Retreat in Review

It’s been nearly two weeks since my last blog, which you may recall was centered on my preparation for an upcoming writing retreat.  I am home now, and happy to report that I am feeling revived, refreshed and reinvigorated after my experience at the retreat.  It was certainly well worth my time and money to attend.  Here’s a bit of a recap for your reading pleasure.

First off, something I’ve always looked forward to at this retreat is the wonderful sleeping/writing room I have.  Actually, there’s no guarantee which room we get, I’ve been fortunate to have the same room for three years in a row.  It’s kind of like going to your favorite summer cabin; you know where everything is and you feel at home right away.  Feeling ‘at home’ translates into good sleeps for me, which in turn translates into productive writing.  So, with all the creature comforts intact, along with a great group of co-writers and some informative workshops, I headed into my week feeling like it was going to be time well spent.

As for the out-of-doors, the weather did not let me down.  If you recall from my previous blog I mentioned that the weather was predicted to be pretty much miserable, and it was for the most part.  However, I did manage to get in at least one (some days two), forty minute walks per day.  As well, I lead a short twenty minute cardio and stretch class each morning of the retreat (more about that later).  Additionally, with the aid of my Fit Bit, I kept up my hourly movement.  Coincidently, my writing partner’s Fit Bit was ‘buzzing’ almost at the exact same time as mine,  so try and picture two women popping out of their seats simultaneously and doing jumping jacks, push ups and jogging on the spot to get our ‘steps’ in.

One of the fun aspects of this retreat is the group activities. Every evening at nine o’clock all the writers would gather around the rock fireplace, and yes it is just as you might picture it, very cozy and wonderful!   Someone would take the lead and ask what we had achieved for the day and what our goal was for the rest of the week.  It is such a positive and encouraging group I couldn’t help but feel ‘up’ after everyone had relayed their accomplishments and goals.  It really was my highlight, except if you count the enthusiastic response I got for my little cardio, stretch class each morning.  I was AMAZED!  I got an almost 100% participation rate, which blew me away.  Who says writers are withdrawn, socially awkward introverts?  Not this writing group.  They enthusiastically joined in to learn how to ‘grape vine’, ‘V step’ and shake their hips to music!  The class even got its own name – Jump Around.  It was so successful the group has asked I lead it at our next retreat scheduled for October.

How did the writing go you ask?  Well, as you may recall I decided to start a ‘new fresh’ project, which as it turned out was a good idea.  But true to form, I made it a tad more complicated then I probably needed too.  However, the beauty of being around other writers is you can ask for help, which I did and resulted in a rough timeline being drawn out.  With renewed enthusiasm, my fingers were once again striking the keyboard.  I didn’t get as many words out as I hoped, but I got words out!

Now that I’m back home on the Ranch, life has returned to normal – well my normal anyways!  With all of my other commitments, my writing time is whittled down to a few hours a day.  My goal is to write something, even if it’s only 100 words every day.  I also continue to edit my previous project(s), as I really want to get them off for developmental editing.  That way I hope to get a sense if I’m heading in the right direction with my stories. And with that thought in mind, here’s my quote for this week,

Never give up on our dreams.  The waiting can seem painful but the regret of not going for it will be even more painful.

-Steve Aitchison-


Have a great week, Tamara.








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