Last Weekend, at Writing Camp…

July 3, 2014

This post is LONG overdue–Ultra Marathon-length overdue. Nevertheless, with a genuine heart, abiding determination, and an appropriate amount of “delay shame” I present Update #8, a reminder of a thing you may have forgotten you contributed to–as well as the outstanding invitation to take advantage of the “Kick-in-the-A** Starter” Money Back Guarantee…(*backed by the good faith of the Canadian Looney)–and finally, insight into what I’ve been up to.

Spotlight on Big Sur Beauty

Big Sur, California. A person can see photos of a place of stunning beauty and think, “Geez, that sure is puuurdy…”, but not until the sight of it–the stimulation of the optic nerve and the brain colliding in perfect harmony–does the “awe factor” strike the soul. As I made my way westward in 10, then 5-hour chunks of driving at a time, (stopping, for all you Facebook Foto Fanz out there, at a disturbing number of Dairy Queens), I felt like an old “Land of Milk and Honey” migrant, headed west to something better; headed west to something inspirational via the swift wheels and stick-shifting prowess of Argento, the Fiat 500.*

I was on my way to a writing workshop called “Jump-Start Your Memoir: Write it From the Heart”, led by Nancy Slonim Aronie, a woman even more raw, real, and incredible than I’d imagined. What’s interesting is when I was first made aware of this magical place, Esalen, it was for a different workshop. But, since things work out as they should, that workshop was full. So, after 1,313 miles and “more than one” delicious Blizzard treat, I arrived–not with the expectation that this workshop would generate the rest of the material I need to finish my book, not to meet an agent who would whisk me and my book away towards publishing bliss and instant success, not even to write about what I need to write about–my most life-changing year–but to gain inspiration; to get a snippety-boost of “Hey, you can actually write, kid”; to feel out whether to keep going or to become a plumber.

I gained that and more…

What I experienced, true to her description, was an environment of complete safety and total encouragement. In fact, the only “rule” required of our 20-some workshop participants was to vow to only offer up praise. “No criticism–period.” The result? Not comments like, “Umm…yeah, Sally, I thought your use of the word ‘the’ was, yeah–um…dead on.” Nope. The result was a roomful of every single individual creating outstanding work. Words and phrases and sentences of depth and humor and raw emotion. The result was comments about each others’ work that were sincere without hesitation or reservation because the work was that good. 

“Susan, I wouldn’t change a word. It was gorgeous writing.” 

All I can say is we need more of that in our lives–praise, positivity, and prose. So get at it, and so will I. It’s gonna be good.

I'll Cross That Bridge When I Get to It

I’ll Cross That Bridge When I Get to It

*34 mpg highway, by the way, and it’s NOT a hybrid and yes, I’m gloating.

One Response to “Last Weekend, at Writing Camp…”

  1. John Buffaloe Says:

    I would not have thrived nor been understood in this environment.

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