And speaking of Las Vegas, at this time next week, I’ll be in glorious Las Vegas for the second all ladies writers retreat. We go to Vegas, we spa, we eat, we see a show (this time, a very classy Zombie Burlesque Review that will probably rival the theatrical values of Bite, the topless vampire musical), and we write.

The first group writing retreat I went to that was privately organized was in Vegas. I thought that the organizers were crazy. You know, I snobbishly thought of writing retreats as taking place in ivy-covered brick buildings. I went because there were awesome people to see, and new people to meet. AND, by God, Vegas is a great place to have a retreat.

You see, not much happens in Vegas during the day. What an awesome way to spend your day, writing in Vegas. Of course, Vegas has some of the most decadent spas in the world, so by having a retreat where we write, rather than where we critique, we can fit that in. And then, the nightlife. Shows, shopping, restaurants, bars. It’s easy to get out and have fun, whether you want to gamble, see a show, have some wine, or hang out with friends.

Now, I kind of wish all my writing retreats could be in Vegas. I know what you’re thinking, that I’d prefer a retreat at Disney. I would not. I would be aggravated that I could not go to Disney. I know this. I’ve been to conferences in Orlando twice, once on property, and once off, and all the time, I wondered why I wasn’t at Disney.

But Vegas is perfect. I don’t gamble, I’ve done the basic sightseeing, and so I don’t envy the time I’m not doing Vegas. I really get tired of getting hit up for deals, or expanding my collection of prostitution cards, so I’m happy to stay inside until the vampires tourists come out and I can be one of them. And then, after a long day of writing, we have some fun.

I already know I’m not going next year. I’m limiting my retreats to one a year, and I’ve already promised myself to another one next year. Yet, I certainly enjoy this interesting mix of decadence and work.

On the plus side, at least next year I won’t miss the local Scottish society’s Robbie Burns birthday blowout. This’ll be the second year I’ve missed it. I’m a bad Scot.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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