This past week, Randy and I spent a few wonderful days in beautiful Monterey, California at the Books & Such Author's Retreat. The Books & Such agents put on a truly memorable retreat in a setting that is unmatched for its beauty and relaxing atmosphere. It was my first such retreat, but, if God wills, it will not be my last! Randy and I flew into San Francisco on Sunday evening, grabbed a rental car, and drove nearly two hours to Monterey. We underestimated the length of time it would take to arrive, so by the time we crawled into bed, it was nearly 3 a.m. Michigan time! We had scheduled a 10 a.m. (California time) whale watching boat ride, so sleeping late was not an option.
We ate a quick breakfast and walked to Old Fisherman's Wharf to the pier where the boat waited. The tour took two hours and the water was calm, the day sunny and gorgeous.
Though they took us far into the ocean (what a great experience!) we did not see any whales. We did see lots of sea lions, several schools of dolphins, plenty of squid, and many different birds. I just enjoyed the ocean air and the wind in my face.
The retreat started that evening at dinner, and it was so fun to reconnect with some author friends, several fellow Revel authors, and of course, the agents. The meal was fabulous, and lots of laughter was shared around the table.
The next day our morning sessions with the agents and some visiting editors proved to be both helpful and inspiring.
The retreat had a lot of free time built in, so after lunch, Randy and I took the 17-Mile Drive around Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach. We happened upon a sea lion on the beach posing for pictures, happy to be the center of so much attention. I love the play attitudes of the animal kingdom! They make me laugh and remind me to have fun!
I had a good meeting with my agent that same day, and had dinner at night with some fellow Bookies at a restaurant overlooking the ocean. (I could get used to this!)
More sessions the next day and more free time sent us to the Monterey Aquarium. Unfortunately, the one exhibit we hoped to see - the otters - was closed for renovation. We did see the sea horses and the jelly fish and some amazing fish. Such colors! Such strange creatures exist in the world of the sea.
The end of the retreat came at dinner on Wednesday with a bocce ball tournament. Randy and I had never played bocce ball, but it reminded me of a slower version of bowling - at least when it came to throwing the ball. I've never been an ace bowler, so didn't expect to do very well, so imagine my surprise when we won! A very fun experience!
All in all it was a great time with some wonderful people! If you want to read more and get some great writing tips from what I consider the best agents in the business, check out the Books & Such blog.
I love California!