Fine Arts after the retreat was over, and we tip-toed through lecture halls as summer residency was in session. I visited the book store and oooed and ahhhhed over the shelves of books, many from our Austin SCBWI community. I chose Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft of Fiction Writing by David Jauss and Uma  Krishnaswami's Remembering Grandpa, illustrated by Layne Johnson (Boyd Mills Press, 2007). Her book caught my eye as I'm also working on a picture book titled Grandpa's Girl about overcoming loss and celebrating love and how it continues on in the memories of the heart.

Thanks for the wonderful retreat, Erzsi!

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