Friday, August 22, 2014

Home from Highlights

There's nothing like a cozy cabin, tasty food, and good friends to get you in the writing spirit! 

I'm back from my "Unworkshop" at the Highlights Foundation and it was just what I needed to reconnect with my writing.  This was my third visit to the retreat center in Pennsylvania, but my first "Unworkshop."  As I mentioned in my last post, I became writing buddies with the other participants at the prior Highlights workshops I attended.  A few of us decided the "Unworkshop" would be the perfect opportunity for a mini-reunion.  We weren't quite sure what to expect, but we found the "Unworkshop" to be just as amazing and inspiring as our past retreats. 

The staff was warm and friendly and made us feel right at home.  I knew I was in for a great visit when I saw the welcome sign on my cabin.

Since the "Unworkshops" don't have a structured schedule (apart from meal times--but who would want to skip those?), that leaves ample time for writing and wandering the neighboring woods.  My cabin had a comfy desk with ample room for all my tools and a lovely view.  

It was so nice to have space to write and illustrate while being inspired by squirrels skittering across my porch.  Or listening to crickets chirping outside my window late at night, since I often work looooong after everyone else has gone to bed.  (Which I probably shouldn't, since this often happens:)

I'm happy to say it was quite a productive few days!  (Erm, apart from that that late-night gibberish...)  The past year has been very busy, and my manuscripts have been pushed to the back burner.  If you've been following my blog, you'll know the loss of my furry ferret muses, Link and Butters, has also made it difficult to work on my novel, "Pirate Ferret."  It was great to reacquaint myself with my stories and characters, and remember why I love writing.  I was even inspired to draw some ferrety sketches.

The food was just as delicious as my past visits, and we were all excited to see what sort of yummy dishes each meal would bring.  (Zucchini Fritters?  Yes, please!)  Meals were shared with the other "Unworkshoppers," and it's always a treat to meet new writers.  There's never a dull moment when creative folk get together, from chats on craft to lengthy discussions on zombie turkeys!

Of course, the best part of the trip was catching up with my old writing buddies.  We had a blast, if you couldn't tell from our giddy faces below.

The "Unworkshop" was over all too soon, but I very much hope to return to Highlights again the future.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I only need five to summarize my experience:

Photos are (c) me, Kathryn Powers.  You can learn more about the Highlights Foundation and all their amazing workshops at:

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