AngiePen (angiepen) wrote,

Birthday and Slashy Retreat

Hey, I'm actually caught up with my Flist!! [random happy dancing] Or at least I was caught up last night this morning around dawn when I staggered off to bed. Good enough -- I can catch up with six hours' worth of accumulation easily enough but for right now I can talk about my weekend. :D

First, Friday was my birthday and I wanted to thank all the people who posted Birthday Stuff for me:

caladan_dd posted a Happy Birthday message, tarnished_raven made me a birthday card with animated livestock [grin], doylebaby posted a very yummy BanaBloom picspam, anorienparker posted a Happy Birthday message, willys_digs posted a funny picspam, illuminated_sin posted a very sparkly birthday message :D, tiary_fics posted a Happy Birthday message, idrillia posted a sparkly birthday banner, jenlynn820 posted a great Orlando picture with a happy birthday message, amygirl posted a very pretty picspam, and liarsdance posted a Happy Birthday message. If I forgot or missed anyone I apologize profusely, but I wanted to say thanks and hugz to everyone -- I've never gotten anything like this outpouring of friendship and good wishes before and I appreciate it so much, I can't even express it properly. {{{{{}}}}}

Of course, Friday didn't start out all that great. [wry smile] I had a shuttle coming at 5:40am to take me to the airport so the alarm was set for 4am, and so of course I woke up at 3am. [headdesk] My flight left a little late but we made it up in the air and landed basically on time in Las Vegas, which was good, but not everyone was so lucky. I don't know what it was about air travel this weekend -- and not even on the weekend itself, since we were all travelling on Friday and Monday and it wasn't a holiday or anything -- but there were a lot of flights delayed, cancelled and overbooked. No clue why. Were there huge thunderstorms in anyone's part of the country on Friday and/or Monday...? :/

We ended up doing a lot of standing around on Friday, several hours' worth all together. The worst of it was at the airport with another significant chunk at the grocery store. (We were booked into a vacation resort (read "timeshare") rather than a hotel and we had full kitchens so we did most of our own cooking rather than heading out to a restaurant for each meal, which was great, to say nothing of cheaper.) For anyone who doesn't know, I weigh about 300 pounds and just standing is a lot harder than even walking. My knees decided to protest strongly and did so all weekend; the left one's still griping at me. [Note for other retreat attendees: I don't usually limp like that. :P ] I've never had knee problems before so I have no idea how long this'll last; I'm just taking it easy and not moving around any more than I have to. It's playing hell with my walking program but I can deal with that for a few more days.

My only other gripe was with the resort -- it's amazing that in this day and age a hotel-like place would not have internet access in its rooms. At all. I mean, I'd have still been complaining if each suite had had just a single cable hook-up, although namarie120 was prepared for that and had brought a wireless set-up she could've installed to provide us with wireless in at least one of the suites, which would've worked nicely since we all hung out together most of the time anyway. But there was nothing. When lauralynn22 called down to ask about it she was told to go to a store and buy an AOL disk with free hours on it, to get a dial-up connection. Umm, no. I don't think so. [glares at idiot resort staff] There was free wireless in the lobby, which was in another building, and we trekked down there a few times to get online for a bit, but most of the weekend was internetless.

Everything else about the trip was great, though, and even the lack of internet had its up-side. I did more writing this weekend than I expected to, by quite a lot -- 7373 words all together! [boggle] And 4068 of them were on Sunday; I haven't done that since NaNo, yay! And on Friday we had cheesecake with one big candle on top; I got to blow it out and everyone sang Happy Birthday for me! [hugs everyone]

Mostly, though, we just spent time hanging out and talking -- getting to know each other, talking about writing, about characters and pairings, plot bunnies and plotting and plot problems, pacing and formatting and point of view and anything else that came up. We spent one evening (about three hours or so) down in the pool just hanging out and talking until it got toward midnight when they would've shooed us out. We had fun cooking together, bringing dishes and stuff from the various kitchens (we had two pairs of adjoining suites, so four suites all together, each of which had its own kitchen with service for four) since we were pretty much "living" in one of the suites. And we got some art previews for an upcoming book. :D

The last bit was hanging out at the airport waiting for flights to leave. It was a bit sad as people left one by one but there were three of us whose planes left quite late (whether or not they were originally supposed to [pets Namarie] so we staked out a table in a snack area near a couple of plugs (for three laptops -- Namarie had a power strip :D ) and hung out together with our laptops, catching up with Flists or whatever and chatting for hours and hours. [wry smile] Seriously, though, I've had much shorter waits at airports which were much more annoying than this one; having good company makes all the difference.

Between delayed planes and attempts to get on earlier flights on standby (which never worked) I got to hug Namarie goodbye four times, LOL! The last one took -- I got on my scheduled flight fine, although half an hour late, and hopefully she made hers all right as well.

It's hard to condense it down into a brief summary and have it really convey what it was like to be there but hanging out with other writers was just fantastic; the atmosphere was very creative and productive, even when we weren't specifically writing or whatever. I had a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to being able to go to another slashy retreat. :)

Thanks so much to namarie120 and to willowwing (who couldn't come after all :( ) for organizing the event. {{{{}}}}

Tags: fanfic, personal, travel, writing

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