Jul 22, 2007

End of the Tour

By Liz Adair

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.


  1. Thank you for sharing those treasured snapshots, Liz. I experienced my own memory flashbacks of retreats in the past and realized how deeply I missed attending this year. Funny, up until now I hadn't really felt any sadness about my inablility to attend, which surprised me. I recognize that it was a blessing that helped me know where the Lord wanted me to be. Now that the baby is here safe and sound, RS duties attended to, and my brother and father-in-law are out of the hospital, I have a little time to reflect. I sorely miss being able to attend, but I feel blessed with having made the best choice. So...let's hear it for next year! I can hardly wait!

  2. Liz,

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful snapshots with us! The tour sounded delightful and inspiring, and made me wish I was there with all of you. Maybe someday I can join you... (wistful sigh)

  3. Thank you for the synopsis and your sparkle. You added so much to my enjoyment of the retreat. And, you don't have to worry about my Grand Canyon jaunt. I survived in good shape, feeling younger, stronger, and more determined. Even though I got preciou little sleep in Christopher Creek Friday night, lying awake talking with Joan until three in the morning, then getting up at six anyway. It's been a glorious month--a reunion, a retreat, and a hike. Good friends, good activities, and good health. What more could one want?


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