CJ Carmichael

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Writing With Bears

Just back from a five day writing retreat with authors Jane Porter and Barbara Dunlop. We’ve traveled to Banff, Kelowna and Saltspring in the past for our retreats. This time we headed to Whistler and indeed there were bears! Jane was out for a walk when she came almost nose to nose with a black bear munching on spring greenery. She then had the fastest sprint ever back to our townhouse! Barb tried to send her back to get a photo, but she wouldn’t do it. So I had to publish this photo of us at the Fairmont instead:

whistler 2011
After ourTea
So what gets accomplished on a writer’s retreat? Well, for the three of us, there was sharing of pages and ideas, brainstorming plots and careers, and, amazingly, not as much consuming of wine and chocolate as usual. (But yes, there was some of that!)

I brought along a writer’s retreat “kit” with ideas for making the most of the occasion. Mostly we giggled through ideas such as: “create an altar,”  “ring meditation bells,” “consult an oracle.” We decided that for us, success as writers comes from  not giving up, from putting in the sweat and the hard work, from acknowledging that good writing and good storytelling is never easy–no matter how many books you have under your belt.

And speaking of books under the belt…we were amazed to realize that between us we have almost 100 books published…this in the span of the twelve years since we first met as unpublished writers at a Singletree Conference in Victoria.

So, now it’s back to real life and planning the next retreat…

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