Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dry Creek Writer's Retreat

March 1-3, 2012

Dry Creek Camp was a beautiful setting for a relaxed but vigorous writing retreat. Hosted by Curt Isles, past camp director, the piney woods of Western Louisana proved to be an ideal setting for learning, inspiration, and making new writer friends.

The lovely White House bed and breakfast housing the conference attendees was built as a school in 1912. Closed in 1962, the building was purchased in 1980 by the camp that adjoined the property. Extensive renovation restored the school into a building that invited writers' imagination.

Curt Isles on the left, introduced our speakers: DiAnn Mills and Frank Ball.

DiAnn and Frank alternated sessions. DiAnn presented the joys and blessings of mentoring. She discussed self-editing, developing character and plot and ended with Rhino-skinned (or alligator-skinned) critique techniques.
Frank spoke on the power of story, writing a captivating story, what is a creative genius, and different point of view.
DiAnn is the author of 57 Christian books and is a Christy Award Winner.
Frank has written several books and is the developer of North Texas Christian Writers, an orginazation of critique groups.

Writers attended from as far as Florida, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Mike, Two Shadows, entertained us with a Native American story and hauntingly beautiful music on his wooden flute.

Gatherings in Western Louisiana and East Texas are not complete without music. We were entertained by these musicians who wrote their own music as well as played familiar tunes.

One of the musicians commented at the closing of the retreat that what he'd learned about writing applied to his writing of music lyrics.

On the final day of the conference we joined on the front steps of the old school house for the obligatory "school" picture.

I am highly motivated by the retreat and have sent my completed manuscript, "Soul Sisters", to writers for critique.

With plans for a return trip to Alaska this summer, I've discovered new ways to journal.

What would you like to see as focus for journaling?

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