This weekend I ventured to The Outing Lodge–a beautiful bed and breakfast located in Stillwater, MN (a cute city that’s super close to God’s country, aka, Wisconsin)–for a writing retreat that was organized by SCBWI (the Minnesota chapter) and Ghost Stories, Inc. The building started as a poor farm in the 1800’s and was converted into a rest home once the poor farm closed. In the ’80’s it was purchased by it’s current owners, who renovated the building into the B&B that it is now. Each room is named after a person from history. I stayed in the Robert Frost room, which wasn’t actually my first choice, but when I looked at the pictures after I made the reservation I knew that it was probably the most like me, since Frost was a poet and… well, the room is blue.
And it was beautiful! After I checked in I just walked around the room for awhile and took it all in. It was so peaceful and quiet in the B&B; so quiet it was almost deafening. I knew the weekend would be just what I needed! After walking around the room I sat down to read for a little while and fell asleep. It was a long week and I was exhausted! I woke up just in time to redo my hair and head downstairs for the social hour on Friday night. After talking for awhile we went back upstairs to settle in and watch Mama.
After breakfast on Saturday (which was delicious!) we had our first workshops. Writers and illustrators split up and I attended the writing workshop on growing an audience before you sell your book (led by Jessica Freeburg). I had debated between that workshop and the illustrator workshop on story boarding, but was so glad that I chose the workshop I did, because it was a really informative session. After the workshop and lunch we had some quiet time to write, before meeting up for the final workshop of the retreat. This one was about researching and how it can help with writing (led by Natalie Fowler). This one was incredibly inspiring and now I’m planning to head to the huge library in downtown Minneapolis soon.
Saturday evening we all met up once again to head out on a paranormal investigation. The idea behind the retreat was to give writers and illustrators an experience that would inspire them in their craft and it definitely worked for me! As soon as we began our nighttime stroll through the woods my mind was churning. Before we left for our adventure, they introduced to us to all of their gadgets! It was so cool and definitely made me feel like I was on a TV show. The only tool that I held was a flashlight, though. I can be a little clumsy and didn’t want to drop their cool gadgets!
It was a fantastic weekend and the perfect way to begin a new month! It was so nice to have a chance to get away from my usual routine to focus on writing. It’s something that I’ve thought about doing before and now I want to make it more of a priority.