We are on Hastings Point, workshopping novels. The weather the first day was great, and we all went on a nature walk (except for steve_buccheit, who was still en route when we went) down around Elmwood Beach, saw wild ladyslippers, unfurling ferns, trillium, dogwood, and skunk cabbage. And lilies of the valley, which were the whole goal. Mayflies and gnats are everywhere, but at least it was very windy a few days.... and rained a lot... anyway, we got a nice afternoon yesterday, but we were trapped inside critting. Today looks good. The lake is blue, and the sun is bright.
Critiques are done, and life is good. We crammed four crits in yesterday, rather than leaving one isolated on its own for this morning. Should we do this format of critique again (which I'm still debating), or even really any other format, I don't think I'll plan in an iso-crit again. Maybe leave Sunday as a buffer zone for spillage? Or just leave it open for the travelers. We'll see.
Critiques in general seemed to be successful/helpful/satisfying for people. I think blood was let, but it all seemed productive blood, and no one had to jump in the lake, which I believe people had to do at Milford the year I was there... I amused myself by guessing how kaiweilau writes novels, and being validated. (I guessed she was a non-sequential writer. She is. Though my guess was more lengthy and detailed than that.)
I, of course, did not have That Brilliant Revelation on my novel, but that probably wasn't going to happen anyway, and hey, I sort of had That Brilliant Revelation a few weeks ago, anyway. It's really a matter of putting it into action. Or words.
toriw7 has been aiming cameras at us on the sly throughout the event, and kaiweilau has taken up residence as our chef. dendrophilous, who brought sylvrilyn up from IL with her, steve_buchheit, and Larry of No Known LJ, round out the group. kaiweilau is conducting an anthropological study of the Midwest, and we have taught her how to collect kindling, how to build a fire, and how to toast marshmallows. (This seems fair payment for her excellent culinary skills: last night she created a French/Italian cassoulet for us, and the night before we got a Thai/Indian curry. Both full of vegetables and served over brown rice, which allowed us to feel virtuous when we scarfed down s'mores later.)
For non-critique group events, we went with three rounds of Cranium, which resulted in some pretty good moments. Larry of No Known LJ, for example, did a stunning rendition of Dances with Wolves in charades. steve_buccheit and I proved to be an excellent team, so much so that they forcibly split us up later.
We are about to hit up Sandy's for breakfast.
For we are hungry.