Jul 6, 2013

ANWA Writers Retreat 2013

by Cindy R. Williams

I was blessed to attend the ANWA Writers Retreat 2013 - Southwest Area. And I really do mean blessed. These Retreats are always wonderful and this one was wonderful, no doubt about it. Hugs and warm fuzzies abound the first day as you meet dear friends once again, and by the time you leave everyone there pretty much becomes a family.

It is incredibly restorative to rub shoulders with incredibly talented, patient, supportive and kind women for three days and nights. There is nothing else like it on the planet.

Melinda Sanchez, our Southwest Region Representative, chaired the Retreat. She spent oodles of time collecting Hogwort's items including the sorting hat, costumes for all the main Harry Potter characters and life size posters and cut outs. Girls camp . . . move over! The food committee, consisting of Nikki Wilson and Heather Ramito, kept us all eating like Queens. The traditional Retreat sharing of all things chocolate and such was there with a poster above it that said, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good". It didn't disappoint with Mischa's and Becky's homemade Honeydukes chocolates and the Hagrid's Hash was delectable. The counter where it all sat nearly groaned at the weight of the goodies.  Now we Retreaters groan as we exercise it all off. Was it worth it, "Yes." Do it again? "Yes!"

The two classes taught by our very own ANWA President, Janette Rallison, and past ANWA President, Kari Pike, were great. Amazing ladies doesn't even begin to cover their gifts and talents. Thank you for preparing and sharing with us.

A very unusual field trip occurred on Wednesday. We car pooled to Tayler, AZ to Coppervale Studios owned by James A. Owen. The building's first life was as an LDS Church, now transformed into a whimsical studio for artists. James took us on a tour and spent several hours inspiring us. His brother, Jeremy Owen, also stepped in. James invited us back in 2014 in the evening to enjoy a starlight tour when the magic abounds and the trees are light up like a fairyland. Plan on it ladies!

By the way, we did write and write and write. We wore name tags with our names on one side and the other side was bright pink and said, "I'm in my writing zone. Leave me alone." If your bright pink sign faced out, obviously no one was to talk to you. It worked . . . most of the time anyway.

In fact, I personally finished an edit I had been working on since February's conference and pushed the "send" button at 11:35 PM Thursday evening. Retreat gives you that much needed time and space to write and lets your muse roam in the pine trees.

The theme for June 2014 is "Wizard of Oz" from the original Frank Baum called "The Wonderful Wizard of OZ"  and the Judy Garland movie made in 1930. Talk about possibilities. Retreat goers will be welcomed to the land of ANWA.

Back view of the cabin on FIVE ACRES

Dining room/Sun room

Hagrid's Hut

Welcome to Hogword's by Harriot Plotter

The ever wonderful Faith St. Clair - Photo Bombing my picture

The spiral staircase


  1. You are welcome. Wish you could have been with us. I missed having you there!

  2. Many thanks to all you great gals who put together a fabulous retreat. It was my first time back in several years, and while I missed several past attendees, I was not disappointed. Renewing old friendships and making new ones keeps adding strength to my confidence and writing skills. Great job ANWA! Thank you Cindy, too, for your kind words. hugs~


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