Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

Elephant Rock Summer Solstice Retreat for Writing and Yoga

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Breathe ~ Create ~ Transform

Elephant Rock Summer Solstice Retreat for Writing and Yoga

June 16 – June 21, 2013
Beautiful and Secluded Stout’s Island Lodge, Wisconsin

Be ignited by summer’s fiery muse. Be challenged and inspired … and laugh – a lot! – while becoming a fertile ground for creativity as you tap into the energy of the summer solstice.

Writing workshops guided by Jeannine Ouellette
Yoga and meditation guided by Maria Toso

ALL are welcome, regardless of previous experience with writing or yoga!

“Summer is a festival of this inner fire/power, the power that makes abundance and nourishment grow from tiny seeds. The power that brings things to fulfillment, and expands and brightens our lives….” ~ Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw, Celebrating the Great Mother

Elephant Rock Retreats for Writing and Yoga are transformative, designed specifically to help you leap over that edge of doubt, where new things come from. The retreats combine two powerful heart-opening activities in innovative ways and in beautiful, inspiring natural settings. Whether you are striving to finish a manuscript, deepen your yoga and meditative practice, overcome writer’s block, or feed your starving inner artist, Elephant Rock retreats are for you. Beginners will find a safe haven in which to experiment, and advanced devotees of either or both art forms will discover a refreshingly challenging environment in which to push through blocks and reach new levels of insight.


Brilliant, non-linear, inspiring: Jeannine Ouellette is a masterful teacher and her workshop was the most fun and creatively liberating writing class I’ve ever experienced. And who could pass up writing and yoga in a beautiful, secluded setting. Sign me up!

–Eric Utne, publisher, educator, author, and social entrepreneur; founder of Utne Reader and founding publisher and editor of the New Age Journal, past workshop participant



Do, or Do Not

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

I’ve signed up for National Novel Writing Month thinking I might respond well to the power of competition and a compressed deadline to produce the basic material for a novel (finally). And guess what? My novel is clipping along nicely because I know exactly what it is about and have already figured out how the plot breaks down and reassembles itself.  I feel like I know who these characters are, why they’re behaving as they are, and why they matter.

Still, why would I do this crazy thing, signing up for National Novel Writing Month? I’m already working full time and trying to polish off a degree. But that’s just it. As a working writer, I produce a minimum of 5,000 polished words a week, often more. By the time I’ve done that, it’s not easy to turn my attention to a voluntary creative writing project. To successfully complete National Novel Writing Month, I need only to complete 1,500 or so words each and every day of November. Not polished words, though, just words. Huge difference in terms of time required.

Really, should 1,500 words of daily dreck be so hard? I don’t think so, though I’d never do it without the pressure. Who’s got the time?

Time is the clincher for me (and for everyone else, which is partly why some smart people created this competition, to help us all overcome that). This 30-day challenge offers a compelling (and if you choose, public) reason to make time to write a novel, however dreadful the “novel” may be. Yes, I can  produce 50,000 words in 30 days  if someone gives me a deadline–so thanks, NaNoWriMo.

Once I have the raw dreck of 50,000 or more words, I can make that dreck into a book. Hopefully, a publishable one. That’s a possibility I  feel kind of rosy about, even in these dismal times. After years of polishing material of all types, I’ve learned that for me, polishing is not the hard part. Mass production is the hard part. My own “un-owed  to anyone” creative words are the mountain. Climb that mountain … and arrive, or something like that. Art comes later.

Yoda told me, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

I think I will do, thanks to this push.