“I’ve always felt that my ‘style’—the careful projection onto paper of who I think I am—was my only marketable asset, the only possession that might set me apart from other writers.” ---William Zinsser

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Word Lovers

Travel Writing and Personal Essays were the focus of November's Word Lover's Retreat at the Idlewyld Bed and Breakfast in Lakeside Ohio. Travel Writer Doris Larson and Writer Claudia Taller hosted a relaxing writing retreat near Lake Erie's shores. Doris Larson taught us how to make the places we have experienced come alive in writing and provided insight into the publishing world. We all gave our writing the attention it deserves and pursued better ways of working our words during the weekend of November 6-8, 2009. The retreats are a unique combination of learning, writing, and connecting with others. For more details, write to Claudia at ctallerwrites@wowway.com. A flyer with full details of the next retreat will be sent to you.

Igniting Possibilities

We had a wonderful time Sharing Our Gifts at the Idlewyld this fall. The next Sharing Our Gifts will take place, as it always does, during the third weekend in October 2010. We already have some fun things planned, but it's difficult to top making art journals from old books and watching a belly dancing performance after participants shared their gifts of quilted bags, poetry, and artwork to open the weekend. Our notebooks continue to inspire all year long as we are amazed by how creative our friends can be when they step back from routine life.

The writers who came to Word Lovers in November started new projects or became excited about old ones as we explored how to write meaningful travel stories and personal essays. Writer-in-residence Doris Larson gave us plenty of takeaways. Over the next couple of weeks we will try to outdo each other as we share what we have been writing. We're all working on good beginnings and metaphors that speak to the soul. Word Lovers will meet again April 30-May 1, 2010, and September 17-19, 2010.

Look for announcements for Caring for the Authentic Self in January and Connecting With Nature in May, and a possible weekday retreat at the Idlewyld to ignite possibilities in your life. In the meantime, next into the holiday season with family and friends and get those home fires roasting with warmth.

A Winding Road - Writing

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My book, "Ohio's Lake Erie Wineries," an Arcadia production, explores the history of island and lakeshore wineries from the mid-1800s through today. I write travel, memoir, profiles, book reviews, local interest articles, and fiction. My writing is always of discovery--whether it's journaling, book reviewing, letter writing, or sharing an experience of life. I have written two novels and am working on a third novel and a memoir. I am passionate about sharing what life has to offer with others. "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron woke me up to a sense of possibility--life is too short not be enjoyed by living deeply and well. I created Igniting Possibilities, a conduit for creativity workshops and events, in the hope of guiding others to realize their full potential. The Word Lover's Retreats at Lakeside, Ohio's Chautauqua community, help writers find their voice and direction.