First Full Day at the Mansion

mka, ss and dc copy.jpgWe all arrived at the Weymouth Center for the Arts for our writers’ retreat yesterday and immediately got to work, followed by dinner (Sarah made yummy quiches), lots of M and M peanuts, and a rousing game of Apples to Apples.

This morning, we had our goal-setting meeting for the day. Mary Kay Andrews, as always, was our task master. She’s here on the left and her goal is to get clear on the emotional core of her Work-in-Progress. She described a bit of the story to us. It’s going to be good–and funny. Mary Kay always writes funny. Next to her is mystery writer Sarah Shaber, who is doing a rewrite on a manuscript I’ve read and love. She’s perfecting something that’s already close to perfect. Then there’s me. My goal for today is to write 3500 words–roughly fourteen pages (how are you writers doing on the BIAW challenge, by the way?), since I only squeaked out six yesteday because of the drive and settling in and too many other excuses to enumerate here.                                                                                                                                              

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On the other side of the room, we have mystery writer Brenda Witchger, who’s in the middle of what we fondly call “the vinyl book,” because it’s set in an old record shop. I’ve read the synopsis Bren wrote for this book and it’s a winner. Next to Bren, is Katy Munger, yet another mystery writer (I’m surrounded!), who’s working on two books at once and loving every minute. She’s inspiring me! Last but not least is mega-mystery writer Margaret Maron, who’s at that wonderful very-nearly-finished stage of her next book, as she’s going through the copy-edited manuscript. We all wish we were at that stage!

So I need to get offline and go back to work. I’ve done 1000 words so far and it’s only 12:17. That’s not bad, but we have a goal update at lunch, and I know Mary Kay will be crackin’ that whip, so I’d better get back to it.  


  1. Margo on February 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I almost reminded you to bring the peanut m&m’s but was certain you’d remember Diane (lol)! I think it’s wonderful you & your writer friends have this workshop a couple times a year…what great motivation for all of you!…and all of you are in great company.
    Diane, is anyone in the artist’s studio?…I remember the lovely cottage you blogged & photographed last year…I want to be there (-O:

  2. Mary on February 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Diane,
    I’m so envious of your writers’ retreat – especially as I frantically prepare students for state math tests. While you’re busy writing the new one, I’m relishing The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes which I had somehow managed to miss. Good luck with your goals, and if you want to, tell Margaret Maron you have a mutual fan. I discovered Winter’s Child on my bookshelf last fall (I have NO idea when I bought it) and have been devouring her backlist ever since. Glad to hear she’s almost done with another!
    Happy Writing

  3. Gina on February 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Have fun Diane. I hope one of your books comes out soon, because I am in a reading slump. I can’t find anything I like.

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