Friday, October 8, 2010

I found my peeps!

Last month, I attended a weekend Word Lover's Retreat at Ohio's very own Chautauqua community at Lakeside.  I've wanted to go to a writer's retreat for years now, but, as this single mom's budget leaves very little room for indulgence, I had kept saying someday....  Well.  Last month I made that "someday" happen, and I'm quite pleased that I did.  I met so many new writer friends!  Here are some of them in the photo, to the right.

The weekend was facilitated by fellow Cleveland writers Claudia Taller and Deanna Adams.  Claudia led us in discussions and writing exercises from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, and On Writing Well, by William Zissner.  Deanna, author of Rock 'N' Roll and the Cleveland Connection, Cleveland's Rock and Roll Roots, and Confessions of a Not-So-Good Catholic Girl, offered great encouragement and tips from her own writing experience.
In addition to enjoying great conversations with like-minded companions, I took a couple relaxing strolls around the community and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise swim in Lake Erie.  As the retreat wrapped up Sunday afternoon, we were treated to a graceful presentation and talk about belly dancing by Mary Bodnar (below).

The retreat was just what I needed.  Relaxing?  Not really....But it was invigorating!  Someone mentioned that my "motivation for writing is so palpable."  I appreciated that.  Maybe part of that was because I was excited that I was able to spend the whole weekend with fellow "word lovers."  I felt that I was exactly where I belonged.  I brought home a notebook with all sorts of wonderful scribblings that will be launch points for more writing.  And I went out and bought Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. (Less than $3 at the second-hand bookstore!)
I hope to attend the next retreat in April.  To learn more about the Word Lovers' Retreats, click here.

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