My first get-away after the snow - mostly - allowed me to leave the farm was to Huntsville, AL to the Monte Sano Writer's Retreat. The theme was "Unleash Your Creative Spirit!" and I feel like that's what it's allowed me to do. I've come home rich with ideas and inspiration.
Monte Sano means "Mountain of Health," and it has helped heal me, body and spirit, several times now. I have gone there to walk, to gaze out over the valley, to search for fossils, and now, to commune with fellow craftsmen of the pen, including my precious sister. We hashed over the agenda, deciding which breakout sessions would best meet our differing needs, and lamenting some that we weren't able to attend.
This year, however, all the authors were on a group panel. All the attendees gathered in a great room, and listened as each genre/author got about 20 minutes to speak to their trade. The things we learned from the most unexpected! The sessions we never would've attended ended up being the most illuminating.
One piece of advice that was consistent was to "read to write." We were encouraged to read those who inspire us to craft our own voice and vision. I'm ready to begin...