Rocking Cow and 2010 WIFYR


I am stuffed with popcorn and wheat thins and I think it’s important to say that wasn’t last week so exhausting?And so worth it? So full?

Sometimes I get all sentimental and think about the walls of buildings and what they see and how they experience and a week that will never happen again but did happen whether we remember every detail or not and we are different because of it. And those same walls will have other awesome weeks and months and years and then everyone leaves and are they drained? Do they get tired from all the energy and laughing and crying (oh the crying) and tripping and revealing and whatever else goes on in there? Such lucky walls. Such tired walls. And they don’t even have to scrapbook about it.

When I was on my way home from the conference I was thinking about how awesome it had been, and how exhausted i was, and how I wished I was more rested to see my family. For some reason I imagined the week would be restful (ha ha ha ha ha), that I’d have time to go the mall (ha ha ha). Of course it was not restful and I did not go to the mall and I was nervous I was going to be heavy and maybe even cranky right off the bat.

Then I saw my boys.

Do you ever see your boys?

On the lawn? In their mismatched pajamas and running around their dad and one has a stick and the other wants the stick and they are waiting for you?

And they are older looking and taller and what happened to their hair while I was gone?

But they see my car because their dad points it out and they start screaming, MOMMY!

They tackled me and jumped on my stomach and it hurt but I laughed because I hadn’t been jumped on for five days and they put on my name tag because I was still wearing it because I think we’re supposed to wear it at least a few months after the conference (is that right, Carol?) and they pulled my hair and each other’s hair and their dad’s hair and I was so happy to be home.

And not tired.

I am amazed at how rejuvenated I feel. How excited I am about everything. My house looked new to me. The laundry looked almost the same size as when I left. My garden had bloomed a bit.

And I am newly resolved to write. Write a little every day. To finish what I’ve started and to be who I want to be. It makes a difference. Sometimes we forget that we can do it.

We can.

And now, with that week, we have others that know we can too.

I think that’s all.

I do love you all. And I’m so glad we have each other.

This is sentimental and I am not ashamed.

The End.

P.S. If you didn’t make it this year, we missed you. There will be lots of other weeks. Ask the walls.


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25 responses to “Rocking Cow and 2010 WIFYR

  1. Oh honey, how you can write. I too, think of walls. And I see my boys and my daughter who all wrapped around me when I walked in the door. And hugged me, extended hugs, like Carol hugs. And wet kisses from little lips. That I didn’t care to wipe off.

    It felt like graduation, walking away. Saying goodbye like, well, I guess that’s it. All that emotion. All that intensity. All the learning. All the smiles and jokes and hugs. The new friendships, the deeper friendships. Just walking away. Just memories in my pocket. Empty arms that held the warmth of so many of you. My bag heavier or lighter?

    Outside those walls, will you remember? When the focus becomes unfocused. Will you recall with exactness, the way my heart beat? The way you changed me? The way you made me love you?

    That it could be frozen. Those moments, the pictures in my mind as I looked into your sweet faces. Take it home. Behind glass, behind a frame, lay that piece of heaven. The one that will never fit on a wall or in a scrapbook. Beyond touch or form.

    It has to be that way. To seep through you. To seep through me. To fill the empty places that will come as time moves away. As those walls cool from our heat.

    I am left undone. Caught inbetween then and now. It will heal. The seperation from you. Time will see to that. Life will see to that. But for now my heart is raw and tender. And I fear to let it be otherwise is to let your hand slip from mine.

    You have taught me so much. Given so much. Smiled so much. Loved so much.
    I will keep you all, always.

    Ann Dee, I love you.

  2. Amazing! Raw! Honest! I love it! I can’t wait to join y’all next year. The friendships and writing experiences sound like the foundation that helps support the walls. Glad y’all had such a powerful conference.

  3. Melanie Skelton

    I cried again when I read your post. It’s all so true about walls and coming home and holding on and not wanting to stop wearing the name tag. All so true. I wrote the Bonny Becker thought on the back of my name tag…”Let go of the good for the great.”

  4. Ann Dee, every time I read something you have written, I absolutely just KNOW you have written it directly to me, personally. Why is that so effin awesome!? For reals, I may be there next year. After I’ve become a librarian.

  5. rbs

    This was my first experience at WIFYR, and as much as I love words, I struggled to find the just right ones to describe my experiences. I’m exhausted but rejuvenated as a person and as a writer – especially a writer of a book that I have confidence to finish. Thank you Cheri, Rick, Carol, Lisa, ALL faculty members, but most of all, the great classmates in the beginners’ class. UNBELIEVABLE comraderie was a wonderful surprise I didn’t expect. And one of the most helpful suggestions came from a writing buddy: “Start your novel here, not there.” It paved the way.

    Loved the conference and the people more than I could imagine.

  6. Amy

    I think I actually made it without crying in class, but Neil almost killed me more than once. I did cry just about every day when I got home.

    Here’s the biggest thing I learned this year: I am writing for myself.

    That’s what I had forgotten in all my stress and chaos. I am done worrying about who will read it, and who will like it, and whether it will ever be publishable. That’s too big of a burden to carry around, so I’m letting it go.


    There. I said it. Out loud.

    I don’t know if I got to thank you Ann Dee for all the hand-holding and pats on the back. Thank you thank you thank you. I swear I am such a little kid when it comes to writing. But don’t worry, I’m gonna grow up.

    • you are all grown up, Amy. I saw it whether you think I did or not. I love this epiphany and I think it is the best thing any of us could do for ourselves. Let everything go, the pressure, the heaviness, the expectations, and just write.

  7. Angie

    I agree with Amy. I am writing for myself. Only now I’m doing it with purpose and a goal – thanks to your great class!

    Finished cross training yesterday. (The Adoration of Jenna Fox was fantastic!)
    Short Run tonight. (Do the dreaded Intro. for chapter one and go through all the fantastic critiques to make the needed changes.)

    I’m sure it will burn a little, but they say it’s a good burn.

    Thanks again for an amazing week!

  8. Dear Ann Dee,
    You are awesome. I am sad I no longer have a class with you, but also very glad that I did have a class with you. I’m a little jealous of all those people who went to WIFYR. I almost went. But sometimes making money is the thing you need to do, I guess.

  9. This was my 2nd WIFYR, and it was fabulous. Does anyone NOT think of the walls? Really? I thought everyone did. lol!

    Loved your marathon class – appreciated it so much. THAT’S a schedule I can keep. I studied under Dave Wolverton this year – he was fantastic. Anyone that can give a critique while at the same time make you feel like you’re blockbuster material is gifted! And that’s what he did. My girls are already complaining that I can’t stop quoting him. 😀

    Thank you, thank you, for a wonderful conference. All of you. Yes,my husband hugged me tighter, my boys look bigger & the girls are more mature… I’m grateful they allowed me a week off to pursue my dream.

  10. I wandered around all weekend feeling a little lost and a little sad. Happy to be home with my hubby and girls, but sad to leave everything that was Last Week.

    When I started the week I thought it might be my last FYR for a few years…since I’m moving from Utah and all…but now I think attendance isn’t optional.

  11. Ann Dee, Thank you for taking time to reply to EVERY comment. You make me feel important! A genuine, important talent that your fans appreciate. Much love and joy to wonderful you.

  12. Thank you Ann Dee, for an incredible workshop session. You are brilliant. And thank you to the rest of the group. I write and I think about how Shar would correct my sentences and Christian would say, “Rad.” and Neil would get tears in his eyes and Rebekah would tell me in her smooth low voice how wonderful it is. And I’m not afraid to write it down. And I’m grateful everyone applied their best selves to our workshop. I cant’ tell you how much I learned. And I’m glad that I met the challenge and didn’t back down because let’s face it, I was scared to go in there and present my manuscript.

    I am reborn. Again. It’s happened before and I get better and better each time.

    Thank you Carol and Ann Dee and everyone. Neil. 🙂


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