Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rainforest Retreat, Day 2

A piece of rainforest, in the rain:

Yesterday we actually got rain in the rainforest. In fact, we got everything: rain, sun, hail, and snow, in dizzying succession. Somewhere during the rain part I took a short hike to inspect the rainforest. It still looks a lot like a regular forest but much, much denser. It would be very difficult to walk anywhere off the path. There are a lot of ferns, moss, and rotting wood. All this creates a rich, wet, loamy smell. By late afternoon the weather had begun to frost the trees:

And by evening the landscape had changed to this:
Apart from observing and discussing the weather, the day consisted of writing (although still not by me), two presentations on craft (from Brenda Cooper on characters and me on plotting), and a lot of eating. Jim Van Pelt, Patrick Swenson, Brenda Cooper, Jack Skillingstead, and I had a leisurely dinner at the very nice Lake Quinalt Lodge, about a mile down the road. A major topic of conversation was balancing writing with one's day job, family, and mundane life. Nobody had any good solutions on how to do this, other than to sleep less. However, complaining about it was cathartic.

In the evening there was "Writers in the Bar," which consisted of -- well, writers drinking in the bar: a general mingling of attendees. Some people, astonishingly, worked on their laptops right through this, although more headphones appeared. There is a competition for the most words written during the retreat. Since my word count is zero, I don't expect to win this. Unless there's a booby prize.

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