Our First Annual Writing Retreat!

A year ago 2 of my dear friends, Julie Treadwell and Shelley DeVries and I hatched the idea of starting a Writing Group.  I’m the writing coach and they’re the eager learners.  We’ve been meeting almost every Thursday for the last year on zoom.  It’s been delightful to share ideas of things in our lives that need to be Written, Recorded and Preserved.  We call ourselves the WRP writing group.

Since we also each enjoy quilting, we decided to combine these two loves and spend a couple of days at the cabin talking about our writing projects while working on quilt projects.  The best of every world.

We had a magical two days with some rain and some sun and the beginnings of fall color coming to our canyons.

Before John and I left for Yakima in 2015, I cut about a dozen I Spy Quilts for some of my  friends.  Julie and Shelley brought theirs to work on here at the cabin.  We cut and ironed and sewed and talked.  We talked about writing the hard stuff–marriages and divorce, medical tragedies and healing.  We laughed and cried together.  And we celebrated capturing experiences and stories that need to be told.

A definition from Julie:  Mid Moment FOMO – the impact on one’s emotions that this glorious experience one is having, IS actually going to terminate with the previously planned deadline. (Thus Fear Of Missing Out causes one to actually miss out a bit by siphoning off a portion of the delight in the very midst of that delight.)

Shelley brought crab salad sandwiches for dinner, I made Santa Fe egg casserole for breakfast and Julie introduced us to Buddah Bowls for lunch.  All delicious and fun.

The rain was soothing and calming as we worked.

One of our writing projects this year has been using a book called “52 Lists for Happiness.”  Every day there is a suggestion for making a list.  One of our next prompts  was “LIST THE WAYS SOMEONE YOU LOVE WOULD DESCRIBE YOU.”  We decided to answer that for each other. Here are the notes I took as we talked about that prompt:

Shelley: A Kingdom Defender, an Advocate, a Moderator, listener, sees the whole picture, brings people together with the whole picture in view. Steadfast and immovable. Clever and witty and funny.

Julie: Intense, always doing good, anxiously engaged, helpful, responsible, gets things done, resourceful and thrifty, if stranded on an island, would want Julie there, can make do with what’s at hand, deep thinker. Every story includes a long back story.

Ann: If I cross the plains, I’d want to be in her party. So talented. Generous with everything you have. You dive in deep, then help others dive in deep. Resourceful, thrifty. You get more done than anyone I know. Calm, proceeds logically, but works very fast and effectively and gets a lot done. Service oriented–missions, DfG. Pioneer woman, no stress over uncomfortable situations–mice, heat, etc. Not easily deterred or overwhelmed.

We three together: good counsel, honesty, perspective, soul comfort, support, receive and share inspiration with each other, similar interests and hopes. We get each other. Sisters of the heart. We can talk about messy things, but feel positive. We process situations, people and what’s going on in our world. The desires of our hearts seem to be on the same trajectory.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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