Winner + Creativity Recharge

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win Kathleen Fox’s A Book Is Just Like You! It was interesting to see what books people choose to be – plus I learned about some new books I need to read now. And the lucky winner of the signed copy is . . . drumroll . . . Carol! Congratulations! I’ll send you an email to get your address.
In other news, I had a creatively energizing last two days at a mini writers’ confab. A few weeks ago I was invited to join the Sisukas, an amazing writing group made up of Kathleen Fox, Rebecca Petruck, and Debra Rook. They’ve been together a while now accomplishing wonderful things together, and when a spot opened up, I was honored and thrilled when they asked me to fill it.
Kathleen and I road-tripped it up to Wilmington, NC, where the four of us met for an intensive 24 hours of plotting and talking writing in general. And of course eating. Lots and lot of eating. Can’t have a gathering of writers without lots of yummy food (and wine!).


Not only was it a ton of fun, it was very productive, since we hashed out plotlines for several different novels. At the start of the trip, I only had the basics of a shiny new idea (not much more than a title), and with their help in brainstorming, I now have characters and plot points and a better handle on what this thing could look like. Now I just need to finish revising my current WIP so I can move on to the new and shiny!
The picture is Rebecca, Debra, Kathleen, and me on the steps of the courthouse where the opening of Matlock was filmed. 
Do you brainstorm your ideas with others or keep them close until you’re done writing? Do you get away with other writers to recharge your creative batteries? What would be the ideal place for a writers’ retreat?