Brains, Butterflies, and Writers’ Retreats

By Anne K. Kaler

Anne Kaler Head ShotWhat do writers do when they are not writing?

Read? Do housework? Twiddle their thumbs? Get in trouble?

While all these solutions are possible, many writers enjoy a day to allow their creative muses out to play in the fresh country air with a like-minded group of writers. And what better place to let the muses frisk and scamper about than in an Upper Bucks County writer’s retreat.

Very often, our muses are like frightened butterflies which resist our efforts to capture and control them. While we work on one written work, the muses flicker in the corner of our eye, tempting us with new ways of saying something or seeing something.

If we try too hard to capture them, they flit away, so that the best way to entice them into our mind-trap often is to ignore them or distract them until we can throw our retentive memory net over them. Once caught and studied, these muse-butterflies can become worthy new projects.

The writing part of our brain often needs a day off, so to speak, a day where someone else is in charge. The PSB Writers Guild provides that with our four editors who guide the critiquing of our members’ work in a constructive and encouraging way. Our purpose is to help writers improve and to reach their goals of publication. We meet in the Cultural Center at PSB House on the afternoons of the third Sunday of each month to read and share each other’s works. We invite anyone to join us there by calling Cindy Louden at 267-421-6203 for details.

But we are not the “only game in town.” We have found that a writing prompt on a new topic chosen by someone else can revive a tired brain. Add to that a new physical venue – one with acres of woods, streams, ponds and trails – and your muse can flit around amid the glories of a September walk. Or you can settle into a porch or inside room filled with inviting chairs, just begging to be used as seats of wisdom. To make the day even more stress-free is the promise of a continental breakfast and lunch buffet (prepared by someone else).

The best features of such a day, of course, are the other writers and their critiques of your writing. The personal advice on how to advance your manuscript into the right editor’s hands should prove invaluable since it will come from a professional writer.

Our Pearl S. Buck Writing Center and Writers Guild have been invited to participate in such a Writer’s Retreat on Saturday, September 16, 2017 in nearby Kintnersville, hosted by Donna Galanti and Margaret Grandinetti at their Millhouse Fall 2017 Writer’s Retreat.

So, consider joining your friends at this Writers’ Retreat to revitalize your writing muse, to learn some tricks of the writing trade/craft, and to enjoy the process of writing with other writers.

We hope to see you there.

PSBVA Writers Guild

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