When the pilot announced that the weather in Seattle was sixty-five degrees and rain, the parched cells in my skin and lips shouted hallelujah for the impending moisture and coolness. Though I didn’t mind leaving behind the heat and zero humidity of Phoenix, I was sorry to have my tour come to an end. I had traveled no farther than the Mogollon Rim, yet I had visited cities, parks and manors beyond compare at the ANWA retreat.
I hope you won’t mind if I share my travel pictures with you. I have them right here—my mental snapshots of the retreat. They include:
- Anna and Kay reciting poetry
- Becky and Mischa’s class on plot—new for me: start with a setting
- Lorna’s admonition about critiques—remember, two positives first
- Marsha’s class on dialogue—thanks for the reminder about if a quote runs two paragraphs, don’t close the quote at the end of the first
- Sheri’s joyful dedication to her fitness program. Go Sheri! You are an example to us all
- Becky and Mischa introducing me to letterboxing. I tucked that away to use sometime in a plot
- Listening to Cindy play the harp—just the right touch for a heavenly weekend
- Connie playing the piano whilst ably carrying the lead as we worked our spontaneous way through the hymnbook
- Anna’s class on poetry and my reacquaintance with “On His Blindness”
- Watching Julia and Sisiley engage in the process, and understanding that the force for good in future literature is in capable hands
- Watching the faces of the sisters as they talked about their work: Marsha’s scene about the runaway wagon, Betsy’s solution to the identity problem, Joan’s intriguing Book of Mormon premise, Connie’s romance that began at the fifteen-items-or-less grocery line, Terri’s mystery about the runaway, Gertrude’s journey to empowerment, Theresa’s re-worked intro about the evil in the shadows, Lorna’s Seattle murder mystery
- Ina with her birding binoculars and her joy in caring for the earth
- The generous, thoughtful and invaluable critique Connie and Becky gave to my class.
- Karen Beals looking like a serene Madonna
- Melinda and Cindy giggling far into the night and being hushed by the teenagers
The snapshot I will carry with me in the wallet of my heart is the one from the balcony on Friday night. Mindful of my body’s rebellious nature when deprived of rest, I went to bed a little past ten. As I looked down on the hardy Writer-Owls collected in several groups, I could hear the murmur of multiple manuscripts (how about that for alliteration?) being read aloud to one or more attentive listeners. Other W-O’s were hunched over laptops or notebooks, furiously plying their craft. Before I went to sleep, I gave thanks for the privilege and honor of participating with such dedicated, gifted, and charitable women, my ANWA sisters.
Edited to add two more snapshots.