The Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America Retreat

posted in: Jessica Jefferson | 4

A couple weekends ago, I had the privilege of joining a group of phenomenal authors at the MMRWA Retreat from Harsh Reality. This retreat also hosted some awesome writers from the Detroit RWA and the Capital City Writers’ groups.

This is the Inn where the retreat took place - fabulous!
This is the Inn where the retreat took place – fabulous!

First, let me preface this by saying that despite my chubby appearance and generally congenial personality, I am a bit on the anti-social side. I thought I was an extrovert, but it turns out I just had ADHD, which is easily medicated enough. So, I did book a room by myself far from the other writers… or so I thought.  Coincidentally, my room was booked near the RWA favorite band – The Lazarus Connection.  This is a group of authors who perform songs at different conferences – most of which are hilarious. The Lazarus connection

Rita Clay Estrada - deep breaths, Jefferson, deep breaths
Rita Clay Estrada – deep breaths, Jefferson, deep breaths

It was a great experience.  Our keynote speaker was Rita Clay Estrada. She is the founder of the  RWA and generally registers as a goddess in my small sphere of romance writers references.  I wrote down almost everything she said and am using it to inspire the next phase in my career.  Not only is she fabulous, but she is a wonderful person and entertaining as hell.  It was actually incredibly intimidating to be near her and I’m afraid I may have fan-girled more than once.  For those of you who are not aware of my fan girl tendencies, I have a long history of completely loosing my cool when in the presence of greatness.

RT 2014 – Lisa Renee Jones sat next to me.  Literally, right next to me.  I was having lunch with Gina Conkle and suddenly lost the ability to speak, except to repeat what Ms. Jones had ordered.  “Omg – Lisa Renee Jones ordered an iced tea…omg, Lisa Renee Jones ordered a salad…   It was just sad.  I also ended up in an elevator with Eloisa James and I’ll spare you the details.  Just know that ended up with a couple hits off my inhaler and my husband escorting me to my room.

I learned so much from this retreat – not just from the presentations, but from the conversation.  I made so many new friends, as well as continued learning more about my craft.  It was a really entertaining time as well, which I really appreciate!

A quilt that Dawn Bartley created from MMRWA authors’ book covers
beer 3
What happens in Mid-Michigan, stays in Mid-Michigan…
gratuitous selfie
SELFIE! I’m still waiting for the pics from Alyssa Alexander (RITA nominee) and Gina Conkle!!!


Follow Jessica Jefferson:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, nine and three year old girls, guinea pigs, and English bulldog Pete. When she's not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch "Real Housewives of [insert city here]" and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property. Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist, infused with humor. She always tries to create endearingly flawed heroes and one of a kind heroines that you'll want to continue knowing long after you read the last page. Fall in love with romance again...

4 Responses

  1. Alyssa Alexander

    Believe it or not, the only pictures I have are of an empty bottle of wine, an Elsa and Anna paper cup, and me with Ryan Gosling! Lol!

    Clearly, what happened at Retreat, stayed at Retreat …

  2. Barbara Monajem

    I love your selfie! I’ve never gone on a small retreat… Hmmm….

  3. hollybushbooks

    That sounds like a great time! I’ve fan-girled myself a few times. With Mary Balogh the first time I met her and most notably with Lee Child at the last RT conference. Thankfully no one watched me stumble my way through the Child fiasco.