Mini Writing Retreat

It was a clean room with good snacks when we arrived...

Okay, this photo makes me laugh as it shows our an innocent writing retreat day can turn into a scene from Retreat of the Paper Monsters...

So, what's going on in this photo--

This is the very very end of the day.  We are having a glass of wine and those are my pretzel sticks near the rocking chair (classy...)  

The Mac on the floor is mine and the strips of paper are from one of our writing exercises. I cut up lines and images from Sylvia Plath's journal, mix them up, and as an easy final poem exercise, I hand them out in envelopes.  Basically, we rearrange them on the floor and try to make our own poem from them.  I think it may be one of my Surrealist Exercises from this book-- The Surrealist Book of Games.  Martha Silano clued me into this book.

That's Ronda Broatch on the couch with her laptop.  Annette (Spaulding-Convy) is to the side (her new book, In Broken Latin, is coming out this fall and I'll have more about that later.)  And Luna the cat is behind Ronda looking sneaky.

I basically ate all the Trader Joe's Pico de Gallo on the table, which I think I may be addicted to.  We have no sweets on the table since I gave them up for Lent, everyone was kind enough to bring foods that wouldn't damn me to hell, I mean, that aren't sugary.  Other foods we had were yogurt, deli meat, rice crackers, hummus, cheese, trail mix, nuts, and probably other food I've forgotten about.

The penny on the book was from another exercise where we each had to put a book on the floor and drop a penny on it.  Whatever line the penny landed on would be the first of our 3 stanza poem.  We'd write for 5 minutes then the next person would drop their penny on a book, and we'd write from that line for 5 minutes.  It's kind of weird, but offers a bit of surprise to our writing.

I lost count of how many poem-starts we got, but in the end, I have at least 3 poems I'm going to continue working on.

We were there from 9 am until 6:45pm  -- It's a great way to generate new work in a fun and inspiring environment.  And you don't have to go to far away from home.



  1. Thanks Kelli, for reminding me about the joy and productivity of mini retreats

  2. omg. My room looks the same. haha.

  3. What a wonderful day it was~ You always have such great exercises for us to do, and I love what I got from them! Thanks! I'll post photos to my blog soon~


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