NEW YEAR-ROUND RETREAT OPENS IN RHODE ISLAND, United
We are proud to announce the opening of a new
residential retreat in Hopkinton,
Rhode Island this June.
The Writers’ Retreat at Panther Orchard Farm is a
beautiful large home nestled into 43 acres in southern, rural Rhode Island. The
house is situated on a private estate surrounded by meadows, fields,
orchards, woods, a pond, and of course, New England
stone walls. This is the perfect retreat for writers who seek a private,
comfortable, rural sanctuary in which to bring their literacy vision to
fruition. Panther Orchard Farm is located near historic Hopkinton, 45
minutes south of Providence,
RI and a quick 20 minutes
from ocean beaches or local shopping areas.
Retreat operator Lynne Anderson is a
professor of education at the University
of Oregon and Director
of the Oregon Writing Project, one of 200 sites in the National Writing
Project Network. She has more than 30 years experience working with writers
of all ages. An area of special expertise is the adoption and integration
of technology applications and online resources to support the writing
For more information or to secure your private
studio, please contact Lynne
Anderson at email@example.com or
visit her Web site at The Writers’ Retreat at Panther Orchard Farm.
THE POWER OF THE RETREAT
busy times we quite often neglect the most essential and helpful source of
wisdom that makes us unique and allows us to shine with our own light: Our
with clarity what that higher self needs, sometimes we need to get some
distance from our daily routine. Whether you feel a vague sense that
something is lacking, or you sense that you need to reconsider your
priorities, or even to change your values, a retreat might offer you the
time and the space to connect with your essence and get clarity about which
path to follow.
completion of your retreat, not only will you have gained wisdom, insight
and experience, but you will have regained an essential resource to fulfill your creative calling: inner strength.
have been thinking of taking a retreat but you are still hesitating,
consider these benefits:
action must first be conceived, and this type of contemplation is a natural
by-product of a retreat.
retreat invites you on a journey into your inner self, it allows you to
maintain communication with who you are, it takes
you to a deeper sense of connection with the self and it helps you to align
your thoughts with your actions.
to rediscover who you are
habits and social structure to which we belong to limit our deepest being,
it is time to stop, to retreat and to reassess who we are, emerging afresh.
are many techniques, therapies and activities that provide us with that
reunion with who we are, and taking a retreat in
nature is one of them. It greatly facilitates the flow between our inner
self and our outer actions, taking us closer to our nature as creative
to rediscover your love for others
find peace within ourselves and we acknowledge, love and respect ourselves
as we are, then we rediscover our love for others. We re-learn how to
consider and appreciate others as human beings who deserve our confidence
and respect. These are things that are sometimes forgotten in this
Increase vitality and improve health
within nature, it is so easy to order the cycles and rhythms that all
animal beings need to regulate. You will experience improved sleep,
oxygenation, digestion and vitality.
Increase confidence in life
rediscovering who we are, our love for others and the respect we feel for
all beings, we increase our confidence in life and recognize the common bond
about living within nature helps us to let go of all the judgement and fear
that seem ever present among humans. Let go of already set modes,
prejudices, forms and structures.
retreat allows us to get distance from our daily routine and see the
essence of what we want in life. It helps us to place ourselves in a more
objective approach between who we are and what we are called to live, to
find inner peace by understanding that we are living our part, the life we
consciously choose to live.
A first version of this article originally
appeared in the VOICE, the newsletter of the International Association of
Coaching (www.certifiedcoach.org), in April 2010 and is reprinted with
Jabier Ans is a
sculptor and the founder of The Jabierans Retreat in Castellón, Spain, a
sanctuary for those seeking peace and tranquility.
It is nestled in the Castellón mountains with
views of the Mediterranean sea and
surrounded by stylish sculptures beautifully integrated within nature. Jabier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM NOVICE TO EXPERT: SHOULD A WRITER TACKLE A TOPIC THAT HE OR SHE
KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT – OF COURSE!
By Lynda Stear
Many years ago,
I attended a writer’s conference and heard a presenter say that if one
studied a subject of interest for at least four months, one was then
considered an expert and could write and speak with authority about the
writer had taken a subject that he knew nothing about, educated himself,
wrote about it, and then was called upon to speak until he was so tired of
talking about his well-versed subject, that he had to move on to something
else of interest!
Some years ago,
I heard about a very expensive French sailboat that was wrecked under a
bridge in transit to the Southern Ocean Racing Conference sailboat racing
event in St. Petersburg,
FL, and I wrote a story about
how the boat was repaired just days before the race. I knew absolutely nothing about this
race, but knew a deck hand who knew the owner, and I not only got my story,
but also, a lot of information about maxi-sized sail boats. The article showed credibility and was
picked up by a regional sailing periodical, but it did not take 4 months to
study how to use a transit to align the mast of this fine maxi sail boat.
depends on subject matter:
I do not know
whether there are any scientific studies that would confirm that four
months is the magical number of months to become an expert, but this writer
certainly had a point. I personally
think that it depends upon the subject matter, for more time might be
required to study a very complex and controversial subject, and one might
become more of an expert by experiencing the topic of interest, ie, visitation to a homeless shelter or to a toxic
dump, or one might need to take a course on the subject, etc.
I took a few
graduate courses in clinical research to prepare myself for regulatory
writing, and am soon to enroll in another theology course for some of my
future religious writing. What do
you need to do to become an expert on your subject?
As a nursing
professional, and at a time when the HIV/AIDS epidemic first became
apparent, I attended a medical conference for physicians where there was
more than cursory information about the subject. I also read as many relevant journal
articles written about this new epidemic, and narrowed my search and
writing to women and children with HIV/AIDS. I also volunteered to take care of
infected patients and attended HIV/AIDS support groups. From this process,
came an exhaustive bibliography for my most significant journal article,
and then I wrote short spin off articles from my base knowledge.
A variety of
video taped women with AIDS whom I knew, and used the video to educate
nurses and nursing assistants. As
time went on, I was called upon to give mandatory HIV/AIDS education in the
hospital and homecare settings, and presented educational contact hours on
the topic for nurses in a junior college setting.
But, like the
other writer, hours and hours of education on the topic got old after a
while, and it was a relief to move on to orthopedic, pulmonary, and cardiac
rehabilitation and writing educational materials for this specialty, which
eventually led to teaching nursing professionals about these subjects.
You do not have
to be a medical professional:
One does not
have to be a medical professional to write about medicine. I just happened to be a nurse, but the
writer I had heard many years ago was making a point – when you study a
topic, at some point, one becomes more knowledgeable than the potential
reader. Writing for a professional
journal required me to have a nursing background, but writing for the
public in medical or non-medical publications with a very sound knowledge
of your medical topic, just might land you an assignment.
Lynda Stear is a medical and freelance writer/writing
mentor and educator. She can be
reached at The Spring Creek Retreat of Macungie, PA or by e-mail at email@example.com She
welcomes you at her retreat in Macungie,
WRITERS WRITING ABOUT WRITING
By Lynne Anderson, Ph.D.
Earlier this year
I was traveling from my home in Eugene, Oregon to Panther Orchard Farm in Rhode Island. Flying out of the Eugene
airport means a mandatory stop to change planes at least once – in Portland,
Denver, or San Francisco – and usually twice. This time it was San Francisco – which I secretly embraced
as it afforded a chance to browse in a favorite bookstore. The selection is
fantastic, the staff suggestions are diverse, and I never fail to find
something to enhance the remainder of my trip. On this occasion I picked up
Amy Tan’s The Opposite of Fate:
Memories of a Writing Life (2003). Not a new book – but one I hadn’t
read. I was enthralled from the beginning. As you might suspect – Tan
reflects on her growth as a writer, first as a young girl hooked on books
and later as an award-winning, bestselling author of novels with a Chinese backstory. With candor and wit (and a fair number of
personal detours embellished with family ghosts) she gradually reveals how
becoming a writer was no accident, not something that happened while trying
to be someone else (despite her mother’s plans to the contrary). I love
reading the work of writers who write about writing – and especially the
stories describing their unique paths into (and sometimes out of) lives
that revolve around words.
For this reason, I
always loved reading the New York Times occasional column entitled “Writers on
Writing”, in which American writers shared some critical tidbit about
their own lives as authors, or explored some literary theme embedded in
their work. Commissioned by journalist and novelist John Darnton, who wanted to hear other writers talk about
the craft of writing, the series ran for several years and produced 63
essays, which were ultimately published by Times Books in two volumes, the
first in 2001 and the second in 2004.
The authors are
incredibly diverse, sharing little more than the title “writer”. And their essays on writing are similarly
diverse – revealing unique histories, attitudes, approaches, goals, fears,
and needs. In Time Can Transform the
Fantasies of Youth, for example, Russell Banks describes the day his
official story of how a depressed, 21-year-old drop was transformed into an
author, came face to face with a gangster who knew the real version. Jane
Smiley also writes about transformation, but in the context of the
“improvisational exuberance” of reading her drafts to an attentive, intimate
audience – and how that experience transformed her writing from an act of
secret construction to an act expressing love.
Annie Proulx reveals how “the need to know” leads her to stop
frequently at yard sales, collect books thought worthless by their original
owners, tune into local radio stations, and go almost anywhere in search of
authentic details. In contrast, Richard Ford suggests that not
writing (and “goofing off” while doing it) is essential for recharging his
muse. The “ritual -- cease in order to resume -- has always seemed to me to
be an aesthetic, possibly even a moral postulate.”
If you haven’t
read this series of essays by writers on writing – or you have, but not
recently – I highly suggest checking out the collection at the New York Times
website where the complete series is archived online. (http://www.nytimes.com/books/specials/writers.html)
In a similar vein,
but on a smaller scale, I like reading the pithy, often revealing excerpts
about how authors view the writing process. A wonderful collection of
quotations about writing can be found at the Quote Garden. Here are
a few – which will hopefully wet your appetite for more. (http://www.quotegarden.com/writing.html)
If I don't write to empty my
mind, I go mad.
When something can be read
without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. ~Enrique Jardiel
The best time for planning a
book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie
It seems to me that those
songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing
of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on
the page. ~Joan Baez
There's nothing to
writing. All you do is sit down at a
typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
If I'm trying to sleep, the
ideas won't stop. If I'm trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness. ~Carrie Latet
If there's a book you really
want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison
To reach Lynne Anderson, owner of The Writers’ Retreat at Panther Orchard Farm in Hopkinton, Rhode Island,
SPRING FORWARD TO A NEW BEGINNING
By Adilah Barnes
Spring is my favorite season of the year.
As I take stock of my natural surroundings at this
time, I am visibly reminded of new beginnings in my every day environment.
I am soothed as I pay close attention to the changes in nature.
I witness trees return to their vibrant shades of
green, I see grass boldly reclaim its natural color, and I exhale through
my senses the beauty of flowers as they gracefully and quietly make their
presence known through a burst of vibrant color and organic fragrances.
Because March is also my birth month, I also start
my year anew during this time.
As writers, we also need to jumpstart and start
anew from time to time.
We need to periodically embark on a new writing
project, or just dust off a writing that we may have put aside due to lack
of time, writer’s block or whatever reasons we may use to justify not picking
up the pen again.
If you are a writer who is feeling stuck,
uninspired or are just plain procrastinating, perhaps one way to get back
to your writing is to schedule an appointment with yourself. This may mean scheduling a regular time
and sacred space to allow spirit to speak, even if for only 30 minutes. It
could be lunchtime at work, just before going to bed, and it can be any
quiet space that beckons you.
This may mean choosing to write every day, every
other day, twice a week, only on the week-ends, or maybe just ONE day a
week for 30 minutes.
It is not the amount of time we choose to write,
but rather the consistency in our writing.
Our personal agreement to write ritualistically
may open the door to begin to write more and more as time goes on. It may
even be journaling on a regular basis that allows us to begin to freely
express ourselves again.
It can be that simple.
If you are having writer’s block, you may want to
use sensory exercises to get you back into the swing of giving voice to your
work. For example, writing only one page of stream of consciousness
writing using a childhood sense memory can be a very fertile playground to
begin getting the juices flowing again. It may be a memory that involves a
familiar sound from childhood, a smell or even something that you remember
the taste of from childhood. Making the sense memory a familiar one may
allow the writing to flow with more ease because it will be easy to
remember in detail what comes to you.
This exercise can have a remarkable effect in
terms of unlocking both memory and emotional recall. I often use sensory
exercises when I teach writing workshops and have actually seen students
guided my an exercise take off in their writing - be it the start of a new story,
memoir or even a one person show.
Like others, you may begin to free yourself up
through the use of memory. You may be led in a way that invites you to
venture far beyond where you imagined this exercise might take you. I urge
you to try sensory writing and see where it will take you. You may be
pleasantly surprised where your journey will take you.
Enjoy your new beginnings as you write this
To reach Adilah Barnes,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
her Web site at The Writers' Retreat in Sharpsburg, Georgia
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