Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lit Camp 2014 and Post-Lit Camp Ennui (PLCE)

Well, it's been almost one month since I went to Lit Camp 2014, and it's taken about as long to shake off what one attendee labeled Post-Lit Camp Ennui (PLCE). One volunteer extraordinaire, Thea Sullivan (that darling dame in the photo) defined it with the following comments on Facebook:

Thea Sullivan, Travis Peterson and Matthew James DeCostner
Photo credit: Ian Tuttle

Common symptoms of PLCE: 
Changes in sleep habits
Mental fog
Unexplained sadness
Compulsive checking of Facebook
Continual "reliving" of past experience
Inattention to daily duties
Unrealistic desire to return to fantasy state involving witty conversation, intellectual stimulation, delicious food, festive cocktails, heartfelt connections, and the sense of having found one's "tribe".

Isabel and Nicole at a Lit Camp session
That tribe included 40 Lit Camp members plus several fantabulous volunteers (including founder Janis Cooke Newman) and a host of literary hotshots (editors, agents, writers) who graciously shared their expertise with us during panels, porch time conversations and daily writing workshops. While this formal learning added its usual enrichment to my literary arsenal, it was the informal gathering with said tribe--the ease of communication and depth of connectivity with likeminded individuals all seeking their way with words--that made the adjustment to the normal world so laden with listlessness, malaise and melancholy (all synonyms for 'ennui'). I've since recovered.

Photo credit: Ian Tuttle
Photo credit: Ian Tuttle
I got up early in the morning to swim in the spring-fed pool (solo), hiked the trail past chaparral in the Calistoga hills, heard the echo of Canada geese honking through the canyon, ate fresh meals sourced from the garden that served as our backdrop during sunny afternoons on the deck, fell into constant conversation on the writing life, and--of course--considered the craft of writing for several days, followed up with evening fun, including a much better than expected Lit Camp talent show.

Lit Camp also raised a total of $930 for 826 Valencia with the naming of the 2014 Lit Camp cocktail.

CC, Nicole and Isabel on Polaroid

Here's the recipe for this delicious drink, now known as The 700 Club, in case you have cause for celebration:

2 oz. Bummer & Lazarus Gin
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice, or the juice from one lemon.
½ oz. simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Ginger Beer
Shake ingredients (not the ginger beer) with Ice and strain in to glass > Top off with Ginger Beer


Ruth said...

what a lovely evocation of lit camp! so glad you're in my tribe...

Nicole R. Zimmerman said...

The feeling's mutual, Ruth!

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