Nicies in Retreat
by LeAnne Hardy
Nineteen Niceies gathered May 1-3 for the first annual Minnesota Nice Writer’s Retreat. We met in the woods on a lake at Camp Lebanon, near Little Falls, Minnesota. No agenda. Just computers, fellow writers and of course, chocolate.
Friday afternoon Gabrielle Meyer organized sightseeing in her hometown of Little Falls. We toured the Linden Hill mansion of lumber baron, Charles Weyerhausser. Gabrielle filled us in on fascinating details since she spent part of her childhood on the estate as daughter of the caretaker. We've got lots of pictures you can see on our private Facebook page. Anyone writing early- to mid- twentieth century historical will definitely want to check it out.
The military museum was of top interest to Heather Edwards, writing World War 2.
Who hasn’t heard of Minnesota Native, Charles Lindberg? He too grew up in Little Falls. We didn’t have enough time to take in all the museum had to offer, but the Saxon Six automobile Lindbergh and his mom drove to California in1916 (backwards up the mountains to the gas would flow properly into the engine) is still in the garage and the kitchen floor still bares the axe marks of the boy Charlie’s attempts to find a warm spot to chop kindling.
Camp Lebanon was a lovely place to hold a retreat with en suite bathrooms and tea and coffee nearby. Dining hall food was fabulous, supplemented by ice cream sundaes, s’mores by the camp fire, cute little welcome favors designed by Julie Saffrin and, of course, general nibbles. The large room became a space to brainstorm, tell stories, display our books, snack, doodle in coloring books or play a version of Scrabble. Oh yes, and laugh a lot!
We relaxed by the water (still too chilly to actually swim.) Small groups walked in the woods, getting to know our fellow writers, and a few even bonded on the zip line. We wrote in our rooms or in quiet corners of the lounge, creating, outlining or editing. The comment made over and over was how great it was just to hang out with people who “get it.”
Were you there? Share in the comments what you accomplished or what you thought was the best part of the weekend (besides Gabrielle’s weird eye thing.) And don't forget to post your pictures on the private Facebook page.
5/3/2015 11:14:29 am
I'm glad it was great & expected it to be. I didn't know about the Gabrielle Meyer historic tour opportunity--maybe that kind of thing can happen again sometime. But this weekend there were three (count them) fabulous church confs. to choose between & I could only attend parts of 2. In the process I re-met a wonderful young man from Colombia I hadn't seen since he was age 3, and am amazed and blessed at the mature leadership that's his--made my month/year.
5/3/2015 04:20:53 pm
Thank you for the wonderful recap, LeAnne! It was so much fun to meet new friends, and get to know older friends better. It was my pleasure to bring everyone through some of my favorite sites in Little Falls--I only wish we had more time. I'm already looking forward to next year!!! (I also enjoyed sharing my eye talents.) ;)
5/4/2015 12:02:18 am
This is a great post LeAnne. I was privileged to be a part of the group. I got some great feedback on my WIP. It has helped immensely as I prepare for the week ahead with my writitng. It was great to come home and tell my hubby all about the weekend. He couldn't believe I actually did the zipline! ME EITHER!!! To think I did it TWICE! I will definitely be going again next year. I have a feeling the weekend will book up fast. Thank you to all of you for making it memorable. A delightful time indeed.
5/4/2015 11:27:15 pm
Wasn't the zip line fun?
5/4/2015 12:35:29 am
Thanks, LeAnne. A great write-up about a great weekend!
5/4/2015 03:37:02 am
Thanks for the great post, LeAnne! I loved getting to know all of you fellow writers and already can't wait for next year!
5/4/2015 07:13:35 am
I love the recap and the pictures. Sounds like a great time and wonderful tickler for going next year! It is so important for a writer to have time with others who "get it."
5/4/2015 12:11:42 pm
Great recap, LeAnne! And I love your pics!
5/4/2015 11:29:41 pm
Congratulations, Brenda. 80 pages! I was editing too. I loved taking breaks for meals with fellow writers and walks in the woods. And the zip line. I just can't figure out how to work that experience into a book set in the 16th c.
Comments are closed.