Why Summer in Words?
I moved to Oregon 23 years ago and began teaching writing. That first year I fell in love with the Oregon coast, and soon began hosting weekend writing retreats at beach houses along the Pacific shore. It didn’t take me long to realize that the coast was an ideal place for writing and dreaming and rejuvenating. Ferocious with life. The smells of salt, seaweed and adventure. Constantly changing sands.Mysteries washed up on shore and lurked in tide pools. The ocean always talks to us, sometimes forgiving and soothing, sometimes wild with whitecaps and steel.
Fifteen years ago I was teaching writers during the Summer Solstice. We stood together on a deck, watching the sun dip down amid a tapestry of lavender, apricot, and gold, while revealing our writing dreams. It is a moment forever stamped in my memory. I knew I wanted to return to the endless Pacific each June with writers and I realized how much I love gathering writers together. I began fiercely believing in the power of the writing community.
The Oregon coast has since brought be solace, inspiration, and a sense of belonging.Many of my writing dreams that I discussed that first day of summer came true including six published books. Since the conference began, SIW participants have sharpened their skills and drawn inspiration from the many workshops and talks along with the wide expanse of ocean, the constantly changing light, and pounding surf. Some attendees went on to publish articles, land book deals, publish novels that had been languishing or incomplete. As for the speakers who have taught at previous conferences…well, over the years their careers have exploded.
More to come on that topic…..
Meanwhile, notice the brimming wonders all around you. Create art and stories.