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Posts Tagged ‘The Sun Magazine’

Ok, I must stop doing everything else including trying to keep up with my blogger friends’ posts and write my own post.

“Into the Fire: The Sun Celebrates Personal Writing

To write about ourselves in a way that touches others and reminds them of our fundamental connectedness we must be willing to take a leap — with all our passion, fear, and longing — into the fire.”

What a great experience…meeting wonderful people, enjoying great food, and learning more about writing and the writing life.

The Front Porch by Ann Marquette

June 1st ~ about 4:45 pm I finally arrived at the Rowe Camp & Conference Center and parked in the gravel parking area by the Farmhouse where I had a bed in a dorm room upstairs.  The dorms had bunk beds, and thankfully I got there in time to get one of the lower bunks.  I love the entrance to the Farmhouse with a rocking chair front porch with rockers and a couple of benches.  Once in the front door there is a little foyer with two rocking chairs in front of a mural painted wall.

I went to the desk to register and as I looked to the right into the large room, like a big living room with a piano and a great fireplace.  Some of the attendees were already gathered with coffee in hand and chatting.  Once I dumped my bags on my bed I went down to join the others.

Of course I had to get a cup of coffee first.  As many of us milled around in the living room; a few out on the back deck and one or two walking around the property, there was a lot of networking and interesting conversation going on.  Then the hors d’oevres came out.  Most of us took a little plate and made our choices, which we enjoyed while we continued to chat.

Between 7 and 7:30 PM we were called into the dining room where we stood in a circle around the edges of the room.  The facilitator introduced herself and explained the process for the weekend, house rules, and where we would meet up after dinner.  We took our seats, wherever we wanted.  Then the chef and a couple of his helpers came out with the bowls and plates of food on trolleys.  The chef introduced himself and explained what was for dinner and finished with a cheerful “enjoy.”  This was done before each meal over the weekend.  Although they don’t serve any meat, poultry, or fish it didn’t matter.  The food was amazing.  It was all healthy and delicious.  Each meal included either homemade bread or muffins; and homemade desserts.

After enjoying the delicious food and conversations with those at our tables it was off to the Rug Room in another building, a short walk up the road.  This was the official opening session with a welcome message and orientation, contributors’ notes, and author reading.

Lovely Entrance Exit by Ann Marquette

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The Sun Magazine November 2011 cover

I first found The Sun at some friends’ home in Greenville SC while visiting last November. They were busy working on something, and on their coffee table was the November 2011 issue of The Sun. I had never heard of this publication before, so I was curious.

There on page 4 was the first piece I read…an interview with author Michael Meade. The title of this article by John Malkin, the interviewer,  caught my attention “Your Own Damn Life – Michael Meade On The Story We’re Born With” 🙂

I devoured this article and the message within spoke to my heart and soul.  I knew already I just had to have this magazine.  I read a couple other articles while my friends finished what they were doing.

But not long after I returned to my own house in Georgia I found The Sun Magazine website, which itself is great, and I ordered a subscription.

This magazine is for writers and all who love to read good articles, stories, and poetry…AND love a magazine which is ad free!  It is supported by subscribers and donations from those who like what this publication is about and its mission to remain ad free.

Check out this piece by one of its authors, Krista Bremer who attended the writers’ retreat/workshop I recently attended.  http://www.thesunmagazine.org/get_involved/help_support_the_sun/letter

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Artwork in the Garden at Rowe by Ann Marquette

Ok, I know, I am nine days late getting this out.  No valid excuse.  But, here I am finally posting more of my trip…in case anyone is still interested, and if nothing else, I write this for myself. 

Day 2
After selecting my breakfast choices from the hotel’s continental breakfast bar I ate in my room while watching some of the Today Show.  Then it was time to pack up, make my travel cup of Starbucks Italian Roast extra bold instant coffee for the road.

Destination this day was a hotel in Bear, Delaware for the overnight rest.  It was a long drive including through D.C., some toll booths, over bridges, and through a tunnel or two before arriving around 6:20pm.  As I entered the lobby there was a musty smell, and what smelled like body odor!  I wanted a first floor room, but told the hotel was booked out for the weekend (this was a Thursday evening), so my room was on the 3rd floor.  By the way, this hotel was not in a great area and the only visible nearby place to get a meal was across the highway.  If I had only arrived before 6pm I could have cancelled my booking at no cost.  So I had to stay there.  I got to my room and found it hot and smelly from the heat.  I had to turn on the AC full blast for it to cool down and get rid of the smell, which took about an hour.  I had hoped to relax that night by watching the season finale of Touch.  Wouldn’t you know, they were having issues with their cable and three of the stations were not working.  Of course, the one I wanted to watch was one of them.  Eventually I feel asleep on the little couch.

Day 3
This was the final day to reach the end of my 1,000 plus miles with many stops for potty breaks, stretching my legs, getting gas, and the occasional meal.  I am grateful to Laurie Buchanan’s blog Speaking from the Heart post about her favorite writing tool, her squishy buns.  http://holessence.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/squishy-buns-my-favorite-writing-tool/    It was just what I needed for such a long drive.  I went to www.gelcoproducts.com and purchased one of their Gel Seats.  What a great product.   It helped me to sit straighter and more comfortably.  And, for the first time after sitting in the car for long periods I did not feel stiff at all when I got out.

Yippee, this was the day to arrive at my real destination…the Rowe Camp & Conference Center in the Berkshire Mountains for the weekend writers’ retreat/workshop.  Registration was 4-7 PM on this Friday, June 1st.  With hors d’oeuvres starting at 6 PM I wanted to be there in time to get settled and join in the networking and snacks J  Do you think it was food on my mind?

I made it up the mountain, arriving at Rowe Camp & Conference Center just before 5 PM.

Entrance to Rowe Farmhouse by Ann Marquette

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As you now know, my Personal Time Away was not just retreating away from Facebook, my blog, and emails.  It was a literal journey to attend The Sun Magazine writers retreat in the Berkshire Mountains of Rowe, Ma.  I actually drove over 1,000 miles each way, dividing it up into three days.  Part of my reason for driving and taking my time was so I could stop along the way and visit a friend in North Carolina, and my cousin in Maryland.  I did stop overnight in Greenville, SC on the return journey.

I actually took a digital note recorder so I could record some details and my thoughts along the way. Now I can go back, listen to them and see if anything worth adding to my posts about this journey.

Wednesday morning, May 30th I packed up my 4Runner and headed out around 9am, with my cup of Starbucks.  It is a lovely sunny day with a few white clouds in the sky.  I prayed for a safe and easy drive; and I knew I had others praying for me during this journey.

Somewhere near 11:30 am I stopped off in Greenville SC where I filled up the tank at Sam’s Club for $3.06 a gallon.   Then I went to Whole Foods and got a light lunch, which I ate there before going across the street to get a Starbucks refill for the road.  Before starting off again I activated the GPS unit loaned to me by Denise from work.  I set the destination for the hotel address in Greensboro NC where I was staying over for the night.  This gave me the opportunity to visit Peggy, a dear lady friend who recently turned 92.

I arrived at the hotel late afternoon, checked in and asked the receptionist where she would recommend for dinner.  She told me Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill right next door was really good.  So off I went…and wow!  What a great restaurant, with unique decor and great food.

Then it was off to spend some time with Peggy.  We had not seen each other for a few years and although she now lives in assisted living and has some difficulty with memory she looks great.  She did remember me when I walked in and we had a very nice visit.  Such a sweet lady.  Wish I didn’t live so far away from her so I could visit more often.

That was day one of the journey.  Now on this day of writing it is late and time to close up for the night.

Darryl’s Table Ad by ann marquette

Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill by ann marquette

 

The Carousel Table by Ann Marquette

 

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My “Time Away for Personal Retreat”…

I was away from May 30th to June 6th to attend The Sun Magazine Writers’ Retreat (workshop) in Rowe, MA.  It was a great experience and I will write more about it over the next few days.

I worked Thursday and Friday in addition to doing some catch up on my to-do list. Yesterday I spent some time alone at my outdoor office/reading room (Starbucks next to Barnes & Noble).  I got back into the book “When the Heart Waits” by Sue Monk Kidd.  It was a nice break.

On the way back to the house I sensed a shift in my internal transitions and maybe a quieter me.  My mind went into a clear reality that yes I have a few friends here, but the huge hole for me…I have never felt at home in this place.  I do like and care for my friends here.  They are good people.  And the people I work with at my part-time job are wonderful.

Still, I wonder what’s next as I walk this path.

I notice God’s hand in my life in the changes taking place within me, and in various areas of my life.  I am calmer as I take each step along the path, and excited anticipating His next surprise for me. I am grateful for all His many blessings.

I look forward to recalling and sharing my nine day adventure with you.

Rowe Farmhouse by Ann Marquette

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