Friday, March 18, 2016

Rain Forest Writers Retreat was Amazing! by Nancy M Bell

I just wanted to share with you all what a wonderful time I had at the Rain Forest Writers Retreat. It takes place at Lake Quinault, Washington state, the venue is the Rain Forest Resort Village. This beautiful resort is smack in the middle of the Olympia Rain Forest. Patrick Swinson organizes everything, there are three sessions which begin in late February. For the past two years I have been lucky enough to be in the third session with my amazing writing friend Sara Durham. This retreat is geared to writing, this year from Wednesday evening til Sunday at noon I wrote 30,000 words. The resort is basically closed at this time of year, so we have the whole place to ourselves. There are hotel rooms with lake view, there are self contained cabins for those lucky enough to snare one and magical scenery wherever you look.
The worlds largest Spruce tree lives here along with many other giant trees. There are hiking trails into the rain forest if you need to clear your head for a bit. Of course, it does rain, a lot. But that's okay, liquid sunshine, you know.

The University Book Store from Seattle comes every year and sets up a table with books by the attendees. A great chance to snap up some amazing books by people you actually know! There is a restaurant on site, The Salmon House and it serves spectacular meals. I recommend the salmon and the Merriman mushrooms, yum yum. The lounge is open all day for us crazy writers, from 6 am to far into the night. I usually write in my room, just cause I'm too lazy to unhook my laptop and lug it over to the lounge. Also, far less distractions for me, although I did stop to watch a bald eagle circle over the lake through the large picture window of my room.

I love this retreat, it's so amazing to be surrounded by nothing but other writers all busy tapping away on their keyboards. Of course, there is some fun and games too. Saturday soup and grilled cheese lunch in Cabin 6, followed by the Saturday night Cabin Party with complimentary and varied margaritas made with laughs and finesse. I'm not a drinker, but the night is always filled with laughter and conversation.

While I was at the retreat this year I worked on the next book in the Arabella's Secret series. Book One The Selkie's Song is available in ebook, Book Two Selkie Dreams will be available this spring. I'm really looking forward to telling the story of Laurel's Gramma Bella. A lot of readers of my YA series The Cornwall Adventures, wanted to know more about her grandmother and how she met the selkie in the first place, why did she leave Cornwall in the first place, how did she know Sarie, etc etc. Arabella's Secret seeks to answer those riddles and give the reader some insight into the how and why of things. The thing I love about writing is that my characters never fail to surprise me. They go off in directions I don't plan and some characters just show up on their own and work their way into the tale without me even thinking about it.

If you'd like to explore The Selkie's Song just click on the cover below for a buy link. Arabella and Sarie are waiting to welcome you, and the selkie Vear Du will no doubt be there as well.