So this year, when I knew we would return to the mountains, and since our writing family had grown, I thought it would be cool to make the retreat bigger.
So we invited a few people to join us. Five of us drove out/flew out/waited for the rest of us to drive out or fly out, and we met up in a beautiful cabin.
The way you get to Estes is through one of two canyons or through RMNP. We saw the snow was going to start at noon, so we rushed through phone calls, grocery shopping, lunch, and was halfway through the canyon when the storm hit. We rolled up in a flurry of white. But as soon as we got into the cabin, it felt like home.
I kept swearing to Emlyn, who hadn't seen the mountains before, that there were indeed mountains all around, we just couldn't see them! So the first couple of days were sharing stories, writing new stuff, bringing prompts and inspiration to the table, and falling asleep to the smooth tones of Nick Molle. On the third day, Emlyn looked outside and said, "Oh! Mountain!"
Through all the writing and climbing and reading, the thing I took away is friendship. I know that sounds super ridiculous and gross, but for real. We had so much fun in these places and doing these things because we were there together. Curling around the fire and talking about the deconstruction of Steven Universe's plot arc, Zuko's redemption, and how perfect Gravity Falls paid off ... this is our life, guys. We're writers. We're nerdy writers and there is nothing more we want to do than sit around and talk about writing. Thank you for coming to the mountains. Thank you for creating and sharing and staying up late.
I'll see you next year.