Sunday, November 29, 2020

Charlson Meadows and writing

[Labyrinth at CM]

I'm working on consistently writing by trying to make a habit of it.  Mentally I made a scheduled plan last Spring to create a new post every weekend  and I've carried through pretty well.  In the midst of Covid and school I'm happy with this amount. I have a million writing projects that stay incomplete that are separate from this blog space. I have several picture books I've started, several fiction pieces, a play, and a few nonfiction essays-mostly all not finished. My sister-in-law Steph invited me a few years ago to a writer's retreat at Charlson Meadows and I went on a whim. In my mind I'm a librarian and a bibliophile but writer generally does not flash into my mind. But I do write and I fell in love with the location of the retreat. It's not possible to be there in the beautiful surroundings inside and out and not feel productive or at best inspired. 

The last time I attended I actually wrote several pieces, took a bunch of hikes, and managed to get lost in the woods, literally. Thank you for the rescue Jason! I can say this year I've been published twice; one, letter to the editor about BLM and second, a poem I wrote after my first walk on Friday late afternoon on the grounds of Charlson Meadows. It's easy to be creative there if you give it some breathing space. It was also the most beautiful weather weekend we've had all fall. The last few days I've worked on an old piece, added to it, had my friend Angelle edit it and I just finished submitting it to Wow! Women on Writing.  We'll see, she says, with a shrug...

I feeling something emerging inside myself and maybe it took this lockdown of sorts to push forward. I found a batch of college writing of mine and my goal for the next few weeks is to read through and retype them and see if anything is worthwhile. The last two books I've read have also inspired me in different ways. Laurie Frankel's book This is how it always is, is smart, funny, and timely.  And Richard Power's The Overstory is such an intricate work of details and stories weaved together in a tangled mess like roots to the trees he keeps explaining. I can truly see why this book won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for literature. I'm half way and even as I write this the book is calling out to me. 

One of the reasons the last retreat I went to worked so well was because they had a writer/poet in residence, Ronda Redmond, who conferenced with us, gave a reading of her poetry, and in general was there to chat with as the weekend progressed. I very much enjoyed meeting her and listening to her as we talked about writing. Her book, Said the old widow to the new,  is available on her website and is filled with excellent writing. During our conference together she suggested getting out my dusty old copy of The Artist's Way and I've been working on the daily practice set forth in the book. I guess in writing and thinking about this as with much in my life I'm learning to be intentional about what I'm doing. 

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