Before posting more thoughts about the retreat, I'm taking an intermission, or entr'acte, if you will.
I started Therese Fowler's Souvenir last night and finally had to give in the sleep on page 126. I could not help reading like a writer when I started, but despite my best intentions I was soon taken in by the story and the desire to see what happens next.
From a strictly "crafty" perspective, Therese starts us out with the prologue that you can read on her web site. She creates a compelling lead character, drops us right in the middle of the action and a highly charged emotional situation and leaves us with many, many questions. It's the perfect hook that makes us keep on reading.
In the chapters that follow, Therese skillfully introduces more characters, more detail, steadily mounting tension and poses more questions that compel us to read on. I've been highlighting many of her elegant, precise and beautiful descriptions. She a strong, unique voice that's very genuine and puts me very squarely in the American southeast among the citrus growers of that region. I'll be stealing away on my lunch break to jump back into Souvenir.
So far -- a great read, but I knew it would be!
I was fortunate enough to get my UK edition of Souvenir from the most generous Larramie at Seize a Daisy, but my US hardcover edition of Souvenir is still on preorder at Amazon.com and I am looking forward to holding it in my hands this February.
In the meantime, for anyone with a lot of curiosity and even more free time, I've included a link to a slideshow and a LOT of pictures that one of my fellow writers on the retreat has posted.
I'll resume posting about my retreat experiences soon -- but not until I find out what happens next!