desk with my laptop, trying to speed up the rate at which I can
process the wonderful weekend I just had. I need to blog about it,
but it’s hard because then I have to admit that it’s over, when
really I want it to live on. And perhaps it does, in memory and
a writer’s retreat for homeschool authors at a sweet little
vacation house I’ve known for years. The owners, dear friends of
mine, were thrilled to allow the ten of us young Christian writers to
stay for the weekend and have all the writing fellowship we could
cram into those not-quite 48 hours.
beautiful property, complete with a valley vista, a peaceful river,
and end-of-season bluebonnets, we had a marvelous time. We grew
closer to one another as friends and encouraged each other to use our
writing to glorify God. We had morning and evening devotions and
discussions; lectures on different aspects of writing; opportunities
to work uninterrupted on our WIPs (aka, write-ins) and to read aloud
pieces of our stories; and games that word nerds love.
|Photo Credit: V. Kathie Ardnek|
that God brought each of the young women here. Published and
unpublished, with amazing abilities and passion, each unique but
sharing many traits and interests. I know the encouragement and
refreshing I received will be a long-lasting fuel to my writing, as
will the friendships I made and cultivated.
been on a writing retreat with others, I can’t recommend it highly
enough! After arriving on Friday afternoon, we played an icebreaker
game. Our first writing activity was a write-in. I’ve never
participated in one before, and I was a little doubtful that I’d be
able to concentrate with others writing in the same room. But I loved
it! For an hour, the clickety-clack of typing and the presence of all
these writers making progress on their stories spurred me to do the
same. It’s beneficial peer pressure.
time to watch the golden sunset from the cliff over the valley. Then,
late into the night, we played a hilarious game called Bring
Your Own Book. Each player chooses a book (novels work best) and
tries to find punchy quotes that match a particular prompt. Everyone
takes turns being the judge for each prompt and selects the person he
or she thinks has the best line. It’s become one of my favorite
night and began the next morning with writing-related devotions that
I wrote, followed by discussion and singing hymns. We had talented
singers in the group. Saturday was a day of sharing knowledge and
ideas and reading aloud our projects. I talked about editing; Sarah
spoke on knowing your audience and having the courage to reach them
with God’s message; Claire answered our medical questions for
accuracy in our fiction; Grace gave us a bunch of great tips on
writing a series; and Deborah read a superb essay by Stephen Lawhead
on being Christian fiction writers.
|The authors’ published books. Photo Credit: V. Kathie Ardnek|
and fun to get a taste of everyone’s writing talent as we read
aloud and discussed each other’s work. Also on Saturday, we walked
down to the river in the valley, played Scattergories, and shared
about books that have inspired us. Ending the night and beginning
Sunday morning with devotionals and hymns was just what we needed to
cap off a meaningful retreat. We went to a restaurant for a farewell
breakfast and one by one said goodbye as each departed for home.
will have a lasting impact on me. Everyone was so passionate about
their writing and using it for God’s glory. I was reminded of why I
write. The nature around us infused peace and joy. But the fellowship
and encouragement was the best part of all.