Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Writing in Wisconsin

So, as some of you know, I spent the weekend in Wisconsin, a state I had never before visited. I went to a writer retreat in Baraboo, WI. The retreat was put on by All Writers Studio, a fabulous resource for writers who want to take online writing classes (or if you live in Wisconsin, a real live class). I've been taking online classes through them for a year now and decided to try out the retreat. It was great!!!

I actually took very few pictures...mainly only of the drive from Madison to Baraboo (where the retreat was in the middle of nowhere). There are lots of fams, barns and tractors along this drive.









and they're really into cheese...



So, I listened to some great lectures, completed lots of fun creativity exercises, spent all day Saturday WRITING, got to workshop 10 stories and met a nice group of writers from all over!

I'm a pretty shy person, so this was out of my comfort zone...going somewhere I'd never been, all by myself, to meet and stay with lots of people I'd never met, and I had a great time.

I've come up with a fun new idea for a novel and have started it, so the retreat was definitely inspiring.

29 comments:

Kat said...

I am so glad that the retreat provided inspiration for a novel. And we'll all be able to say "I knew her when..." Great pictures...I really like the one of the road (with the guard rail to the side)...really looks desolate...and beautiful!

Rhea said...

Kat - Aww, thanks! I've always written short stories (and I need to keep writing them and get some published in order to get writing street cred). I'm totally intimidated by the idea of a novel, but I'm going to take it a little bit at a time.

BTW, I really like your new profile picture! You look great!

It was very rainy and foggy in Wisconsin while I was there...the sun came out the day I had to leave, of course, so that's why not too many photos.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

Hmm . . . I like cheese?

San said...

Wow, Rhea! You got to workshop TEN stories. Such an accomplishment to write ten stories, let alone have them critiqued. Despite your alleged shyness, I'll bet you were in your element, surrounded by other writers.

Thank you for the pictures of green Wisconsin. I've never visited that state, but when I've had occasion to drive through other parts of the midwest, I am floored by the lushness. And those barns and houses look so picturesque and homey. Great trip. Great post.

nottryingforaboy said...

Sounds like a fun weekend. And good for your for getting out of your comfort zone. I wish I did more often.

(your id thingie doesn't allow open urls, so my link will go to an old blog but I'm nottryingforaboy.com)

crazy4danes said...

Great pictures! I've never been there. I love the misty fog too! Glad you had a good time! :)

Andrea said...

That is a long way from Texas! I'm glad that you had a great time. It is nice to get out of that comfort zone and prove yourself, isn't it?

Kat said...

Rhea, you are the queen of switching up your profile photos...so I thought I might give it a try. I was tired of Katie's mickey ears :-)

Tez Miller said...

Of course Cheeseheads are into cheese - what did you expect? ;-)

Have a lovely day! :-)

Rhea said...

Law Student Hot Mama - I'm so glad you like cheese. lol Thank you for your comment.

San - I must have said that wrong. I didn't write ten stories...there were ten writers at the retreat (besides the faculty) and so we each workshoppped ONE story each.

Nottryingforaboy - Thanks for giving me your website, I'll go check it out in a minute. Thanks for coming by!

Crazy4Danes - I've heard Wisconsin is gorgeous in the fall, but I liked how it looked, all misty and green.

Andrea - I was the only writer from Texas and you're right, it was a long way to go!

Kat - I do love switching up my profile pics. Might be time for a new one...

Tez - Thanks for stopping by! The airport in Madison, Wisconsin was full of shops with inflatable cheeseheads. I also bought some for my kids. I got them funny shirts instead (about cow tipping and such). I got my husband a cow coffee mug with a huge udder on it. hehe He was horrified!

Tez Miller said...

Sounds like your husband isn't quite ready to see cow teats every time he has a coffee ;-)

Have a lovely day! :-)

Valarie said...

That is one scary cheese dude.

I'm glad you got out of your comfort zone and went for it. It sounds like you had a great time. I can't wait to hear about your writing. :)

BritGal' Sarah said...

Rhea - what fun! I am a writer at heart too and would love to do this someday. I have been threatening to write a book for years now!

Btw what an amazing white barn conversion!

P.S Mind if I add you to my blogroll?

Kiera said...

I am totally blown away by these photos! I love the mist and the mood and the farms. Nice Work Rhea, seriously! Im glad you got to have a creative weekend. That sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Rhea said...

Tez - I'm going to post a picture of the cow mug I got him. It's funny.

Valarie - The Wisconsin cheese dude was at a gas station I stopped at. lol I had to stop! How could I not?

Britgal Sarah - I couldn't stop taking pictures of barns...there were tons of them every twist and turn of the back country rodes I was on. I'd love to be on your blogroll, and I'll add you to mine. I love your handbag posts and your Brit word of the day.

Kiera - I'm so flattered you like my photos! Especially after seeing all your amazing photos. It was really quite funny...me in Wisconsin, all on my own, on these back roads, in the pouring rain and fog, and I kept parking the rental car on the side of the road and hopping out to take pictures...stopping every five minutes or so. I tried to pull my jacket over my head so the lens wouldn't get wet...and I ran through mud to get some good ones. It was crazy but fun.

├╝berburber said...

Aaah, Americana. Love the barn pics. We don't get to see many of those in CA. Good for you for branching out. I find it's hard in the beginning, then empowering. I hope you felt the same way. Can't wait to hear more about the novel...!

├╝berburber said...

p.s. the hat was definitely purple! a pale lilac, I'd say...!

Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) said...

Hello - stumbled over from P Dubs... love your barn pics. Not something we have much over over here in Australia - sheds, yes. Barns, no. Not sure why... maybe 'cause our winters aren't so awful as yours?

Will check you out more in the next couple of days...

:-)
Bush Babe

Rhea said...

Uberburber - I loved your purple hat! Really awesome.

Bush Babe - Nice to meet you! How interesting Australia doesn't seem to have barns. Thanks for coming by and I'll come check out your site too!

Elle said...

Ooooooooooooooooooooo, pretty......

Laura said...

I love all those pictures. Very nice. Can't wait to hear more about your novel. good for you to go outside your comfort zone -- that is when we truly grow.

tearese said...

looks like it was a beautiful drive!

Rhea said...

Elle, Laura and Tearese, thanks for coming by and commenting!!

CHATTI PATTI said...

Geez Louize! Those are some of the most beautiful pics I've ever seen. It puts ya RIGHT THERE! Damn! Beautiful!!

Catherine said...

I read also comments, fortunately, otherwise I would have thought Wisconcin was not sunny at all. All green ( mistrust, it means rainy), foggy, grey, maybe exotic for you, Texan Rhea. But you weren't here to suntan.
Very courageous to leave alone, I wonder if I would have done it.
You're a talented photographer you get THE EYE, I'm sure you're a great writer too you get THE TUNE.

Rhea said...

Catherine - Thanks for your sweet comments on The Eye and The Tune. I'm going to get a big head listening to you! :o)

SKELLER said...

wowzers!! lovely, moody barn/farm photos. Glad you had such a good weekend!! :-)

LiteralDan said...

It's funny to think of Wisconsin being a far away, exotic location (I'm in Illinois) but then again everything is exotic when it's different from your everyday experience.

They definitely do love their cheese up there-- you should have bought yourself a cheesehead hat!

Rhea said...

Susan - Thank you! I love the moody Wisconsin photos too. I don't take many moody photos, so this was fun.

Literal Dan - Wisonsin was definitely exotic to me. lol It is funny. And, yes, I should have bought a cheesehead, I agree. The kids would have loved it.