Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Refreshing writers' retreats, BBF winners & epic Ruby Tour starts on Monday!

My writing station
at the Cape retreat
Summer's for vacations and taking time to refill the inspiration flask. I've been going to a small writing retreat in Cape Cod for years now, and I look forward to it, starting in February or March when the ice is thick and slippery and the thrill of winter has worn thin.
Here are pictures from our latest. A few times, I've started entire
Path to the inlet
novels there. This time, I did an 80-page revise on a new adult novella.
There's coffee, shameless gossip and shop talk in the morning, writing all day on the porch, a swim in the ocean at 5 pm. Each night, it's someone's turn to cook, and then we do writers' games. Encore is a big one, and a game we call The Dictionary Game. How to play? Someone picks a very obscure word from the dictionary and writes the definition down. Each player
The guilty parties
And our fave Colombian expat
writes a fake but hopefully believable def of that same word down. The host reads all of the defs and the players guess which one is the real def. Each person whose definition got a vote gets a point. It is a hilarious game, and it's very hard to read the fake defs with a straight face! I challenge you to try.

I've attended retreats in Squaw Valley, Mendocino, the SCBWI cons in LA and in NYC. I know there's a good summer writing workshop in Southampton, LI. Other retreats anyone? Spill!

On another note, I have winners from my Book Blog Fest giveaway. And before I announce, thanks so much to all of my new subscribers! You rock. Okay, drum roll.... winners:
Shannon A wins the $25 Amazon gift card, Krystina B wins a signed copy of Ruby's Fire, Jak C wins The Eleventh Palgue by Jeff Hirsch, Dayna J wins Rick Yancey's Fifth Wave, and C Lee  wins the illustrated Einstein quote poster!

Stay tuned for another epic giveaway when my Ruby's Fire tour with Xpresso Books begins this Monday, July 29! Grand prize? A KINDLE!!!


  1. Congratulations to the winners.
    The dictionary game does sound fun.
    Good luck on your tour next week!

  2. Thanks, Alex. Yes, try the dictionary game--and here's a twist--get an old dictionary--Victorian--try the game with antiquated words for a greater challenge (which we needed because our Colombian friend worked with her grandfather writing Spanish to English dictionaries, so she knows, like, every word in the universe!)

  3. Cat, that opening paragraph was so lyrical, I read it three times and luxuriated in the way it rolled around in my mind. :)

  4. Thanks so much! I can't wait to read Ruby's Fire. :)

  5. The pictures are so lovely, and I'm happy that a change of scene helps you write. Congrats to the winners and good luck on the upcoming tour! :-)

  6. Thanks, Cat. I try. :)
    Krystina, looking forward to getting your take on Ruby.
    Lexa, I appreciate the encouraging words.

  7. Congrats to the winners. Looks like an awesome retreat, Catherine. I'm a little jealous. ;)

  8. A retreat sounds ideal; lovely. Congrats to the winners.

  9. Congrats winners! I love the idea of writing retreats. I'm anxious to get to one soon. I'll just have to make my own if I can't find a good one! :)

  10. Thank you so much, Catherine! I just received the book :) Thanks for congrats and congrats to the other winner!

    A retreat sounds amazing, and their is one offered during the NaNoWriMo in our area, but it's a bit expensive. Perhaps when I actually get any real writing done? ;-)

    That game would be a ton of fun to play with friends. It reminds me (though it is quite a bit different) of Dixit. Not sure if you've ever played it, but I love it!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink