Monday, October 15, 2007

Annual Haunted Writer's Retreat

Sorry I’m so late posting tonight, but I just got home from the annual Haunted Writers Retreat in Jerome, Arizona.

Every year we head to some haunted locale and spend a few days writing, brainstorming, shopping, drinking and usually laughing our butts off. This year was no exception. This was our second year at the Jerome Grand Hotel, which used to be a hospital back when Jerome was a booming copper mining town. It went from a boom town to a population of 12 people virtually overnight when the mine closed. Now it’s a great little tourist town with the steepest roads I’ve ever encountered and some cool creepy hotel rooms!

Anyway, I went up on Wednesday, which was before anyone else. My roomie, Isabella Clayton, came back from her last trip under the weather and hadn’t quite recovered yet, so I had lots of quiet writing time until Kayce Lassiter and Angie showed up on Thursday night. My room had its own private balcony with comfy swivel chairs a table and footstools (you can see it in the picture of the hotel in the link above - my room is on the far right of the balcony that runs the length of the building, but it's separated off so it's private.) The balcony overlooked the front of the hotel, as well as most of the town of Jerome (it’s up on one of the highest hills in Jerome, which is really saying something!!) As you can imagine, the trek down the hill for Breakfast at the Mile High deli or to lunch at the Haunted Hamburger café was quite a stretch of the legs—although the walk back UP was the one that often kicked my butt! Dinner was usually at the hotel at the very nice (and pricey) restaurant called the

I got tons of writing done and I loved sitting out on the balcony at night watching the stars. Since the buildings are sparsely located up there and most things shut down at night, the stars were absolutely amazing, and I often slept with the windows and the patio doors open.

The first night I was there I heard something fall in the middle of the night. I figured it was something in the bathroom like my curling iron or some makeup. I got up to go to the bathroom and found nothing out of place. But when I came back into the room from the bathroom, I noticed the TV remote (that was previously on the cabinet next to the TV) was now sitting in the middle of the floor halfway across the room. Couldn’t have fallen there, it was too far across the room for that. Oh well, I put it back and went back to bed. After all, this wasn’t anything after last year’s paranormal happenings in my room. Then, throughout the night I kept being woken by what appeared to be camera flashes. I couldn’t find the source and they always seemed to be right in my face no matter which way I was facing (including face down in my Those happened all freaking week! I’m just glad I’m a heavy sleeper and can go back to sleep quickly.

Thursday morning, I got up, showered, trekked down the hill to the Mile High for some breakfast and enjoyed a leisurely meal with a good book. Afterwards, I did some shopping and then trekked back up the hill and out onto my balcony for some writing. There was a gentle breeze and I got some great writing done out there, but after a few hours, I got a little cold, so I decided to finish up my chapter inside my room before I went down for lunch. I had just gotten settled in the chair when the remote went flying off the cabinet next to the TV and landed in the middle of the floor. Nothing felt creepy, but the thing just flew across the room to land on the floor. So, I finished my chapter, picked it up and put it back.

The bulk of the group showed up on Friday afternoon/evening. We took up most of the third floor and part of the 2nd, but there were two rooms right next to me that had a bunch of younger guys and girls in them. They got drunk and were really unhappy that others (namely most of the romance writers) had access to the shared balcony that ran behind their room and behind the rooms of several of our group. In fact, at 2am, one of the drunk guys spent 10 minutes trying to unlock my room door. I watched him through the peephole, trying not to laugh. Let’s just say his biggest issue was even trying to get the key in the lock (okay – other than being at the wrong door!)

They stood out on the balcony complaining to Kayla Janz about those “damned romance writers” who got better rooms than them—that is until Kayla told them she was one of the “damned romance writers.” They left the next morning looking pretty ridden hard and put up I know because I was once again out on my balcony writing. When I went back in the room to recharge my laptop and head down to the Haunted Hamburger for lunch, the remote went flying again, and I put it back.

Saturday night was a total riot – but since my friend Kayce Lassiter blogged about it, I’ll let you go check out her account on our critique group blog -

Last night there were more flashes throughout the night, but I slept pretty well other than that. This morning after breakfast, I came back up to the room to pack and just as I was zipping my suitcase, the remote went flying again. Yup, you guessed it, I just picked it up and put it back. I’m sure the ghost is pretty frustrated with me that it didn’t freak me out, but oh well. Last year I woke up to see a man’s face right in front of mine and after screaming, “Don’t DO THAT!” and scaring Isabella half to death, the face disappeared. Then Isabella was in the bathroom and I was sitting on the bed texting my husband and we both heard the other talking to a man with a deep voice and we heard the other answering – but neither of us had said anything! She opened the door and we both asked the other who they were talking to. Creepy! So, a few flying remotes are nothing to sweat over...LOL!

Anyway, we blocked the entire 3rd floor for next year’s Haunted Writers Retreat and I booked room 30 again :) Maybe I’ll train the ghost to bring me water on the balcony instead of just tossing around the remote :)



Carolan Ivey said...

How cool is that?!?! The face would have completely freaked me out, though. LOL

TinaGerow said...

Hi Carolan. The face did freak me out last year! But thankfully my roomie was there so I wasn't alone. I can handle flying remotes by myself :)

Laurie said...

Tina, that ghost picked the wrong person to mess with -- I can imagine them all saying next year "aw, forget even TRYING anything in Room 30!"

Laurie, relieved that Room 20 didn't have anything weird at all

Denise A. Agnew said...


Awesome blog!!! And I know I would have been more creeped out about the remote. But hey...getting all that writing done. Fantastic! Thanks for telling us all about your experiences in Jerome. Very intriguing. :)

Denise A. Agnew

Tia Dani said...

Tina, you are much braver than me. Not a chance I'd stay in a room by myself. It was a great weekend. The only ghostly experience we had was smelling smoke in our room and down the hallway. And I'm really fine with that after the horrible encounter with a ghost in Prescott, a little smoke I can deal with. We actually did manage to get some writing in, but mostly we shopped! We have our room booked right next to you for next year. Can't wait!

TJ Michaels said...

I've got two words for you, woman - FRICKIN. CREEPY!


TinaGerow said...

LOL TJ. Just think of it as ambiance :)

TinaGerow said...

Thanks for stopping by Laurie, Denise and Tia :) It was a great long weekend and I really needed it. I'm engerized today and now that laundry is done and the house is picked up so the maids can clean under my clutter - I'm off to write :)

Tina LaVon said...

I still can't believe you stayed in that room by yourself. I was scared and I had both my sister and daughter to protect me. LOL

N.J.Walters said...

That sounds like an awesome trip, Tina. I don't think I could have been quite as calm about the remote thing as you were. But what a fantastic place to do some writing.