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Tuesday, November 23, 2010
St. George Island in My Rear View Mirror
The last time I posted here, I wrote of my excitement about the upcoming St. George Island Writers' Retreat. Now here we are, two weeks since the retreat ended, and I'm so focused on the memory that I'm having a hard time moving forward again.
The writers--nine attended--were smart, creative, kind, funny, talented (picture me shaking my head in awe, here)--and some revealed their talents as fabulous cooks, preparing meals to live on in memory.
Adrian Fogelin fed our writers' souls with workshops and exercises that stretched our minds the way her evening floor routine stretched cramped muscles. We listened, we bent our brains in new ways, and then we wrote. After we'd written, we marveled at what came from our minds after their contents had been manipulated and moved around. And we delighted in what different directions each woman around the table had taken each exercise. The heady sense of freedom generated by being able to set our own courses seemed to ignite little embers of worry in many of us, causing us to question the tack we had taken. Many announced to the group before reading their new work aloud, "Well, this isn't any good, but...." Exercising freedom is scary.
But it was good. Even the work that needed editing and rewriting was good. Everything we did led us forward to a greater understanding of what works and what needs to be improved. That's progress.
Over our time together at the beautiful beach view retreat site of Abbeyfeale, friendships were created or reinforced, group jokes were hatched and a support network was formed. As always, I was sad when the retreat came to an end (but could I have lasted another day with five hours of sleep?), but full of happy memories, new skills and inspiration. Some photos have been posted on our Fiction Among Friends Facebook page, and I'll be updating my web pages soon with pictures, feedback and recipes.
I know I can't forever stare into the rear view mirror or I'll stray off course, but a glance now and then reminds me of a wonderful retreat that I'll savor and draw on repeatedly. Thanks, all.
Adirondack Gold - A novel by Persis Granger, personalized for you by the author
A young Adirondack boy of the 1890s strives to understand his father's death and forge a bond with his embittered grandfather by reopening the family's maple sugarhouse. Historical fiction for kids 12-99.
Adirondack Gold II: A Summer of Strangers
Strangers enter the life of Hollis Ingraham during a summer of hard times for his family and difficult choices for him. Historical fiction for kids 12-99
Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimers- Writing a Path to Peace, edited by Persis Granger
I've written two historical novels for kids 12 - 99, "Adirondack Gold," and "Adirondack Gold II: A Summer of Strangers." I've also contributed to and edited "Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer's; Writing a Path to Peace." Each year, under my business name Fiction Among Friends, I host The Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat in the Lake George Region of New York, in summertime, and The St. George Island Writers' Retreat on the Florida panhandle in November. I also edit the Quarterly, published by the John Thurman Historical Society. I freelance when I can, and have placed articles in "Adirondack Life," "Adirondack Family," "Healing Springs," "BackRoads," and "Adirondack Guest Infomer." Since the summer of 2009 I have helped organize the Second Thursday Readings at Willows Bistro in Warrensburg, NY. Please read more about my projects and passions at www.PersisGranger.com or www.FictionAmongFriends.com.