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October 16, 2017

INTO THE WORDS Recap: As Good As It Gets,
a Writer’s First Writers’ Retreat

By Sheila Arel Lowe

My introduction to LVW was on a FB post that advertised "Into The Words." I responded and asked if an avid reader who is an aspiring writer could attend. Gratefully the answer was YES!

I continue to look back on the day with fondness and the energy to begin writing. As I drove into the location of the retreat I was greeted with a smiling face, and a warm welcome. I was provided with all the information I needed to begin my day. The handout for the day had a variety of choices with sessions ranging from writing, to editing and publishing. There was a session on "Cranking out a Hit Song."

I got a chance to hear the important aspect of creating a "writing space" and we shared ideas on what that looks like for each person. One of the sessions talked about the 5 senses and how to work with our senses in creating a flow for writing. I learned I may not want to be drinking lemonade in the winter while I am trying to write a winter themed blog. We talked about writing persona, flow and how to make time to write.

Some Vermont authors who were present and available to sign their books were, Jerry Johnson who hosted the day at his home, Pat Edsen and Ted Tedford . Hearing authors share their journey with writing a book and having it edited and published was humorous and maddening at the same time.

One of the presenters, Amy Braun had a table set up with handmade bags from recycled material each bag had a used book in it that matched the theme of the bag. They were free for the taking. These bags added another level of conversation to the day.

We had a shared picnic lunch with an exchange of ideas. We talked about what brought us to the retreat and at this point and time in our lives with writing.

I briefly knew one person when I arrived and I made many new friends by the time I left. I now have resources, ideas and inspiration to begin my writing. I am looking forward to the "Wicked Wording" retreat on September 30th at the Old Labor Hall in Barre.

Oh..And we ended the day with Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream.


Sheila Arel Lowe is a Program Manager at the Howard Center in Burlington, Vermont. She has a BS in Humans Services/Criminal Justice from Springfield College. She is an avid reader with a fondness for VT authors. When she is not reading, Sheila spends her time hiking the green mountains, gardening (she has completed the Master Gardner program through UVM), and riding her bike on the LVRT. Sheila is new in the writer’s world and just starting to create her persona and make the time to do some fiction short-story writing. She had an article published in Green Prints Magazine, Spring 2013: Broken Trowel, Weeds Win Again. She lives in Morristown, VT with her husband, grandson and two cats.