I’m leading a writer’s retreat in Seoul for a gaggle of teenaged writers. I usually work with younger writers, so this has been a new experience for me—and I’ve really enjoyed it.
We’ve had some interesting and in-depth discussions about the craft of writing and though I’m feeling a bit worn out (after all, I just wrapped up Galaxy Camp three days ago!), there’s part of me that feels like this retreat is as much for me as it is for them. Today I was able to get in a few solid hours of my own writing time for my new Kendra Kandlestar book, successfully navigating my way through a few sections that have been giving me grief up til now.
It helps that we’re not in a classroom setting. We’ve hunkered down in a suite on the tenth floor of a hotel in central Seoul. You can see the view from our windows. The one photo shows the bustling vista of the city; the other snapshot reveals a city in flux. Behind the construction fences stand some humble and traditional homes where some stubborn residents apparently hold out against the encroachment of Seoul’s ceaseless development.
For me, there’s everything I need nearby. Starbucks is a stone’s throw away, as are any number of restaurants. Here we don’t have to think about the mundane tasks of cooking or cleaning—everything’s been provided and we can just concentrate on our words.
My young peers in this retreat have been producing some wonderful work. I’m pleased to see them taking to their brainstorming journals and welcoming this unique experience. Today, I worked with them to write some poetry. The results have been pretty spectacular in my opinion. Perhaps I can convince them to let me share some of their words on this blog. We’ll have to see . . .