Sunday, July 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.

3 comments:

  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!

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  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)

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  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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