Tomorrow I leave for my Djerassi YA Writer’s Retreat. I was beyond thrilled (and stunned) when I was accepted into the Djerassi program this past fall. The competition was fierce. I know this for a fact because I know a number of other writers who applied as well. And since I adore them and their writing, I knew it was going to be tough to get in. And that if I did, I’d be in very good company.

As it turns out, there were so many applicants, that Djerassi asked Nova Ren Suma to come back in June to lead a second retreat. My CPs and I were split up between the two groups. But tomorrow along with going to California for an amazing week of writing and talking about books and critiquing each other’s work, I also get to hang out with my very dear friend (or as M calls her, my girl crush) Rebekah. There will be copious amounts of excited flailing, laughing, fangirling over books (The Raven Cycle books! The Lynburn Legacy books! Eleanor & Park!) and characters (our own–Math! Paul! Alistair! Aiken!–and other people’s too–see those in the previously mentioned books) and authors (Nova!) and writing and plotting and working through our books in person instead of just online or through texts. (There will also whiskey.)

And there will be serious amounts of learning. From Nova and the other amazing writers who are going with us. I plan to put all of that knowledge and experience to good use on my WIP while I’m there. To come home with a manuscript that is thousands of words heavier and the determination to finish the first draft by the end of the month. And I will be grateful for every second of it.

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