“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

More like this at http://claudiatallermusings.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writing Well and the Writer's Life--Loving Words

Well-chosen words and the life of a writer stimulate the imagination and the spirit. Arrive in Lakeside in the afternoon for porch rocking, street walking, and lake gazing to awaken your muse and start writing. After dinner, write from the heart with writing-from-life prompts. On Saturday morning, Deanna Adams, our writer-in-residence for the weekend, will show us how to breathe life into our fiction and non-fiction. Afterwards, Claudia will lead a writing craft workshop based on William Zinsser's On Writing Well. Later in the afternoon, share your words and writing quandaries during our roundtable. At eventide, imagine possibilities for a writing life in an Artist’s Way interlude. Wake up to yoga by the Lake on Sunday morning followed by Deanna’s words of encouragement as we leave the retreat and go out into the world.

Lakeside’s motto—"nurturing mind, body and spirit"—is a perfect description for the focus of our retreat-by-the-lake. Idlewyld Bed & Breakfast is a century home with a big porch, the perfect place for muse chasing, quiet contemplation, listening to and writing words, stimulating conversation, and timeless walks. Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, and Sunday breakfast will be served.
The cost is $115 for the entire weekend if you reserve your space by August 31. The room rates are on the Idlewyld website at www.idlewyldbb.com/. Send me an e-mail at ctallerwrites@wowway.com for more information.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sharing Our Gifts

Sharing Our Gifts (Artist’s Way) Retreat, co-hosted with Joan Barris, co-owner of the Idlewyld Bed and Breakfast in historic Lakeside, Ohio, is a women’s weekend of sharing creativity, relaxing, and experiencing exuberant joy.  This year’s retreat takes place October 14-16 at the Idlewyld.  Plans for this year include our traditional Friday night sharing session, creativity kiosks, book discussion, and the annual leave-taking teatime.  Walk, talk, and share with other women at this Artist’s Way-inspired retreat.  Please contact Joan at barrisjr@aol.com or Claudia at ctallerwrites@wowway.com for more information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Writing a Book with Pictures

Writer Deanna Adams and I share more than a love for words and roots in northeastern Ohio. We both have struggled to come up with historical pictures for full-length books. Even though pictures can tell a story, it's the words that go with the pictures that give the image depth. We hope to help you find depth in your writing at the Word Lover's Retreat this Fall. We'll be at the Idlewyld the weekend of September 18.

My book on wineries requires lots of wine and stories. Visiting wineries is a wondrous way to connect and find synchronicity. I'll enjoy hanging out at wineries amidst vineyards along Lake Erie. God give me the words to tell the stories. After all, Julia Cameron tells us we are only the conduit. Go to http://claudiatallermusings.blogspot.com to read more about Ohio wineries.

And if you want to come to Lakeside in the fall, when the weather's still warm, send me an e-mail and I'll send you the details. Give yourself the gift of a writing weekend.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fall 2011 Word Lover's Retreat

A Word Lovers Food and Wine Weekend, November 4-6 at the Idlewyld Bed and Breakfast in historic Lakeside, Ohio, is a food and wine experience.  This is a weekend of winery tours and tastings and creating beautiful food together.  Friday evening begins with writing prompts, and Saturday sessions include a session on writing a non-fiction book (based on Claudia’s experience of writing her book Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries) and establishing immediacy through description.  How would you describe in words the taste of chocolate mousse or Firelands Winery’s Pinot Grigio?  Ample time for writing will be woven into the weekend.  The cost is $110 for the weekend (which includes three meals) plus the cost of a room at the Idlewyld.  Hold you spot with a $50 deposit and your desired room choice.   The deposit should be sent to Claudia Taller, Igniting Possibilities, 26408 Chapel Hill Drive, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


“Write when there is something that you know, and not before; and not too damned much after.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I recently attended a therapeutic and informative Mandala workshop at Unity Spiritual Center. We watched a film about the history and significance of Mandalas. The film showed Tibetan Buddhist monks making a beautiful Mandala with colored sand in a meditative state and the sand was later released into water to spread good feelings through the world. Because of the way mandalas quiet the mind, I try to make them available for people to explore during Igniting Possibilities events.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Word Lovers in Lakeside - It Was Lovely

We met Les Roberts and heard him talk about writing well. We hung out with other writers. We learned about word choice and how important the first page is and what poetry is. We wrote about where seagulls go when they die, early memories of our parents, and life's mistakes. We drank strong coffee, ate too many carbs in the form of peanut butter cookies and nut rolls, and shared stories over wine. We saw sunsets, took long walks, and rocked on the Idlewyld's porch walkers. We made new friends.

I can't wait until September 17-19. Our guest writer-in-residence is Deanna Adams, who runs retreats for women each winter and organizes the Midwest Writers Conferences. Come with us while we show how to inject life and energy into your non-fiction projects. Memoir, historical books, magazine writing, and personal essays are better when your passion for the subject shines through and you write what you have to say as only you can do it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So, You Wanna Write?

I'm conducting a retreat session at A Soulful Retreat for Women, Originally Inspired by Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" in Pipestem, West Virginia during the weekend of May 21-23, 2010. The workshop will encourage participants to find their own voice, and their own way, through writing, whether it’s a paying gig or for personal pleasure. Go to http://retreatwv2010.wordpress.com/"Create-A-Way" Women's ARTbundance™ Retreat for further information.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ancient Meditative Yoga

At Igniting Possibilities retreats, I do a series of simple standing poses, emphasizing the breath, balance, and focus, because the participants are usually new to yoga. During my morning yoga practice at home, I do a number of sun salutations, adding variations for half an hour or so, then I move into a balancing pose like tree or dancer before settling into savasana for final relaxation. Yoga should be physically challenging, encourage balance and focus, and be a continuous meditation that calms the mind by being focused on the poses and the breath. Yoga has given me physical strength, harmony, mind-body connection, and serenity. Its ancient wonders have no equal. I like to share my yoga experience with others.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Join writers Les Roberts and Claudia Taller for a weekend of playing with words, learning the elements of a good story, exploring the poetic voice in fiction and non-fiction, and participating in critique sessions. The porches of the Idlewyld B&B in Lakeside, Ohio’s Chautauqua on Lake Erie’s Shore, await you. With fourteen rooms, eleven baths, two front porches, and located at 350 Walnut Avenue on Marblehead Peninsula (www.idlewyldbb.com/), the Idlewyld is the home away from home for Word Lovers Retreats. Weekend rates range from $180 for a shared room with a shared bath to $325 for a private room with a private bath. Contact Claudia Taller at ctallerwrites@wowway.com or 440-554-6406 for information on room availability and the cost for one person or the cost for two to share. Saturday-only fee is $75. Don’t delay--REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 23, 2010.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Igniting Possibilities

On February 6, from Noon until 5, I facilitated CARING FOR THE AUTHENTIC SELF, A Retreat of Renewal and Awakening, at North Olmsted United Methodist Church,. Nurturing the spirit is increasingly important in a world of distractions. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God, and requires authenticity. We began by exploring gratitude through meditation and prayer. Next, we flowed into standing-pose yoga before we ate a healthy lunch. Creativity exercises and reflective journaling opened our hearts and allowed us to envision life's possibilities. We listened to the dreams and life goals of others and shared our own—when the words are spoken, they take on significance.

A Winding Road - Writing

My photo
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.