Deb's Fresh Start
I had high expectations for this year’s Romance Authors of the Heartland retreat. However, I didn’t factor in flying to California to visit our daughter and her family, which I don’t regret, and recuperating from the frenzy of the holiday season. Although, I emailed my word count goal to the fabulous women who planned this year’s annual gathering, I failed to focus beyond that. My mind was occupied with taking the tree down, board meetings, unpacking, laundry, wrapping gifts, what to bring with me and what to leave behind.
Our group of Aspen Gold authors, local and out of state, convened in Omaha a day early and met one of our valued readers at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch and a decadent dessert. (I highly recommend the Limoncello cheesecake—it was divine!) After lunch, we returned to the hotel to brainstorm and set our publication dates for the year. We not only had fun (I love getting together with my peeps) but I established dates for my cover reveal and the release of my next Aspen Gold book, Close to the Heart. My primary goal for 2020. Yay! Success!
Forking over the money for an extra day’s stay paid off because, late the following morning, old man winter descended on Omaha and environs. While our intrepid writing sisters braved the snowy, slick streets to check in, we were warm and cozy, tucked together in Melody’s room for more brainstorming and post-Christmas/birthday festivities. More fun and much needed feedback on a pivotal plot point for me! Thanks, ladies!
Although I missed the writing sprints and wrote zero words toward my word count goal, the next day’s scheduled brainstorming session netted me more angsty-conflict for the “musher” hero in my North Woods story. Sandwiched between the inordinate consumption of pizza, raffle drawings, a raucous trivia tournament, and more writing sprints, our AG group perused our map of Spencer, adding additional shops, services and points of interest, particularly the historic fixer-upper that Miranda and Declan purchased for restoration.
Hmmmm, reading over what I’ve just written, it appears I accomplished more than I realized. My intended point in this article was the importance of planning ahead before going on a retreat. My topic has now evolved to the positive value of focusing on reasonable expectations and what you accomplish instead of its negative counterpart.
I’m feeling much better and more focused on my Fresh Start for 2020!