Sunday, August 19, 2007

Relaxed and Renewed after a Writers Retreat

Yesterday, the President of Pikes Peak Writers held a Volunteer Appreciation Retreat for all the volunteers who've put in a lot of hours on the spring conference or year-round on other activities. She provided breakfast and lunch at her home in a lovely forested area and organized a series of writing workshops, solitary writing exercises, and social times. Since I couldn't stay for the afternoon, I arrived first thing in the morning to participate in a "Sun Salutations" yoga class. We greeted the sun as it rose above the hills while learning a few yoga moves. After breakfast, five of us went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood to get the blood pumping. Then I participated in two guided meditation exercises, a clearing meditation to open creative pathways and a "celestial library" meditation to inspire us with the ideas our library held for us. Both the yoga and the guided meditations were new experiences for me and left me feeling refreshed and open to new possibilities.

Next was a workshop on new and different ways to help you define characters, like assigning them a Native American animal totem and the characteristics that come with that, or giving them psychology personality tests, or doing a Tarot card reading for them. I spent about half an hour after the workshop going through the books the presenter brought and generating ideas. Then it was time for lunch and socializing with the other volunteers. It was really nice to be able to chat in a relaxed setting, versus when we're hauling furniture, registering attendees, or whatever. Before heading home, I picked up a book on mystery writing from the craft book exchange table. Relaxed and renewed, with a new book and a new set of characterization tools, I headed home ready to tackle my next writing project.

People came and went throughout the day and engaged in workshops on plotting, beginning lines, query writing, read & critique, improv writing and more. What a wonderful way to be thanked for our service to Pikes Peak Writers!

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