feralwriters.com: writer's retreat feralwriters.com

Writer's Retreats are an integral part of the Feral Writers' plan for literary domination. Located at the secret hideout cottage in Gunn Lake, the Feral Writers spend long weekends immersed in their art and contemplating life, literature and the social, cultural and biological implications of squeeze cheese.

Excerpts from the Writer's Retreat experience

Writer's Retreat 2002
Writer's Retreat 2003
Writer's Retreat Spring 2004
Writer's Retreat Fall 2004
Writer's Retreat Fall 2005
Writer's Retreat Fall 2006
Writer's Retreat Summer 2007
Writer's Retreat Fall 2007
Writer's Retreat Summer 2008
Writer's Retreat Fall 2008


Writer's Retreat 2002: Making with the Funny

Rated PG 13 for strong language and adult situations...


  • The first rule of Writer's Retreat: Don't infuriate the driver.

    Driving down a very dark winding country road...
    "I won't kill you all intentionally." [Mer accidentally turns off the headlights on the car] "Whoops."

    "I need torrid penises, stat!" -Mer
    "You have got to write that down." -Lisa
    "Okay, how do you spell the plural of penis?" -Julie W.
    "Peni?" -Eric

    "Aw, fuck." -Mer
    "She said the first bad word." -Eric
    "Do you remember the car ride?" -Mer

    "That's okay, I'll live. I can always go put my shirt back on." -Mer

    "Yay, Hanson!" -Lisa
    "There're two words that should never be put into the same sentence." -Julie W.


    "I like Mer's reaction: 'Damn it, my character's doing something independent. I'll kill him." - Lisa

    "They spend all winter taking [the boat docks] out, and all summer putting them back in. You want to go out there and say, 'How are you, Sisyphus?'" -Eric

  • The Minions Drinking Game: You must take a drink every time you say your writing sucks.

    On the seven deadly sins...
    "Gluttony shouldn't be a serious moral offense." -Lisa
    "You did see "Seven," right?" -Julie W.
    "It shouldn't count if someone forces you to commit the sins." -Lisa
    "You're supposed to be strong and resist the Devil, Lisa." - Julie W.
    "Yeah. Kevin Spacey I could fight." - Lisa

    "Your neurons are wired funny." - Eric, to Mer

    On important things gone missing...
    "Please God, tell me it's not lost." -Mer W.
    "And a voice from heaven says, 'It's not lost.'" -Lisa
    "God, unless you know where it is, shut the fuck up." -Mer

    "I think squeeze cheese is all about context." -Mer


    "Where are the mommy fauns and the daddy fauns?" -Mer
    "Fauns just spontaneously generate. They're kind of like fruit flies." -Julie W.

    After Mer makes Lisa snort Vanilla Coke though her nose...
    "I think that has to be my new .sig file: 'That burning in your soft palate? That's me.'"-Mer

    "At least my sinuses are clearer." -Lisa
    "Carbolic acid. I'm surprised your doctor hasn't recommended it. Milk's gentler, though. It's like a nice soft coating for your sinuses." - Mer

    "I'm a woman of fewer words than it seems." -Mer

    "I wrote 800,000 words." -Mer
    "She did Nano for the next 16 years." -Julie W.
    "It's Encyclopedia Mer-tannica." -Eric
    "Can you imagine that? A - Aardvark: Aardvark's are coool. Anthropology would be the rest of the A's. Then Azure: A pretty color. B- Boys: Still icky." -Mer

    "G - Guns: I shot one once. " -Mer
    "See Jason; Eric." -Eric

    On reproductive biology...
    "I hate to say it, but you're churning these things [sperm] out, there's gonna be some bad ones." -Mer

    "And I realized, that to be here, I really need to be wearing pants!" -Lisa

    "Heisenberg's Cat: Might have a cat, don't know where it is." -Eric

    Proposed Minions motto...
    "Never forget to factor in the humiliation." -Lisa

    On why Mer hands Julie's notebook to Eric...
    "You just sounded so authoritative." -Mer
    "It must be your don't fuck me face." -Lisa
    "Uh..." -Eric
    "I mean dont fuck with me face!" -Lisa
    "That's good. Eric was thinking 'I've been wearing the wrong face!'" -Mer

    "Chivalry is dead and I killed it." -Mer

    "Why are you telling me this?" -Eric
    "Because I'm mocking you and you don't know it?" -Mer


    Writer's Retreat 2003: Funnier in our heads

    Rated PG 13 for strong language and adult situations...


    On apocalypses...
    "Well, that sounds bad." - Lisa
    "Well, they're not supposed to be for fun!" - Mer

    Types of Apocalypse

  • Ebola Monkey
  • Robot
  • Nuclear
  • Religious
  • Intimate


    "I woke up thinking if 'this is she' is correct, and 'this is I' is correct, then is 'that are we' correct? I had an existential crisis of grammar." -Mer

    "I think with Mer, a lot of things are psychological." -Lisa

    "Entropy is kind of cool and kind of disturbing at the same time. And now I'm covered in cheese." -Julie W.

    "I need Roman artifacts, stat!" -Mer
    "It's better than torrid penises." -Lisa

    "I'm not aiming for transcendence. I just want it to not suck." -Lisa


    "I'm not exactly happy about this. I knew exactly how big they were, exactly how many seconds it took to suck through one of them." -Mer

    On Microsoft Word...
    "We use it so much we've become intimate with its flaws." - Lisa
    "We anthropomorphize it." -Julie W.
    "Bill Gates anthropomorphizes it! It has that little thing on the corner, the little paperclip penis!" -Mer

    "So Mer is raping women and cutting heads off?" -Lisa
    "No, I'm just being the Roman Empire." -Mer


    "Oh my God! It's the end of civilization!" -Julie W.
    "Why?" -Mer
    Holds up box of Triscuits... "How lazy can you get? They're making cheese cut to fit crackers!" -Julie W.
    "The end of civilization often has to do with cheese." -Mer

    "This shirt completes my artist ensemble. -Mer
    "This is my t-shirt. It is a functional piece of cloth that conforms to social norms." -Eric
    "Women and men are different." -Mer

    "'Gift giving can be an act of war in some societies... ask me how!'" -Lisa speaking as Mer

    "Not only do I talk in my sleep, I have my own soundtrack." -Lisa

    "What did you say?" -Lisa
    "Horsies." -Mer
    "That's not what I heard." -Lisa
    "What did you hear?" -Julie W.
    "I'm not saying. You'll write it down." -Lisa


    Writer's Retreat Spring 2004: Fraught with Misery

    Rated PG 13 for strong language and adult situations...


    "I made Eric's tongue happy." -Mer

    "You would write an autobiography of me, just to piss me off." -Mer, to Julie W.

    "It's not that I'm waxing cats, I'm fraught with misery." -Mer

    On cheezits as eucharist
    "Oh, Jeesitz?" -Lisa


    "Manhood. Thrusting manhood. They're always doing something proactive." -Mer

    "You need to identify your writing fiber." -Eric
    "Writing fiber?" -Lisa
    "It makes you write regular." -Eric

    "If you write that down that was me! That was me being clever!" -Lisa
    "Okay, that sounded a little desperate." -Julie W.

    "The Feral Writers, obsessed with penises since 1990... 2004." -Mer
    "2003." -Julie
    "2002, really. Don't put that up there." -Mer

    "I was thinking that it might not be appropriate, but then I thought, 'but it's these guys...'" -Lisa


    Writer's Retreat Fall 2004: Keeping Abreast of the Situation

    Rated PG 13 for strong language and adult situations...

    "She has more leverage." -Lou
    "We all have equal leverage. They're called breasts." -Mer

    "We could have a 'breast off'." -Mer
    "Find out our peer group." -Lou
    "That's going to make the drinking Saturday more interesting." -Julie W.
    "Wait, did I talk about Julie W's breasts the last time [I was drunk]?" -Mer
    "Yes, you did. And you were very complimentary." -Julie W.

    "I want to have John Stewart's babies." -- Julie W.
    "Yes. That genetic material needs to be scattered to the four winds!" -- Julie D.

    "I smell toast. Is somebody writing porn?" -Lisa

    "She's doing it [killing him] to save the world!" -Lisa
    "It's still first degree murder." -Julie D. first year law student


    Writer's Retreat Fall 2005: Best Writer's Retreat Evar.


    Mer, coming in after talking to some people outside.
    "The police want to talk to Eric."

    "The satellite went out a few time, but that was okay, because we had thirty hours of 'T.J. Hooker' on the TIVO." -Julie W.


    After Mer asks if anyone is going to the store with her.
    "Don't scare Elizabeth if she comes before we get back." -Julie W.
    "I'm not going?" -Eric
    "Oh. You didn't say anything when Mer asked, so I figured you were staying. You know, silence is construed as consent... of not." -Julie W.

    "There's a little old man walking around next door." -Julie W.
    "Does he have a pumpkin?" -Mer

    "Eric, I broke it [the fireplace]. And you're going to fix it." -Mer

    "I shouldn't touch anything." -Mer
    "You shouldn't touch anything that's fixed." -Eric
    "But then I wouldn't be able to pet my cats." -Mer

    "The ending is easy, once I realize I'm at the end." - Elizabeth

    "The flue must be open, because we're not dying right now." - Mer

    "And we're all set if we want to burn our work." -Elizabeth
    "I'm still planning to have my rejection party. Everyone will be welcome to come and burn! Um, things..." -Mer

    "Haha! I don't know what I'm 'haha'ing over." -Dave
    "Because it's always better to be right and Eric be wrong." - Mer

    "Beer goggles for literature." -Dave

    "I want to write a book that makes me excited about writing again. Where can I find one of those?" -Mer

    "Why are we strong independent women doing this?" -Mer
    "Because we're strong independent women?" -Julie W.
    "Why are we not strong and independent enough to make the men do this?" -Mer

    "I think I might officially change my middle name to 'petty'." -Mer

    "When they say 'open lid during lighting' [the grill], they are not kidding about that." -Mer

    "You know, Dave and Elizabeth are never going to come back at this rate." -Julie W.
    "Because we'll be dead." -Elizabeth


    "I can eat nuts if need be." -Julie D.

    "God, I hate hanging out with people who know me." -Mer

    On Writer's Retreat.
    "It's a good idea." -Elizabeth
    "It'd be even better if I stopped talking." - Mer

    At dinner.
    "I can smell the opacity!" -Mer

    Still at dinner.
    "Have you seen 'Signs'."? -Julie D.
    "No, but I'll do anything I can to get out of this conversation, so I'll go watch it right now." -Mer

    Saturday Night Drunkeness

    "Julie, can I have some cheap wine?" -Mer
    "Sure." -Julie W.
    "Where is it? Which fridge?" -Mer
    "The one you're standing next to." -Julie W.
    "The one with the screw top?" - Mer, opening the fridge
    "I told you it was cheap." -Julie W.
    "It's Riunite. I can't drink this!" - Mer

    "Okay, we can't get drunk on the internet. That'd be just lame." -Mer

    Posting to LJ.
    "Dira, you will be entertained to know that I have drunk a whole bottle of wine, yet I am still not as drunk as Mer or Julie D." -Julie W.

    "Oh look at the reflexes! Look at the reflexes! Catlike! Catlike! Who's the goalie now, biatch!" -Julie D.

    "I have to beta some of her sex tonight." -Julie D.

    "Oh! You weren't supposed to jerk back when I slapped your wrist!" -Mer

    "Oh schnap!" -Mer

    "Dharma and Jilad at Tenagra... Not Dharma, Darmok." -Mer

    "Darma and Greg at Tenagra!" -Mer

    "Oh! Ow! The cupboards!" -Julie D.

    "Oh my sebaceous glands!" -Julie D.

    Deep ponderings on "The Princess Bride"
    "'As you wish' is a total dom/sub thing." -Julie D.

    "I don't think I'm as drunk as I am. I don't know how to say that." -Mer

    "You're going to have to zip this up because it's not working for me." -Julie D.

    "Why's that funny? It's hilarious but I don't get it." -Mer

    "I stole somebody's spot." -Julie D.
    "I stole somebody's socks!" -Mer

    As Julie D. goes on and on about how her drink tastes like candy...
    "I'm going to hit you until candy comes out." -Mer

    "No! Ohh! The kitty pubes have gone away!" -Julie D.

    "And Buddha sat down under tree. Then the apple hit him and he invented gravity." -Mer

    "Saskatchewan." - Mer, to the tune of "O' Tannenbaum"

    "Someone's itching for a little girly loving." -Julie D.
    "No, not really. Any kind will do." -Mer

    As Mer puts the lampshade on her head.
    "I always wondered how this happens and it's so clear now!" -Mer


    Julie D., speaking for Dira.
    "Oh, I'm supposed to know the ending before the reader. I'm not supposed to be surprised!"

    "Everyone has had more sex than me." -Mer
    "Mer, we're not drunk anymore." -Julie D.
    "At least I'm calling everyone else sluts, and not myself." -Mer

    "He's [Eric] saying I'm hung-over because I'm quiet." - Mer
    "He may be onto something there." -Dave

    "I'm cheesing my meat." -Mer

    "Do you always cheese your meat before putting it in your mouth?" -Dave
    "I no longer want to take part in this conversation." - Mer

    "We're never going to end hunger in Africa if we keep putting spray cheese on salami." -Mer

    "It doesn't seem right that I'm not writing any books about elves." -Mer


    Writer's Retreat Fall 2006: That is all. Disperse.

    "'As you wish is a total dom/sub thing.'" -Mer quoting Julie D. from last year.
    "It's true! I stand by that sober." -Julie D.

    "What kind of fucktard doesn't take a laptop into an exam? 'Oh, I have lovely penmanship'." -Julie D.

    "I'm in ur storiez, stealin' ur adverbz". -Mer

    "The Quaker Oats Guy is looking at you with lust in his eyes." -Dave

    "Penis, ah, penis." -Dave, reading off Julie D's screen.
    "I'm going to make that my background." - Julie D.

    "I'm going to call shenanigans on your tool." -Julie D.

    "I told him [Brandon] he had to clean up any goat semen that got on the carpet." -Julie D.

    "I'm trying to be good, not constantly drunk." -Mer

    "There's no comfortable way to sit on this." -Mer

    "I bet we have some sort of harpoon in the boathouse." -Mer
    "Oars." -Dave
    "Whores?" -Mer

    "Mr. Stabby. Doot de doot doot. You all know that one." -Mer
    "What?!" -Dave

    "He's cute; not in the 'binge-drink and I'm going to rape somebody' way." -Julie D.

    "Shut up! You may not be my conscience." -Mer to Dave

    "I had a dream that made me think about you, Mer." -Julie D.
    "Uh oh." -Dave

    "I was just so confused why my legs weren't working." -Julie D.

    "At least he's [Brandon] way bigger in something." -Julie D.

    Tony, age one and a half, babbles something that sounds disturbingly like "buttfucker."
    "I don't think I can repeat what it sounded like he just said." -Tari
    "Oh, he's been talking to Aunt Lou." -Julie D.

    "Now I just need to write some science fiction erotica." -Dave
    "Hot." -Jay

    "Ooo, I just added a comma with my head!" -Julie D.

    "Is he supposed to think of him as his torturer? His captor? Oh captor my captor?" -Julie D.

    "Oh my god. Mick Jagger's father is dead at 93. I thought Mick Jagger was 93." -Jay

    "Do me a favor. If I ever become famous, make sure it's in something Lou's not interested in." -Jay

    Talking about author John Ringo
    "Does he cowrite with Paul George?" -Lou

    "It's like an outline!" -Mer
    "In as much as it's not." -Julie W.

    "I'm trying to write my post-apocalyptic far future medieval assassins story." -Mer

    "I say we start the drinking and the challenge at the same time. I'm writing crap anyway." -Elizabeth

    "Julie W. needs to eat more cheese. That's where the real comedy comes in." -Mer

    "Do you want me to make you a tinfoil hat?" -Dave
    "I want you to make me a tinfoil drink." -Mer
    "What does that even mean?" -Jay
    "I leave it as an exercise for the reader." -Mer

    "Hey, there's vodka in there!" -Julie D.

    Insert three hours of hilarious drunkeness here

    "You point your labia and shoot!" -Mer

    "We have porn in our hearts." -Lou

    "We drank all that [vodka]? There was half of a bottle!" -Mer
    "That explains so much." -Julie D.

    "Though last year, I looked up at the giant crucifix and thought, 'Hey, Jesus has a sweet hat.'" -Lou


    Writer's Retreat Summer 2007: Slacker Retreat.

    "Ouch! Oh, I have meningitis." -Mer

    "Everything I want to do, except have sex and eating, I should be able to do online." -Mer

    "So last night at midnight, when I decided these people were tri-laterally symmetric, it seemed like a good idea." -Mer


    Writer's Retreat Fall 2007: Banished to the Quiet Table


    "Oh, I should get the Writer Retreat quote file up and going." -Julie W.
    "Why? I haven't been funny!" -Mer (rather defensively)
    "Until now." -Julie W.

    "I'm cold! I'm so cold I just ran the hairdryer down my pants." -Mer

    Mer says she's making icons using Retreat quotes.
    "This is where not talking becomes a great benefit." -Elizabeth

    Regarding Jay's cell phone
    "Is it warm? Mer will probably want to put it down her shirt." -Julie D.

    "I like to think what Julie D. and I have said has been intelligent if incoherent." -Mer

    "The beans were rattling together and driving me crazy!" -Mer
    "Do you have thin semicircular canals too?" -Julie D


    Overheard from the Quiet Table.
    "You either accept that free babysitting comes with porn…" -Mer

    "I'm making the decision that we'll leave in ten minutes." -Mer
    "Sounds good. I'll go put my pants on." -Dave

    Mer tells everyone about her story where age of consent is when you pass your "sex boards"
    "Are they multiple choice?" -Elizabeth
    "Essay?" -Julie W.
    "I don't know." -Mer
    "They're oral." -Jay

    "Oh, Jesus Christ! It has a distinct abdomen!" -Julie D.

    "There's a fic in those pants." - Julie W.

    "Some things can never be unsaid." - Julie D.
    "If everyone who heard is dead…" - Mer

    "I'm pretty sure teabagging is just teabagging." -Julie D.


    "Theoretically I like taking it." -Mer

    "The problem is my arms are a perfectly nice length, but my breasts come out to my elbows." - Mer
    "Your life is very hard, Mer." -Julie D.

    "This bio was incredibly fraught." -Julie D.

    "I don't know how I'm going to write in this fandom. I'm just not that random!" -Mer
    "Uhhhh…" -Julie W.

    Mer's philosophy on drinking.
    "If I'm not switching colors, it'll be okay." -Mer

    "Jesus, kind of a Mary Sue, but okay." -Lou

    "Something about dancing boys makes me very, very happy." -Julie D.

    "Jeez, Mer, she's [Elizabeth's] a dishcloth, she doesn't live under a rock." -Julie D.

    "Is this it? Is this what we're doing now? I guess it's less lame than doing voiced and unvoiced consonants." -Lou

    "I don't want to hear anything about my kitten pubes anymore. You were just fisting that pillow." -Julie D.

    "You have to work up to the whole fist! What kind of asshole do you have?" - Julie D.

    Mer reads the above quote…
    "I thought she meant Dann." -Mer

    "You don't proceed to the whole thing right away, you have to…" -Julie D.
    "Foreplay." -Julie W.
    "You have to buy it a drink first." -Steve

    "I don't know if I'm drunk or having an asthma attack." -Julie D.

    "Jay, are you writing?" -Lou
    "Don't be productive!" -Julie D.

    "Did you get a haircut since you've been here?" -Mer, to Dave

    "That's what an -otomy means!" -Lou

    "I did not drool! I was enunciating carefully!" -Julie D.

    "It sort of feels like a Grand Moff Tarkin hat." -Mer
    "I thought you said Grandma Tarkin." -Lou

    "We can talk about labia, Jay, if that will make you more comfortable." -Mer


    "I've gotten too bored to take the Asperger's test." -Lou

    "I don't think my skull's supposed to make that cracking noise…" -Mer

    "My bladder tingles." -Dave
    "Maybe you should have that looked at." -Mer

    "My sneezes don't just happen. Thy have to make an entrance." -Jay

    "I get to the question 'Do you make animal noises?', and I think, 'Not animals native to Earth...'" -Julie D.


    Writer's Retreat Summer 2008: Now with more napping.

    "If you're not fraught with misery, you're not doing it right." - Julie W. and Mer.

    "Let's not forget... I forgot what I was going to say." - Mer

    "I have two things going for me. I'm super doggedly persistent, so it seems like I'm with it... What's the other thing I have going for me?" - Mer

    "So that whole scene's practically written. Except for the writing part." -Dave

    "Writer's Retreat murder mystery - with real murder!" - Julie W.

    "At the same time you want it all to fit thematically, and boring stuff like that." - Dave


    Writer's Retreat Fall 2008: Writer's Retreat Fall 2008: The Fellowship of the Retreat - Descent into the Well

    Rated R for inappropriate content...


    "You have minions by proxy." -Julie W.
    "You have minions-in-law." -Lou

    "There needs to be LaHaye/Jenkins slash." - Julie W.
    "And somewhere they would wake up screaming." - Lou
    "They would totally have platonic showering smarm." - Julie W.


    "I feel dirty." - Mer
    "Too much information…" - Steve

    "Then it's not a matter of identifying them, but getting them into the sack…" - Steve

    "My drabble would have encapsulated this picture, but wetter." - Mer

    "Supernatural should not be taken as canon for actual ghost hunting." - Mer

    "Obviously I need refrigerated guts." - Dave

    "The question is, what will be this year's cheese quote?" - Mer
    "We have had a cheese quote every year." - Julie W.
    "Now we'll just be trying too hard." - Lou

    "Like weebles wobble, the dead bounce." - Steve

    "Are you looking at the mutant eyeball decapitators?" - Mer
    "No, I'm looking at the penis balloons." -Julie W.

    "I eschew TV as a mindless, time-wasting hobby. And then I play Warcraft." -Lawrence

    "He [Jay] is googling were-cheetah porn." -Dave

    "I realize I do best when I can tell other people they're wrong." - Mer

    Coming up with first lines for Mer's novel
    "'Jenkins handed LaHaye the soap…'" - Elizabeth

    "I don't think I catwaxed anything. I was sincerely avoiding." - Mer

    "I think I have a picture of you stuffing something down your shirt." - Julie D.
    "Don't we all…" - Steve


    "Merrie, what's the morally wrongest thing you've ever written?" - Lawrence

    "Being half fairy is the plastic surgery of the fantasy world." - Julie W.

    Julie D and Lou come in with pizza and toilet paper
    "Aren't we your heroes?" - Lou
    "You are the wind beneath my wings, and the paper beneath my ass." -Steve

    "There are good things about squealing…" -Lawrence

    "You put milk out for brownies…" - Lawrence
    "That's because milk is good with brownies." - Mer

    "So you're like, 'Look at my briefs, they're lovely.'" - Mer

    "Do you [Julie D.] often make other lawyers cry?" - Mer

    "Hey, what happens in the green bedroom stays in the green bedroom." -Lou

    On yet another repetition of "buttsecks"
    "Okay, I've said that too many times now." - Dave

    "Have you ever balled melon with a melon baller? It's very satisfying." - Mer

    And then the drinking started
    "Oh honey, your cheeks are already pink." - Julie W.
    "That's why I took off my shirt." - Mer

    "Fear is the mind killer." - Mer
    "I like your pants." - Julie D.

    "The mice are so sinister!" - Julie D.

    "I'd like to call 'numb tongue' from here on in." - Mer

    "Are these Julie D.'s feet, or Lou's?" - Mer

    "Can I crack your toes?" - Mer

    "I don't have the equipment to be happy to see you in that particular respect." - Julie D.

    "Did I make a call to Fiji in my pants?" - Julie D.

    "I'm sorry, did you [Lou] call something creepy incest?" -Jay

    "I would hit that with an inverse tachyon beam." - Julie D.

    "I don't think Jamiroquoi trumps anything." - Jay

    "If James Marsters and Sigourney Weaver got into a knife fight with their cheekbones, Torri Higgenson would win." - Julie D.

    "Why did I just say that out loud?" -Julie D.

    "He's at least age of consent years old." - Lou

    "Dude, I'm wet now." -Mer
    "I don't need to know that." -Julie D.

    "My head is pastede on yay." -Julie W.

    "Your kneecaps are so tight." -Mer

    "You [Julie D.] would do a Dalek? Is that what you just said?" -Lou

    "Who sings 'I am Woman'?" -Julie D.
    "Nancy Pelosi?" Mer

    "I don't know what the point of ears are." - Julie D.

    "I'm all about sad boys with big noses." - Mer

    "I might be sobering up, because I am appalled." -Mer

    "I'm not sure anymore how many people are lying on me." - Mer

    "One does not simply rock into Mordor." -Lou


    "Huh. 'Diking' really is a word." - Dave
    "Well, yeah, when you put one up. Not for the night, but…" -Mer

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