Page 26

married in 1928 and there she kept them, only wearing them on her travels to exotic places. My mother took them many times to Europe and now it was my turn to show the slippers my own experiences. So picking up the sole I headed the few paces back to my room where I tossed it behind the door. Aha! I found the closet hiding behind the door I still had not closed. I hung up my coat, stepped out of the closet and headed back to the kitchen where we were all gathering to get to know each other. I had to laugh. Within the first hour of setting foot inside a converted cloister I had lost my “soul” and come out of the closet! This was going to be an interesting and educational weekend. While returning from breakfast the first morning the other sole peeled off my slipper. My father had originally glued them on to protect the slippers many decades and countries ago. Perhaps he and my maternal grandmother were trying to let me know they were with me, my father having been educated by the nuns in Holland and my grandmother by the nursing Sisters at the Providence Hospital in Seattle, Washington. There are many interesting areas of the retreat to explore and I even found a basket of marbles in the main vestibule. The one I was drawn to, and borrowed, was graphite in colour but when held up to the light proved to actually be green. Green like the healing of nature, or the weeping willow outside my window, and grey like graphite to write with, shiny Fall 2015 ◆ WordWorks ◆ Page 24

like a mirror reflection. I have placed it under one of our bonsais at home - a reminder of this weekend, a reflecting ball in miniature. Hopefully my replacement marble will inspire someone else. Sleep came easily the first night and the next morning arrived all too soon. After we finished a delicious breakfast we proceeded to our first workshop. Lois walked us through character development, exposing us to the reasons characters have particular personality traits and how those traits are manifested. We then learned how we can apply that information to make our characters jump off the page and into the reader’s world. Our second workshop was physical. Ben coached us in proper breathing techniques and exercises so that when we read our stories and poems our voices would be strong yet full of just the right amount of emotion. There is no excuse not to project our voices and enunciate clearly, no point in reading a great story if the audience is unable to understand it. Implementing our newly learned techniques we then read story excerpts and poems to the group. After a scrumptious lunch George went through the stages and requirements for writing a script or play and Lois taught the development of the voice in our writing. The meals at Rosemary Heights Retreat Centre were fantastic and dinner never failed to please. After our evening repast four of us got together to write. Someone would name an item or make up a sentence and we would have to write for a set period of time. Of course we shared everything we wrote and our sides were aching from laughter when we headed to bed. Saturday morning Lois taught us about point of view and how by changing the teller of the story, and thus the perspective, a stronger more interesting piece could evolve. Ben led us through the process of writing a query letter and an opening sentence, the most important introduction to your writing. After lunch George discussed the history of computer programming and the benefits of digital publishing. In our final workshop Lois demonstrated how to write so the reader could actually see what we intended to convey, and how to delete needless words. This was the first retreat I ever attended and I now understand why they tend to book up early. By the way, if I had wanted I could have spent the entire time in my room working on my book - time well spent for some -but I was there to learn and that I certainly did! I look forward the FBCW’s next Writer’s Retreat.

Profile for WordWorks Magazine

Wordworks Fall 2015  

WordWorks Fall 2015 issue was devoted to the ideas of retreats and readings, with many thoughtful and engaging articles, and a whole new des...

Wordworks Fall 2015  

WordWorks Fall 2015 issue was devoted to the ideas of retreats and readings, with many thoughtful and engaging articles, and a whole new des...

Profile for fbcw
Advertisement