Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Bad Case of Writer's Camp

Having never been to camp as a kid, I didn't know what it might do to a person, but as I described my symptoms to the wife, who spent several summers learning camp songs and tying knots, she said that's what camp does to you--bonding, escape, reverie, general yearning to go back after the end of it all.

That's my case after having returned from Shadowcliff Lodge, in Grand Lake, Colorado, just south of Rocky  Mountain National Park, where the air is fine and the sky is clear, and where the Lighthouse Writers Workshop holds its annual Writers Retreat.  I'd never been on a writer's retreat, either, so it was all new and wonderful and I dived in and felt like a duck IN water.

For six days, from July 15 to July 20, I had an infusion of what writers in South Dakota don't seem to have found the formula for, a few days of learning, sharing, and writing that would lift the top of your skull, make you cry laugh and cry at the same time, and help you realize once again that writing is what people do, and it may seem like magic, but it's work, and craft, and imagination, all stewing in a mental pot.

My circle of friends has grown, and my circle of writer friends has exploded.  Thank you, Lighthouse people.  You rock.

Here's a happy little tidbit from the "top-secret" Lighthouse Blog:
This year the quality of the work was incredible. Each reader wowed and moved the audience. Each piece deserves to be published.
I do not exaggerate here.
Our emcee for the readings is J. Diego Frey, who should go on his own comedy tour. Or maybe fill in for David Letterman next time he’s on vacation. He’s witty and strange and odd and hilarious. (Last year he wore inflatable moose antlers. This year he was costumeless.) The copious humor was needed, as several of the readers—Laurie Sleeper, Martha Scherzer, Meg Nix, John Holley, Jo Harkins, John Nelson, and Laura Bond in particular—left us wrung out. The weeping was prodigious and unrepentant. (Pass the Kleenex people!) Yet each was a story that needs to be told, and we were given a gift in hearing them.
That’s the power of literature and writing, isn’t it? To bring us joy, to bring us to our knees, to bring us together.
I'm happy to be mentioned in such fine company.

No comments: