A SWEET Winner

The wonderful thing about being at a writing retreat set in a hunting lodge in the middle of the woods is… well, almost everything. There’s great company, time and space to write, conversations that fuel creativity, discussion that challenge and stretch, and beaucoup laughter.
The downside of being at a writing retreat set at a hunting lodge in the middle of the woods was missing the Schmidlets. And, that every time someone entered my SWEET Giveaway, I had a new candy craving and no way to satisfy it.
·      Whoppers & Bottle Caps! I hadn’t thought about them in years.
·      Twix! I used to try and convince my mother those weren’t candy, but a form of granola bar.
·      Milk Duds! Delicious and a handy way to tear out fillings.
·      Licorice! I always bite the ends off Twizzlers & use them as a straw. Tasty & functional.
·      M&M’s are clearly the chocolate version of Revision Skittles – Wasabi peas are the healthy version.
·      Peanut Butter Cups! I recently heard that these can be used to make S’mores – have any of you tried this? I need to ASAP.
·      Kit Kat, Almond Joy and Heath lovers – I challenge you to try S’mores with your candies of choice too – make sure to report back to me with your results.
·      And gummy-lovers (both sour and not), you people are my tribe. Let’s all get together and ruin our teeth with chewy deliciousness.
Initially I had big fancy-pants plans about how I would choose a winner – writing all the numbers on gumballs and then filming the winning one coming out of the gumball machine.
But we don’t have a gumball machine, I’m still in my pajamas, and am quite busy making up four days of Schmidtlet-snuggles. So, I defaulted to a random number generator.
Without further ado – the winner is: Loralie! 
Rock your Revision Skittle Boombox with pride – I highly encourage recreations of the scene from Say Anything.
Thanks, everyone, for entering and stay sweet!

Reflections from Camp Barry – Cabin A102

I’m home from Camp Barry and slowly emerging from post-travel hibernation. I miss the buffets full of chocolate bread. I miss the pools. I miss the heat lamps in my hotel room bathroom.

But mostly, I miss the people.

And not just because roommate extraordinaire, Jenn Reese, saved me from taking Will-Ferrell-in-ELF type showers by figuring out how to activate the upper showerhead. Or because Liz Braswell told me the greatest fact about pregnancy, which will carry me through these next five months. Or because Charles Vess *doodles* so beautifully that I was too busy watching him to ever demonstrate my own mad skill with daisies and interlinking hearts. Or because I feel so much more capable of handling the Schmidtlets after spending hours discussing them twins with Pat Smith and Beth Fleischer. **

These were all wonderful moments. But they were just part of the BIGGER wonderfulness that is Camp Barry.

So, no, it wasn’t the buffet.

It was the buffet full of chocolate bread and meals where we lingered like college freshmen, too busy talking and sharing ideas to realize how much we were stuffing in our faces.

And it wasn’t the pools.

It was the late night pool sessions where I laughed hard enough to worry that this might be the night I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time. (Seriously, Club Med, bathrooms close to the pools is not a new idea).

Okay, I’m not going to lie, the heat lamps in the bathroom were pretty sweet. Especially when it’s 1:30 AM and you’re shivering in a cold wet bathing suit because you forgot to turn down the A/C.

But the thing that made Camp Barry magical was the people. The intense conversations and debates, the jokes, the stories, the sharing. Being surrounded by such a creative, sincere, and inspirational group of individuals for four days was an experience that cannot be replicated.

At least, not until next year.

** I could go on and mention a special memory with each of my fellow campers, but my mom taught me it’s mean to brag about The Awesome Quotient of your friends… even when they’re Really Freakin’ Awesome.