Monday, August 7, 2017

Weekend Round-Up Part Two

The Secret Garden 
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

7th Annual Writing in the Garden (Writing Retreat) 
Recently I had an opportunity to participate in a unique writing retreat A Day of Writing in the Garden at the home of Bev Abear, writer and artist, Brainerd, MN. 
The retreat was facilitated by Candace Simar, award winning author and poet (on right) and her sister Angela Foster, writing instructor and author (on left). 
Candace Simar nurtures a passion for Minnesota History. She has published The  Abercrombie Trail Series: Abercrombie Trail , 2009, Pomme De Terre, 2010; Birdie, 2011, and Blooming Prairie, 2012. Birdie received the 2012 Spur Award for best juvenile fiction set in the west. She co-authored Farm Girls with her sister, Angela Foster, in 2013 and published Shelterbelts, 2015 and her most recent book Dear Homefolks, 2017 

Angela Foster holds an MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing) from Pine Manor College in Boston, MA. She teaches memoir at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN. Her work has been published in Poetry Midwest, Lake Country Journal, Dust and Fire, Minnesota Literature, Talking Stick, The Drum Literary Magazine and others. In 2013 she co-authored Farm Girls with her sister, Candace Simar.
The class was geared towards fiction and memoir writers. This year's writing retreat focused on How to Create Vivid Scenes Through the Use of Sensory Details. 
It was a day of learning on how to strengthen one's writing by 
  • Developing dynamic prose by showing versus telling
  • Incorporating sensory details when creating scenes
  • Using strong verbs 
  • Avoiding the use of thought verbs 
  • Building a scene by creating vivid images   
The meet and greet with other writers was supposed to be in Bev's lovely garden. She had worked days getting ready for us. Unfortunately, a steady all day rain kept us inside though did not dampen our spirits for literary conversations. Note it had not rained for weeks until the day of this gathering!
On a no rain day here is what her garden looks like-so tranquil.


What a wonderful energizing way to spend the day talking about books, writing and sharing ideas with other writers.
On my way out (in between the rain drops) I snapped one lovely flower picture from Bev's yard. 
As with all gatherings food plays a central part. Many brought treats to share. I figured my chocolate buttermilk brownies would make good soul food.

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