Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rainforest Writers' Retreat

I am at the Rainforest Writers' Retreat on remote Lake Quinalt in Washington State, and I was wrong: There is Internet here. Also about 40 writers who are spending nearly a week writing, attending presentations on craft by various pros, and wandering around through the world's only temperate rainforest. Many of the writers are beginners; some have published a few short stories and are now embarking on a novel. We are all housed at the resort's inn or in little cabins on the shore. I have to say that so far this does not look much different from other forests I've seen in the Pacific Northwest, since it hasn't actually rained once since I arrived. But I'm assured that this is only a temporary lull in precipitation, and to a Rochester-winter-jaded eye, all the green of pines and grass is welcome. There are also a lot of ferns, moss, and very tall trees, indicators of the 12 feet of rain the place receives each year. The site is beautiful, right on the lake:

Yesterday was devoted to writing (although not by me), giving a presentation on "Your Opening Scene," and a lot of socializing. I had dinner with Jim Van Pelt, Brenda Cooper, Jack Skillingstead, and Patrick Swenson, who runs the retreat. It was fun, despite a lot of talk about the gloomy state of publishing, book selling, and the economy. Dinner was followed by a cocktail party and book sale. Some people, displaying amazing powers of concentration, just went on writing through both. Here is the lounge of the main building, full of writers earnestly and silently composing on their laptops:

Here I am standing with Jack Skillingstead at the base of the world's tallest spruce tree, which is 58 feet 11 inches in circumference, 1,000 years old, and (to tell the truth) beginning to look a little ratty:

Me with sunglasses on beside the lake -- where is all the rain??


cd said...

The gods had a hand in that blogware-created typo:


Good name for the way many perceive the post Black-Wednesday publishing world: the publ-error_ate_most-ishing industry.

btw: It's very wet in Rochester.


Nancy Kress said...

I fixed the error, but maybe I should have left it...

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Cd, are you a

Cd, are you a Rochester soul?




bluesman miike Lindner said...

Sorry for the stutterblips thar, this keyboard seems to have a willful mind of its own.

That's OK. God is watching.