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Thursday, November 17, 2011


It had to happen sooner or later. I've been brought in for questioning. Not only that, but they interrogated the dogs, the husband, and even the chickens.

I'm innocent, I tell ya. 

Well...mostly innocent.

Stop over at Live Out Loud and see for yourself. I was so mistreated! Honestly, I thought she was going to resort to torture at one point. Live Out Loud (Jennifer) had me cuffed and sitting in front of a tv when she waved a gummy dvd of Jersey Shore before my eyes.

At least I think it was Jersey Shore. It had women with big hair and orange skin. :shudders: I cracked shortly thereafter.

Please leave a comment at Live Out Loud and be my character witness.

Tweet my innocence! 


I brought up something yesterday and I was shocked at the response I got from Greg. I mentioned how it would be nice if I could host a real writing retreat here at Casa Zannini during the winter when the rest of the country was freezing and he LIKED it.

Well, what he actually said was: "Sure, as long as I don't have to be here." LOL.

I only have two spare bedrooms--and possibly three if I bought a third bed. Extra folks would have to bunk at a hotel and commute to the country. I don't know what I would charge for two weeks in Texas Paradise either. I mean, there'd be room & board, chickens, dogs, and inspiration. And early SPRING. That should be worth something.

Maybe I'll think on it again come February or March.

What do you think? Do people still go on writing retreats?


Angelina Rain said...

It sounds like a great idea! However, make sure not to open up your home to too many complete strangers. There are all kinds of people out there.

A long time ago, my parents had a house where there was a seperate apartment in the basement. They rented out the apartment to a single man, and everything was great. Then he moved out and my parents rented the apartment to a single woman. Turns out she was bi-polar and not taking her meds. She stole from my family, threatened them, and it was a nightmare. Thankfully, my mom threw her out as soon as we found some things missing.

Tracy Jo said...

Loved the interview! I think a writers retreat would be wonderful.

Dru said...

I think the writer's retreat sounds like a good idea and I ditto Angelina, be careful who you invite in.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: Well, I figured the only ones who'd apply were people who already knew me. But good point.

Tracy Jo: Kudos to Live Out Loud for inviting me. :)

Dru: It's still a pipe dream, but I've often wished for a chance to work and critique with other authors in person. I did it once and it was the best writing experience I ever had.

Stacy McKitrick said...

My local RWA chapter is planning a writers retreat in May, so I guess they're still being done. I've never been to one before, so it will be a new experience for me. Getting away to write? Sounds like paradise to me!

Anonymous said...

Maria that interview was fabulous.

I've never been to a writing retreat, would love to one day. You could always pitch tents in the yard for the overflow, LOL

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I suggested during BroadUniverse's annual meeting that the group host a retreat for its members. It sounded like there was some interest, so we'll see what comes of it. It would be nice to run away for a couple of days and not have to worry about work or the house or my son...though I'd still worry about him, I guess.

Time to check out the interview.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I was thinking of something really intimate where we'd actually WORK for so many hours morning and evening, leaving the afternoon to explore the woods or help me in the garden. LOL.

Raelyn: Oh, I wouldn't want that many people. I have to feed them.

Sandra: Exactly. I was at one retreat where it was more or less communal. We ate, cooked, and lived with each other 24/7.

Cate Masters said...

That's one of my dreams if I win the lottery - launch a writing foundation with retreats and workshops. What a great idea, Maria. Wish I could afford to travel, lol
Off to visit Live Out Loud.
Oh, and I shudder at Jersey Shore too. Mostly because I'm a real Jersey girl, and no one I know looks or sounds like that!

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: I think the reason I dream about this is because despite the internet, I miss actually talking and mixing with live people.

Coyotes just aren't as much fun.

Dead Herring said...

Just read your interview on my daughter's (Jenny) blog. I have got to tell you that that was one of the funniest posts I have read in a long time!


Anonymous said...

You buy the food (or kill and dress it), I'll cook it :)

Shelley Munro said...

What a great idea, Maria. Most writers I know dream of getting away from it heir lives and responsibilities to focus on their writing.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I love writing retreats. I go on them with my writing group all the time! Maybe I could commute in for the day and then drive home, leaving you room for more people. (I just assume I'm invited...) ^_^

LD Masterson said...

Hmmm. It just so happens I keep a small duffle bag packed with a sleeping bag and an air mattress for Red Cross disaster assignments, so I can even bring my own bed. (Translation: I would definitely be interested.)

Live Out Loud said...

I never had so much fun interrogating someone, Maria!

As for the writer's retreat, I think it's a brilliant idea. I've suggested it to my father. He's got a lot of land and loves to build and is in the middle of nowhere - perfect for a writer's retreat.

You DO have to be careful of people. See if you can team up with a writer's organization, maybe they can vouch for their members. It'd certainly help to block nutjobs, I would think/hope.

Maria Zannini said...

Ellie: Hope I didn't embarrass you at work. :wink:

Raelyn: Ah, exactly what I wanted to hear. LOL.

Shelley: And that was my thinking. It's so quiet out here and there aren't a lot of distractions--aside from the occasional chicken running into the house.

Barbara: You're always welcome, retreat or not.

Linda: I'll just give you the couch. I think it's waaay comfier than the beds.

Jennifer: This was fun, wasn't it? Interviews can be so dull. I like when we can spice them up. Thanks again for inviting me.

Angela Brown said...

Wonderful interview you did. I was laughing out loud. Please let Iko and Tank know that I am NOT a stranger and they can talk to me in case you do have a writing retreat there and I get lucky enough to participate.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Maria. The writer's retreat is a great idea. I've thought of doing it in Australia. I've got a big beach house with plenty of rooms, so maybe one day in the future.

Now I'll go and read the interview.


Maria Zannini said...

Angela: The boys LOVE company. You might get tired of Iko before he gets tired of you.

Denise: I have a friend who rents a beach house in order to house in huge family reunions. Perfect.

Isis Rushdan said...

Writing retreats are a good idea and I have friends who have done them. As long as they are affordable and in a desirable location I think many writers would be interested.

Maria Zannini said...

Isis: I've always thought it funny, but I prefer an area that's cold and forbidding for retreats. It forces you to work more. :grin:

Liz Fichera said...

Maria, you MUST rent a movie called "Tamere Drewe." I just saw it last weekend. It's about a bunch of writers, one of whom opens his English country home as a writing retreat. Many hijinks ensue. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: I've never heard of that movie, but I'll look it up.

Ref: hijinks
That's what I'm afraid of! LOL. I know the sort of characters who would take me up on my offer.

Anonymous said...

Innocent? That's it, I'm heading over to see for myself. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Diva: I plead the Mae West Fifth Amendment: I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.

Thanks for visiting!

Nadja Notariani said...

A writing retreat is a fabulous idea! Texas is a bit far from me, but I bet you'd have a great turnout.