"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Second Annual Retreat at Quartz Mountain Resort

Quartz Mountain Resort
We are home!  From all reports, everyone got writing accomplished -- some more than others, but that was to be expected.

There were some problems with some of the reservations but it all worked out as far as I know.  Judie and I both made our  reservations via telephone, even though they had told me we could do it online.  Neither of us had any problems.  So keep keep that in mind for next time.

I asked for the manager when I checked out but wouldn't you know,  Monday is his day off.  I did get his business card so I can call him and ask him about special group rates for next year.

So officially, the last weekend in January will be Retreat Weekend for Wichita Falls Creative Writers, so mark your calendars for next year!

I took Shelbie with me -- for protection -- NOT -- she's afraid of her own shadow.   For her, it's all about the food.  She got leftover steak from Backdoor in Blair, Oklahoma, a huge hamburger patty, courtesy of Judie Brunson and bacon and eggs from Deborah Kegley. So she, too,  had a WONDERFUL time.

I took my iMac desktop computer with me, and although the computer worked out fine, it was a load to carry as far as I had to carry it.  The resort is not "parking friendly".  Regardless of where you leave you vehicle, you are a loooong way from your room.  All of the end doors nearer  to the parking lots are exits only. I did find a closer way to get it back to the car this morning.

I grabbed one of those carts to unload the rest of my bags Friday night, but some of the sidewalks are steep and we were probably hilarious if anyone happened to be watching. So this morning, not wanting to man handle the cart uphill, I just toted my bags via the shorter route.

Full moon

I walked outside with Shelbie after I got settled and saw the bright full moon overhead.  I had a bit of a conversation with Ronnie about how beautiful it always is.  It never gets old. Mother Nature, God's creation, whatever you prefer to call it, at it's best.

Early morning out my back door QMR

Saturday morning, I got up about 5, dressed and Shelbie and I took a walk in the early morning twilight.  One of the best things about this area, for me, is that it  feels so peaceful. It's almost like turmoil cannot exist within its boundaries.  I left everything negative behind as soon as I turned on to the winding approach up to the lodge. It's one of those places that calls out the best in me.

I spent a lot of time "daydreaming" about the story and the characters, something I had almost forgotten how to do until Tina Haapala (www.excuseeditor.com) posted an article on her website about the value of "daydreaming" and suddenly, I remembered.  Daydreaming is more valuable than anyone who doesn't write can begin to understand.  It's where plots and solutions come together in the imagination  and get ready to be transferred to paper.

Van says that the sword fights his characters have on paper have been carefully choreographed by him, not only in his imagination but with real swords. That is a form of daydreaming, planning it all out, so that it feels real to the reader.

Nicole came, although it was against her better judgement.  Her young daughter had had surgery recently, but her husband assured her that with the help of grandma, they would all be fine, and that if she waited for the perfect time, she might never be able to take any time for herself and her writing.  She said she didn't expect the location to make a difference, but she settled right in and wrote 6 chapters on her novel.  I am so proud OF her and FOR her.

Judie was working on her family history and as usual, she made more progress than any of us, but Tina made progress on her nonfiction work in progress, "Little Bit Married".  Deborah wrote some AWESOME poetry, which she read to us Saturday night. Lauren took full advantage of her time away from home, working diligently until the wee hours of the morning, but on what, I'm not sure.  When we met to "read" she read some of her insightful quotes from her Facebook page "Running Through My Head."

I wish Deborah would start her own blog or a Facebook page and post some of her poems there -- or gather them together for a book.

Ashley was one that had reservation problems, so she left early, but went up to OKC to see her boyfriend and it sounds like she accomplished a LOT, writing related, after she got up there.

afternoon sky
Burna Cole had computer problems and I'm not sure if she was able to make any progress at all, but I sure enjoyed seeing her again.

Sunday afternoon, Shelbie and I took a long walk. The sky was beautiful. We stopped to visit with a couple of truck drivers from Waco, a man and wife team, who were celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary.  They were a cheerful happy couple.  I also visited with a couple of young families just out exploring on a gorgeous day.

Sunday evening, Judie and I had dinner together.  We talked about our younger years, our poor times and how we never seemed to even realize we didn't have everything we needed. We talked about husbands and children and how valuable time to oneself is, not only for the purpose of writing but for spiritual renewal.

I had a great time.  While I didn't get much new written on my third novel, When Hell Freezes Over, I did do a lot of copying and pasting from older versions into the new version -- so I'm making progress.

Leaving the Quartz Mountain Nature Reserve this morning, I stopped to enjoy these girls.  Can't wait til next year. We missed you, Beatrice McKinney, but thanks for letting someone go in your place!  You are a jewel of a friend.