Sunday, June 6, 2010

Writing, castles, and wildlife

My first of four days at a writer's workshop at Glen Eyrie Castle, in Colorado Springs. There are about 68 humans and abundant wildlife on the grounds - several bighorn sheep and a black bear.

We are encouraged to stroll around the beautiful grounds and let the scenery inspire us... and the wildlife too, apparently. As a writer that loves fairytales and fantasy, several days at a castle in the mountains surrounded by rose gardens and wildlife is about idyllic as I could imagine.

I am surprised that for such a small group, there are people from all over the country - and Canada, as well. We have four distinguished authors and get to choose one as our mentor and they will work with us and our stories for the next three days, such as trouble-shooting plot structure, developing characters, settings, etc. Many creative exercises are promised.

Living in a small town with a writer's group that only meets sporadically, it is so wonderful being surrounded by other writers who speak the same language (e.g. I can talk about my issues with character arc and they knowingly nod their heads instead of staring at me like I'm an three-legged alien with purple acne.)

In my darker moods, I sometimes think of writers (ahem, myself) as a sort of wildlife on the fringe of civilization, sometimes gawked at, more often ignored, occasionally considered pests. This workshop feels like a wildlife refuge for me, at the moment.

Where do you find refuge?


  1. SO happy for you that you get to do this! At a castle, no less! I just came home from a writing retreat on a nearby island. It was wonderful. We had a view of the water, a beach to walk on, and lots of open time to just write write write. It was heaven! I'm excited to hear more about your workshop. Enjoy!

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  3. Oh my gosh, it's gorgeous! And I'm so envious. Do they do this annually? My brother lives in Colorado Springs, and I could consider this in the future. ;)

    This is going to sound hokey, but I find refuge in myself. When I can fall into the quiet space of creativity and follow my voice, I feel it.

  4. "Purple acne"? Isn't that a little much? Think of all those male literary writers posing with their pipes in hand. (The tobacco kind.)

  5. How wonderful! I hope you get tremendously inspired and enjoy yourself.

  6. Sounds wonderful! Enjoy the time. :)

  7. That sounds like a wonderful workshop, and that castle is gorgeous! I'm glad it's going so well for you, it is nice to be surrounded by other people who "get" what you're talking about.

  8. Molly - an island! that sounds like my next writing retreat!

    Janna -yes it is an annual event. Not a traditional conference though with agents and editors, more of an extended workshop. google Glen Eyrie writers for more info. Liked your answer about your refuge - in yourself. That got me thinking.

    Kay, ah yes the venerable male writers with their wise pipes. I'm sure they didn't start out that way though!

    Karen, Janet, Susan - thank you for stopping by and leaving a note. I'll be visiting y'all soon via blogger... after the workshop.

  9. Oh wow! THis place is great looking! I am in love with the picture of it. What a wonderful opportunity you have! Take me next time!LOL

  10. Wow, I didn't know castles existed in Colorado. That would be an inspiring place. I can't wait to read more about the conference.

    I take refuge in books. :D

  11. Wow, you're making me long for the days I lived in Colordo! Such beauty was (almost) wasted on me then, because I wasn't writing.

    How wonderful for your writing that you get to do this! Let us know how it goes! :)

  12. That's a beautiful place to have a workshop at.

    Because I write YA, I feel most comfortable at SCBWI conferences and at my crit group, which focuses on children's, MG and YA. Before that, I didn't feel like my writing aspirations and style were understood.

  13. Dang! That place looks so amazingly cool. I'd be jealous, but I'm sure you earned the chance to be there. Good for you!

    Please post more pictures of that gorgeous place--especially the bighorn, it's the species I did my Master's thesis on. I've soft spot for them, to say the least. Oh, and I suppose the loads of things you learned are important to know about too. :o)

  14. it was so nice to meet you at G.E. now i'm glad to have found your blog.



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