Tag Archives: long weekend

Strawberry Creek Lodge – Writing Retreat – Spring 2016

Blog 1 – The Retreat

Anticipation.

It’s been building since the day we left last year, brought on and encouraged by the positive results and the lasting effects of concentrating for days with one’s own muse. More time! So in answer to that request, we extended the trip one more night on the long weekend, which gave us one more full day of retreating to write. It’s funny that we need to retreat in order to bond or reconnect with our inner creativity. It’s the way life is, though – fast paced and loud, demanding and insistent. Surely a retreat is not always necessary – it’s a mini vacation for the mind and soul. If one truly takes the time to focus on “self”, while appreciating others’ need to do the same, the results are amazing and the argument for retreating is unarguably natural medicine for the ailing spirit.

Commitment.

Planning and soliciting attendance isn’t necessarily difficult or anxiety building until you get closer to the day and unanticipated events happen to cause holes to appear in your apparent flawless and effortless planning. Life happens – things come up that you cannot possibly foresee over the course of a year. The need to have minimum numbers causes the added pressure to ensure all the seats are filled. We are all thankful that a distress call put out there attracted the attention of like-minded individuals who could make the weekend getaway. Financial strains this year had me even questioning my spending; however, the benefit to my mental well-being far outweighed any other argument. It just means more work upon returning home.

Benefits.  

Nature. Focus. Amazing surroundings. Like-minded souls sharing your love for words. Ability to socialize, materialize, compromise – or just disappear into your own world, as needed. As a writer, the solitude is a blessing and it is made even more inspiring by the beautiful setting and lodge.

No – you don’t have to go away to write, but a retreat is an experience every writer should try during their writing journey. Most will go back for more – year after year. Others will savor the experience and move on, knowing they can always go again when warranted. For me, it is a place I could imagine retiring to in order to write to my heart’s content for the rest of my life… the whole working for a living thing-money and paying bills- thing that stops me for now. Every trip produces more work and creates memories shared with writing colleagues. Fellowships are forged – friendships are solidified. The wonderful thing about Strawberry Creek Lodge is the myriad of delightful nooks and crannies where one can hole up for a time or stake out for the duration; the rooms are wonderful sleeping and private working quarters to spread out your tools and prepare to produce; the meals… the meals are marvelous. Imagine being called to the table by the cowbell at set times to enjoy amazing meals with your retreat pals. No cooking. No dishes. No cleaning.

Pitfalls.

None. Unless, of course, you count the fact that you won’t want to go home and you might attempt to kidnap Brenda, our awesome host/cook, because you never want to have to cook again… ever…

As a dedicated writer, invested in your passion – you will utilize every moment possible to focus on your words; be kind to yourself with rest and relaxation; socialize at appropriate times; connect with your inner creativity and nature. For those who couldn’t go – there is sadness in what life brings – but there is always next year.

A Writing Retreat. It is not something that is necessary – but it is something life-altering to those with a serious passion for word creativity. The retreat is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of solitude away from every day distractions to focus specifically on writing. It’s a recharge for the creative battery.

See you next year – keep on writing!

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Day 2 – Wildies Unfounded

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial – continued…

The delay was short-lived – Saturday morning dawned bright and full of sunshine and, as the day progressed, the temperature steadily increased. The roads were clear with the exception of the shaded parts into Mandy’s acreage in the morning – there I dropped the keys for pet sitting and garnered a hug and a wish for safe journey from a friend. It was a quick crossing as I bypassed Sherwood Park via the Yellowhead through Edmonton heading west. Ray was busy running errands so I only made a quick pit stop in Spruce Grove to pick up my morning coffee at the 7-11.

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I headed west on Highway 16 to take the Drayton Valley turn south. Highway 22 runs south along the foothills, jogging this way and that… it’s called the Cowboy Trail. I enjoy taking new ways to get places. Through Drayton Valley and east then south again into the County of Wetaskiwin headed for Rocky Mountain House… although I have been there before, this was a new way in for me. Clearwater County gave way to Mountain View County as I headed to Sundre from Caroline. It was then just a quick 30 minute trip west on 584 to my Bed & Breakfast reservations – A Bed in Heaven.

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From the door facing out… ah, well… self explanatory!

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From the door facing in – comfort and room to do as I please.

From my room you can see foothills to the southwest. I spent some time checking out the area and getting my bearings so I might travel a little further and in different directions. My hosts told me they had wildies at the corner beyond their property a couple of months ago. All the commotion in the area probably sent them further into the bush, however. I saw a helicopter circling the areas around Sundre as I drove through – it was probably totally unrelated.

My drive ventured to the Forestry Trunk Road but I doubled back soon thereafter knowing I would follow it on another trip – I had already driven most of the day what with stopping for picture-taking and all. I didn’t see any animals except these two contented ponies. They were inside fencing and appeared to be groomed – at least it was my perception – they are not wildies.

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Hazy sun and study of trees…

IMG_0302 …then back to the B&B… my evening was a little bit less exciting. I didn’t want to bother my hosts to ask for the Wi-Fi code and knew I could get it at breakfast in the morning. My cell phone was not picking up any signal so I could not message anyone… I downloaded the pictures from the day… 66… and then wrote the beginning of this post. I was tired so I went to bed early. It was a good start to my weekend holiday.

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Filed under On Dreaming, On Life