March 13 & 14

Obviously, I am so happy that I got the chance to explore Garden of the Gods. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I can’t wait to go back one day. The only downside of going was my back! I had thrown my back out a few days before leaving for Colorado, so I was still in recovery mode. It had been doing pretty well, but that much walking and climbing really got me. Thankfully, I remembered to pack my ibuprofen so when we got back I popped a few of those and I felt a lot better. The rest of our evening was so fun and relaxing. I got cleaned up after the hike and got some work done before dinner. Right after, we had an awesome author reading. A lot of the women read bits and pieces of their writing, and I was shocked at how good they were. I loved hearing all the different genres that were read. As soon as we were done reading, I went straight to bed!

The next morning, we had our second workshop after breakfast, and then I got a ton of writing done until lunch. There were small critique groups that were held in the afternoon, but I didn’t participate. I’ll admit that my skin isn’t thick enough for that yet. Instead, I took advantage of the time for more writing, planning, and organizing for my next book.

After the critique groups were over, a group of eight of us took a drive through Garden of the Gods for those who hadn’t seen it yet, and then we stopped in Manitou, a small town about 15 minutes from the retreat.

The weather wasn’t nearly as nice as the day before, but it was still fun!

We walked through a ton of art shops, but my favorite part was seeing such an eclectic crowd of people. It was definitely an interesting place.

We even stopped to take a drink of the natural spring “healing” water. It was terrible, but it was a new experience, so it was worth it!

After we walked through town, our last stop before heading back to the car was a little coffee shop, but of course, I hate coffee, so I got a hot chocolate to warm me up along with some delicious treats! They were great for snacking the rest of the weekend.

We spent our last night doing a Q&A with agent Courtney Miller-Callihan that lasted nearly two hours, It was so interesting to hear from someone on that side of the industry. I made it until it ended at almost 11 PM before I crashed for the night.

The next morning I left for the airport at 10:30 and finally walked through the door at 3 the following morning. I was exhausted and definitely ready to be home, but I had an amazing vacation! I learned so much and I can’t wait to go back.

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