I just spent a lovely, productive weekend at Spring Thaw, a retreat organized and facilitated by Ruth E. Walker and Gwyn Scheltema of Writescape.
The Venue: Elmhirst Resort on Rice Lake near Keene, Ontario. http://elmhirst.ca, a comfortable old resort complete with separate cottages, a salt-water pool, a work-out room and a masseuse with “magic fingers”( so I am reliably informed}
We had two dinners and a fabulous brunch, the latter worth the drive. Elmhirst has a deserved reputation for its expansive dessert table.
Ruth and Gwynn generously catered the rest of our meals in their cottage where the conversation ranged from the progress of the writing, to the business of publishing to the merits of George Clooney as an actor.
They gave us unfettered time to write and think and walk, talk if we chose, to other writers, or silence to listen to the lake and the birds.
Each of them blue-pencilled ten pages of work for each of us and one-on-one, invaluable sessions that combined encouragement and critique.
The other writers: a range from the never-published to the soon-to-be published to those making a living by their pen. The most extraordinary voices emerged from unexpected people.
This was my second retreat with Ruth and Gwynn. It won’t be my last.