Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond (birdhousefrog) wrote,
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond

Markham Writing Retreat Redux Jan 09

The hive mind met last weekend, Jan 3rd and 4th. Our traditional date is the first weekend in December, but two couldn't make it so we quickly scheduled a second retreat for the first weekend in January. There are no rules. We bring food because we feel like it. We break for lunch and dinner because we want to. We talk or go back to work at our discretion. A lot gets accomplished. Jennifer has been working on newsletters for her nursery business. Karin was working on a YA project. Merrie was editing. Norma was working on poetry. I was rewriting/editing "And From His Lips" the latest fairy story. Sometimes we share and read. This time we didn't. We talked and talked around the table. Country women talk. Writer talk.

I sequestered in an apartment over the garage. I have no cell phone reception in Markham. And I can only get access to Jennifer's satellite (Hughes, like my own) from a desk by the window. Last year it was my bed that was under that window. With sun streaming in, there's too much glare much of the day. Good. In which case, I have this lovely living room to myself where I can blast my music, make tea, have snacks, and sit and work. I'm allowed to set the heat where I please. I was visited by a Flicker, which is a woodpecker-type bird. I awoke in the night and saw the big dipper through the huge skylight over my bed.

Everyone else has quarters in the house which is two houses built together with stairs in different places and part log cabin. Lots of places to work happily and separately.

I heart my hive mind.

Counterclockwise: Oz, Jennifer, Norma, Merrie. Karin took the photos and holds the copyrights.

We tend to be pretty serious when we talk...
You'd never guess that Merrie tells stories about Black Snakes that will have you in stitches. I riveted them with stories of the hawks, Maralton's move, etc.

Jennifer is a great host and has had a catering business, so the food is always excellent and well-presented. She has another house with her husband, so her neighbor calls this house the world's most expensive doghouse because her 3 dogs live here and she's only here during the day.

Norma. What can I say about Norma? An incredible poet who has done just about everything in her life, the crazy and the mundane. She probably wouldn't like the more serious of these photos, but it shows how thoughtful she is, how carefully she listens and concentrates.

Norma working...

And I think the photos show how Karin feels about Norma, too.

Jennifer again. She gave me the idea in December for getting suet and suet cages for The Dude for xmas.

The Seal of Approval Oz Photo...

But to be fair, this one is probably more typical. Let me know.
Tags: hive mind, tlc places, women

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