No, that’s not hyperbole about what a fantastic weekend I had.
Now, I’m not going to get into all the details here as it probably doesn’t interest most of you, but if you’re curious, you can read blog posts here and here that go into the writerly details about the activities we did and all the feelings that go along with them. Opening up to other writers, to people who use their emotions, life experiences, and personality faults to craft stories that may help others become better people is an extraordinary thing. Non-writers don’t get it (I know this because I’m married to a non-writer), and they don’t understand what it’s like to be a part of a tribe.
At any rate, this was probably my last big hoorah with this particular group of writers since my family and I are planning a long move in the late spring, early summer of 2017. Sure, I’ll see them again before I go, but probably not all of them, and certainly not all at the same time, and definitely not in such a sharing, open environment.
All the things I learned this weekend I’m putting down right now are because these are some of the best people I know, and this is how I want to remember them, in my own assholish way: fondly, sarcastically, and forever:
- people with two first names are sketchy as fuck
- twerking is not an acceptable way to wake people up
- unless you like ninja monkey pajama ass in your face…
- necrophilia and butt plugs may be a cause for concern, even in your fiction
- necrophilia and butt plugs will never go away
- dwarves do not always make good traveling companions, but their ale is damn good
- gay werewolf terrorists may be the next big thing
- glitterbeard should be glittier, and worn continuously
- one should not sacrifice sex dolls in the fire pit
- do not summon anything you can’t kill or screw
- Bree is love
- not all DMs are murdering assholes, sometimes they save your ass, too
- unless you’re a dwarf, in which case you’re eaten by a box
- voiceless leaders are still leaders; it’s about presence, not volume
- rage bacon and love pancakes are best eaten with an apathetic appetite
- psychic “ma’ams” are as powerful now as they were then
- and lastly, Dear World, we accept the fact that we spent an entire weekend in a secluded cabin with each other for whatever reason we write. But we think you’re crazy for making us feel like we’re anything less than we are. You label us how you want to label us–with the worst grammar, and the most condescending terms–but we found that each one of us is a leader, a poet, an asshole, a gamer, a little sketchy, an innocent, a lover, a hater, a recluse, a joiner, a bitch, a flake, a brain, a friend, and a writer.
That’s the damn truth, and I’m sticking to it. I’ll defend said statements with harsh words bred from my consumption of the aforementioned love pancakes and rage bacon. I’m not above stealing Bree’s new sword, either, and you don’t want that.
“Oh, hell no you do not want that,” as she’d say.
If you’re a writer, get involved with your local community, foster those relationships, and watch yourself soar along with them. A rising tide raises all ships, and as I’ve said numerous times over the last few years, we are in the unique position to be both the tide and the ships.
To every one of you crazy fuckers at the retreat this weekend, continue to be the highest tide, the most humble boats, and you will rise far above the rest. This I believe.
This I know.