What do you get when you combine a plus-sized city girl, a ranch in the boonies, a sneaky horse named Sky and a free wheeling golf cart? I’ll tell you what you get: a writer’s retreat worth remembering.
A few weeks ago I took a road trip to Red Oak, Texas which consisted of 6.5 hours of me singing along (horribly) to Adele and Kirk Franklin. I arrived at Shooting Star Ranch & Retreat slightly hoarse and ready to get my write on.
But that didn’t happen. I think I wrote approximately two pages the whole weekend. Instead, I whiled away the weekend chatting with the ladies from the best writer’s group in Texas. We talked about everything from race relations to crazy exes to pimps in pepto-bismal pink cars camped out in the suburbs. And of course we discussed publishing industry trends, our current works in progress, etc. It was all kinds of real and I loved every minute of it.
When I wasn’t running my mouth, I took a tour on the ranch’s golf cart. Never mind the fact that I’d never driven one before in my life and that I’m directionally challenged. Did I get myself in a situation where I needed to reverse and didn’t know how? Yep. Did I get turned around and almost end up in a ravine? Yep. Did I attempt to outrun a horse in a gold cart? Yes. Yes, I did.
It was a weekend of firsts for me. I roasted marshmallows over an open fire and touched a horse for the first time in the entirety of my life. I told you I was a city girl. I discovered that I like the idea of ranches, horses, pitch black starry nights and whatnot, but the reality of them freaks me all the way out. I’ll leave that to my rom-com books and movies, thank you very much.
My greatest take away from the weekend was how refreshing it was to have a change of scenery. It did wonders for my creativity and spending time with like-minded individuals was rejuvenating. Writers are a unique group of people. A hilarious, broad thinking, intuitive, life loving bunch that I’m proud to be counted among!
When’s the last time you did something for the first time? Are you a nature lover in theory (like me) or in practice? What’s your writer’s or book club group like? What do you love most about being apart of it?
7 thoughts on “Late Post: Ranches, Horses and…Me?????? #WritersRetreat”
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I’m a country girl and I STILL don’t like the outdoors! No, ma’am! Sounds like you had a great time and got inspired, which is always terrific. Were you singing Adele’s new song, Hello? Have you heard Joe’s rendition of the song? I can’t figure out which version I like better; Adele or his. Crazy!
We’re on the same page with that outdoor life Quanie. It’s for the birds. Literally.
I was singing her 21 album. The entire thing…badly, lol. I hadn’t even heard Hello at that point, but of course I LOVE it! I checked Joe out, and his version is good, but for me it’s hands down Adele all.day.long. And here’s why: she puts her heart and feelings into every note. It’s just laid there bare and raw and ugly and beautiful. That’s why I love her.
Gurl! I love that you went to a Writer’s Retreat and FULLY embraced the rustic atmosphere. (I have shunned anything less than camping in a hotel since I was a Junior Girl Scout. Do you know they took us camping and there was NO running water?! We had to use latrines. Scarred me for life. All that to say, my hat is off to you my friend.) To answer your question, I too am a nature lover in theory.
I love the thought of being near nature and God’s green earth. But then there’s bugs, mosquitoes and the like. I think that’s why I love books so much. You can enjoy the imaginary outdoors from the comforts of your coach:-). And thanks for the intro to the Writer’s Block, just visited their website. So awesome.
I’m scarred just hearing about a ‘deblish’ latrine! Sad to say I’m going to have to Google what one is…I’m thinking it’s some sort of traumatizing toilet. I wants no part of it!
I’m so glad you checked out Writer’s Block! It’s hard to find a writers group that is particularly geared towards African-American women writers, which is why I’m still a member even though I live out of state. I haven’t taken advantage of the conference call critiques like I should have this year, but they’re truly fabulous. If you want to participate in the next conference call, email me and I’ll give you the details. Non-members get to sit in/submit work to be critiqued one time to see if it’s something they like.
Okay, I will admit to being a nature in reality kind of girl, up to a point. I stop at no running water or electricity. Glad you enjoyed the retreat. I did too! I agree that a change of scenery does the creative body good. I’m looking forward to the next break from reality. Oh and very impressive to pen a poem on break. I’m truly amazed.
I’m looking forward to the next retreat too Ann!
I’ll admit that I amazed myself a little bit with that poem too 😉 I still have the rough draft in my purse, and plan to revisit this week to see if it’s as good as I think it is. Then, of course I’ll share it.