Whispering Pines

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality won’t destroy you.” ~Ray Bradbury

Love that.  You see, it’s true.  I’m totally tipsy from my weekend at Whispering Pines.  My head is buzzing with ideas for revising my works-in-progress (Notice the plural? Yes, three stories, three voices, three revisions, and I can’t wait.), and for a change I think I know just what I need to do.

Hold on, let me tell you more about this wonderful writing retreat. No, I’m not sure that I want to.  If I get too many people jazzed up about this puppy I’m not going to be able to get in next year.  I’ll have to drive my application to the source myself. I’ll just give you a few tid-bits.

Run by the fantastic Lynda Mullaly-Hunt, the Whispering Pines Retreat is a weekend where writers converge together to talk craft, network, and submerge themselves into the word in way that can never happen in the confines of  home where dust bunnies and dogs and kids run wild, ruining creative flow.

At Whispering Pines, you wake up to the trees and stroll to the main lodge for breakfast, and you don’t have to worry about cooking another meal for days.

The only time restraint that you might have at Whispering Pines is making sure that you make it to you one-on-one session with your mentor.  My mentor whipped me into shape in two seconds flat.  Thank you mentor.

Did I mention the mentors? The fantastic, awe-inspring giants of the children’s publishing industry?  I took some pictures that represent them, but I’m not telling what they talked about.  Things that happen at Whispering Pines, stay at Whispering Pines!

Yes, the Cynthia Lord stood at this table.  Writer of Rules.  Winner of Newberry.   Fellow Mainer.   I can’t tell you how much this woman inspires me.  There is something etherial about her.  It might be her positive slant on the world, or her calm deliberate views on writing.  If you have not read a novel by Cynthia Lord, do it now.

PS- Look for her on the road.  You’ll find her by a cool bobble-lobster that lives in her rear window.  Cindy if you are reading this our car conversation went like this.  “Oh look, a lobster bobble… It’s Cindy!”  You are too cool.

Another mentor was Mary Lee Donovan from Candlewick Press.  Love her.  She let me touch her water bottle from the set of Judy Moody, the film.  Thank you Mary Lee for being totally present and accessible all weekend.  It was lovely meeting you.

Gulp, Cheryl Klein was there!  Scholastic editor extraordinaire: blogger, editor, author and squid lover!  And let’s not forget… she got something to do with Potter, Harry Potter that is.  Cheryl, thank you for the time and inspiration.

PS- Cheryl, I’m looking closely at your work now.  It looks good to me.

Lastly, Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency…. what amazing final last words. Thank you!

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About julietruekingsley

Crazed writer living on the coast of Maine! Attempting to blog daily in fifteen minutes or less.
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6 Responses to Whispering Pines

  1. I am so glad you had such a wonderful retreat. You have had one hell of a few months and you really deserved it. Sounds like a really fun thing to do. I hope someday to get a chance to do something similar.

  2. Madame, aren’t you from New York? Hop on the train next year. I’ll pick you up in Providence! Those weekends devoted to craft are so helpful… but your craft is damn good. Maybe you should be a mentor.

  3. Lynda says:

    Julie!! SO happy that you joined us this weekend at WHispering Pines. I really enjoyed your funny stories over dinner! Thanks so much for doing this wonderful post–I really appreciate it. Good luck with your writing. Hope our paths cross soon!

    Lynda

  4. Always a pleasure Lynda! I’ll see you in Fitchburg.

  5. toemailer says:

    I sure wish I could do that, looks like a wonderful place to be.

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