A Storyteller’s Retreat
I love a good surprise, but as I contemplated this week’s prompt, I honestly wondered what a form a freeing surprise might take. I felt stuck and unsure about what to write. Too many things floated through my mind but none stuck around long enough to capture on paper – or the computer as the case might be.
Then it hit me. Surprise! You’ve just won the help of a professional organizer for as long as it takes to get all your files in order, your house sorted out and things purged. Too often I feel like I spend more time looking for something than actually using it. I have family history items, story ideas started but the files are here, there and all over the place. I know it needs to all be organized and part of that process is making tough decisions of what needs to be kept and what to let go of. How can I figure out good storage solutions that allow easy access to necessary and fun items? Doing it alone seems overwhelming. This daunting task will be easier with help.
Organizing everything covers half the surprise announcement. The second part is a week-long, all expenses paid writer’s retreat. It does not need any formal sessions or even any other writers attending, although that would be great as well. I have ideas for stories, blog posts, meditations, and family stories that are begging to be written. More ideas than time to do them — or so I tell myself. Maybe the procrastination bug just bites harder at some moments in time.
I visualize a cabin in the woods, its front porch overlooking a secluded lake but then I realize I would want it to be where it had Wi-Fi connection so I could research subjects online. Maybe the first picture of seclusion offers the least distractions. I would need to take my computer since I like to type the pieces directly on to it, but I would also take a journal and pretty coloured pens.
I imagine sunshine sparkling on the water, inviting me to take an occasional break for a walk in the water or along the beach. A lawn chair, journal and pens might spark more creativity too. Yet most of the time I would work on writing, editing and planning the next part of this adventure as a storyteller. Everyday interruptions of laundry, appointments and meal preparation could be put on hold – out of sight and out of mind for a few days.
Simple meals to warm up, veggies, fruit and nuts to snack on and maybe a treat or two to reward hard work each day would suffice – nothing fancy and nothing that took time to make. How many of those ideas would find their way to completion by the end of that week.
The last part of the surprise – the icing on the cake, so to speak, would be three or four days of concentrated effort in marrying my photos and scrapbook supplies; it would also include actually getting finished pages into the correct books and in order. Maybe the organizer needs to come at the end of this session for one more bit of work.
My surprise holds no huge life-altering plans, no earth-shaking decisions or changes but it would offer me the opportunity to check off some necessary to do items like the purging and organizing. The retreat to write and scrapbook would relieve some pressure to create in the midst of everyday life with its challenges, opportunities and tasks. I could breathe a sigh of relief as I corralled ideas into stories which could later find their proper home – whether published or for family. The family memorabilia, photos and stories would be preserved for future generations and research for books or stories would then be easily found.
Surprise! The announcement comes with the promise of help to organize and time to be creative with stories. What a delightful time I would have and reach the other end refreshed to take on future challenges as a storyteller.
Written by: Carol Harrison; Carol’s Corner