I had such a fear of blogging that I just couldn’t get myself to start, but here I am after coming home inspired from my writing group’s summer retreat in Laguna Beach, California. Wow! What a place up in Bluebird Canyon our group, “Women Who Write (WoWW),” had all to ourselves for a week M-F. It was up in the hills with a view of the ocean, magnificent sunsets, and wilderness that bordered the property. The owners had to build a fence around their land to keep the bobcats out! I was grateful for that as I liked writing my morning pages outside and floating in the swimming pool with my eyes closed in the afternoon.
Five of us women shared space and time and lived together more like sisters than fellow writers. Oh, we wrote alright, but we also read, critiqued, shared our writing and talked. We also enjoyed the beach and the ubiquitous public art. Attending the Laguna Art Festival three times and the Pageant of the Masters were the highlights, but more than anything was sharing the experience with my WoWW sisters. I look forward to our future seasonal retreats where I come back refreshed and inspired to write some more.
It’s the first day of a new month, September, so it’s an opportunity to start over no matter what your August was like, especially if it was a difficult month. So take a deep breath, look around and find beauty in the simple things. The trees are starting to look different as they lose some of their leaves and change color. I see various shades of green and brown in my own back yard. This morning as I did my morning ritual of Tai chi chih I saw birds—lots of birds, who were oblivious to my movements. There were bright yellow orioles, a red chested robin, iridescent hummingbirds, blue scrub jays and three pairs of yellow finches! They went about their business eating from the feeders and the Chinese elm trees, grooming themselves, and drinking from the fountain at our little pond. Some of the birds even bathed in the birdbath early in the morning. How beautiful, I said to myself. What a privilege to get to observe these amazing creatures through a bedroom window! Happy First! to everyone, but especially Happy First Anniversary to my son, Marco and his lovely wife, Amy who were married exactly one year ago. That’s definitely something to celebrate.
After a week in one of the most beautiful cities in the Pacific Northwest with my writing group sisters self proclaimed “Women Who Write” (WoWW), I am rested, refreshed and inspired. Five of us (Florencia, Mona, Dani, Toni and I attended workshops, author talks, panels, book signings, exhibits, publishers’ booths, parties, performances and anything else you can think of related to writers at the 2014 Conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). I walked up and down escalators at the Convention Center in the midst of 13,000 writers.
When we weren’t at the conference we were exploring the city, enjoying its awesome public art, or doing our own writing in the vast apartment with a view of the city and Space Needle on the 27th floor of the Metropolitan Tower or exercising and relaxing in the gym and jacuzzi.
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