Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If Walls Could Talk

Behind the walls of this quiet, unassuming cabin, devious plots have taken root. Conflicts have escalated, people have been murdered, hearts torn apart. Yet there has also been healing and forgiveness. This is a place where anything can happen. And what will happen this weekend is any one's guess.

This is our camphouse, and no, my family is not that dysfunctional. This picturesque setting is also the sight of my semi-annual writer's retreat. Friday through Sunday, four women will hunker down with laptops and meager rations (chocolate :-), leaving only to make a short trek to town each evening for dinner.

Finger-pointing is only the beginning. Plots will be thickened, POV deepened. Becky Yauger is my brainstorming buddy. Together, there is no tension we can't raise, no obstacle we can't over come. We're a good team.


I love retreat weekends, the opportunity to focus on nothing but writing, without interruptions or a schedule to adhere to. And if we need inspiration, all we have to do is go outside and take in the serenity around us. Cast a line, or simply sit and allow God to speak to our spirit.

So what makes a good writer's retreat? I'm sure we'd all have a different answer. In my mind, it's allowing God to do whatever it is He wants to do. There have been times when I haven't written a lick, but I've grown to know my characters better or come away with a better plot. It's one of those situations where I have to go with an open mind, and heart, ready to let God take the reins instead of white-knuckling them myself. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21. And what better accomplishment than for His purpose to prevail.

Now it's your turn. What makes a good writer's retreat? And if you could go anywhere for that retreat (cost is not an option), where would you go?

8 comments:

  1. I'd go to the beach!! I wish I could own a beach house to go away to every month or so. I get such inspiration with the sound of ocean waves and seagulls. It's like white noise and I get totally absorbed in the story.

    Mindy, I hope you have a wonderful, blessed time!!

    Missy

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  2. I've never been on a writing retreat, but they sound awesome! If I had to say, I'd put a vote in for Sedona, AZ. My dad's house has a fantastic view of the red rocks...it's beautiful. He's right on Bell Rock Path, so anytime I needed to get refreshed, or closer to God, I'd walk out his front door. :-)

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  3. Talk about extremes--the beach and the desert southwest! I suppose, if money were no option, I'd retreat to Ouray, Colorado. Find me a little cabin nestled on the mountainside. Sigh :-)

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  4. Lynn, you dad's house sounds wonderful!! I think I could really concentrate well somewhere like that.

    Missy

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  5. If money were no option I'd go to the Isle of Skye in Scotland. That is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Huge cliffs over the ocean, lighthouses, amazing scenery.

    Mindy--sounds like you guys have a lot of good writing time and fun to go along with it.

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  6. (Christy whining in GA)

    I WANNA GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Seriously, Mindy, I'd love to be there at your cabin too. It looks like a lovely, serene place. Have a wonderful weekend!

    If I could go anywhere for a writers retreat... It'd be the beach or the mountains. I went to the lake with my 2 crit partners and that was so much fun, but I had to get used to being around others when I wrote. I need quiet. It was a tough adjustment, but I hope when I go on my next retreat, I'll be able to concentrate on the work at hand - My Novel.

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  7. I know what you mean, Christy. Here's a tip a friend gave me after she went on a writer's retreat with some of her friends. Each person has a candle, a small tealight or votive, that they keep next to their laptop. If the candle is lit, everyone knows you're working and not to disturb you :-)

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  8. Also Christy I take headphones. Even if you can't work with music on the headphones drown out some of the noise of people talking and stuff.

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