Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I DIDN'T MESS WITH TEXAS...IT MESSED WITH ME by Vonnie Davis

Calvin and I flew to San Antonio for a couple days. We'd never been to Texas before, so both of us were looking forward to the trip. We stayed at Hilton's Homewood Suites and enjoyed our breakfasts in the screened-in area (to the left in this picture), along the famed River Walk.

After enjoying ourselves on the River Walk and the Alamo, we headed for the Silver Spur Ranch about an hour's drive north of bustling San Antonio. The ranch is just outside a little town called Bandera --  "Cowboy Capital of the World." A place where horses are still tied to hitching posts in the downtown area. Cowboys? As a writer of both historical and contemporary cowboy stories, let me tell you, I am soooo there...


The Wild Rose Press's Writers' Retreat was our reason for visiting this beautiful  part of the country. In my debut book, STORM'S INTERLUDE, I mentioned sunsets in the hill country. While at the Silver Spur, I got to witness their splendor in person.  They were glorious.

But do you know what else was glorious? The writers and staff I got to meet or reconnect with at TWRP retreat. What lovely, talented and creative women. And CJ? The only male on the publishing staff who attended was a delight, as well. What a polite, personable and often humorous young man. He does his parents proud.
 
Nan Swanson, Rhonda Penders, Ally Robertson, Johanna Melaragno, Diana Carlile, and CJ Penders
 
 
There were workshops, writing challenges and sharing of publishing industry news. We had the most informative class on social media where I learned invaluable, time-saving information. There were warm, intimate conversations, peppered with many moments of laughter. Late night bouts of sharing of information on what works for each of us sparked new ideas. I loved every moment of our dialogue. And what did Calvin do during all this, you might ask?
 

Could a woman have a more attentive husband?
NEVER!!! 
He is the best.
 
World Roping Champion -- Kevin Fitzpatrick ropes 3 Roses.
 
Editor Johanna sweetly tells Kevin she's never been tied up before.
Yeah, right...does she look like she's quaking in her flip-flops?
 
Ranch hand Robert and me
 
This elderly lady once helped her husband run a thousand acre
ranch. She regaled us with ghost stories of the region and the Silver Spur.
 
The writers' retreat was a fun-filled time. What wasn't fun and continues to be "non-fun" is the sinus infection and bronchitis Texas foisted on me. I never messed with Texas, folks...it messed with me.

29 comments:

Lynne Marshall said...

thanks for sharing your experience on the writing retreat. I'm heading for Washington later this week for Emerald City conference, or I would have definitely been down for some time in Texas.

Sorry it messed with you! but it sounds like it was worth it. :)

Vonnie Davis said...

The retreat was definitely worth getting sick. I met so many lovely, personable writers. Too bad you couldn't come. I'd have loved to meet you in person.

Vonnie said...

San Antonio is just gorgeous, isn't it? We saw the Alamo in winter when it was cloaked with snow. All a long time ago now, back in the days when we could afford overseas travel.

I hope the sojourn got your writing juices flowing, Vonnie. Pity about the sinuses. Texas sort of had the opposite effect on me - I got all sprightly and fresh. I remember jogging around Austin in the early morning and wishing we could live there.

Vonnie Davis said...

Yes, Vonnie. San Antonio is lovely. The architecture is beautiful. We enjoyed the city very much.

It's a shame air travel, especially international air travel, has gotten so outrageously expensive.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing the highlights and pics, Vonnie. Wish I'd been there...maybe next time. I hope you'll share some of the tidbits on low-stress/effective social networking. Whew, could I use that!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Looks like you had a great time. Making new friends at conferences is the best part.

Liz Flaherty said...

Great post, Vonnie. Wish I'd been there, and my husband would have fit right in with Calvin!

Rhonda Penders said...

It truly is the attendees who make each retreat special. Great to see you and Calvin again and spend time catching up. Take care of yourself and get some rest - that's an order from the boss.

Rhonda

Vonnie Davis said...

I'll be glad to share what I learned, Rolynn. Perhaps in my next post.

Vonnie Davis said...

Yes, Nancy, connecting with other creative people who have the same struggles and mindset and, yes, quirks, is fabulous.

Vonnie Davis said...

Liz, Calvin enjoyed a lot of the talks and workshops, too. He's a writer also. But as you can see by the photo, sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. LOL

Vonnie Davis said...

Yes, boss, I will. I see the doctor today for the third time since I've been home from Texas. The sore throat and ear infections are gone, but the cough remains in full-force. Even the cat is getting tired of hearing me cough up a lung.

allywildrose said...

Hi Vonnie...wow...what a lovely, informative, amusing recap of your trip. It was truly a joy meeting you and Calvin, along with all the other wonderful TWRP people. I wish everyone could go to this retreat. It's a 'not to miss' event. I am so glad you found it beneficial. Take care of yourself...can't believe you're still sick!

Vonnie Davis said...

It was great meeting you, Ally. I enjoyed every aspect of the retreat, except for feeling tired and sick. Now I'm just tired of being sick. LOL

Stacy Dawn said...

Awesome pictures Vonnie! So glad you all had a great time....but hoping you feel better VERY soon!

Tiffany N. York said...

Thanks for sharing, Vonnie. And sorry you're sick. I had no idea CJ was male! See, you learn something new every day...

Karyn Good said...

What lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing! That way I got to see what it was all about as Saskatchewan (Canada) is a long way from Texas. Sounds like it was filled with great opportunities and great people to share them with. Feel better soon!

Lilly Gayle said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures and your experiences. I wanted to go so badly. Happy to hear you are feeling better. Hope Calvin is too.

Visiting Texas and The River Walk are on my bucket list.

Calisa Rhose said...

Lovely photos, Vonnie. Thanks for sharing. I can absolutely see Robert leading in a future cowboy story. ;)

And yay getting to put a face to my awesome editor. *waves to Nan*

Ally is in my RWA chapter so I saw her just Saturday. *Hi Awesome Ally*

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Stacy. The doctor put me on an inhaler and prednizone this afternoon. Hopefully they will help.

Vonnie Davis said...

Tiffany, CJ seems quite comfortable around all these women. He's very helpful and attentive...and humorous. Calvin and I just love him.

Vonnie Davis said...

Karen, you're in Saskatchewan? Now, there's a place I'd like to visit. Simply because I love the sound of the name. You'd love it in Texas.

Vonnie Davis said...

The River Walk is lovely, Lilly. We enjoyed the historical elements as well as the shops and restaurants.

Vonnie Davis said...

Calisa, I had Nan, too, for Tumblweed Letters. She is a delight to work with, isn't she?

Ally is very special, too. She was a lot of fun.

Kathryn Knight said...

Looks like such a fun time - thanks for sharing!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks for commenting, Kathryn. We did have a great time. Rhonda and her staff planned an awesome retreat.

Robena Grant said...

Wonderful, Vonnie. I almost signed up but then my mom had surgery so those dollars had to go to an Aussie trip. It looks like you had a super time. So sorry you got sick. I'm sending fabulous healing vibes your way.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Vonnie,

We were scheduled to go the Silver Spur (truly enjoyed ourselves in North Carolina) then had to cancel. Loved your post and the pictures. (Especially the one of dear Calvin!) Sorry we missed.

Having lived in Texas as a newly wed, and Army wife at that, it was nice to vicariously revisit.

Feel better.

Judy Nickles/Gwyneth Greer said...

I was so sorry to miss the retreat this year, but our 50th HS reunion was held the same weekend, and I figured I better go hug some necks while there were still necks to be hugged! Hope to see you and Calvin next year. Sorry you got sick--take care of yourself!!!!