Those of you who've been reading for a while know that I can't say enough about Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a non-profit creative writing school that we are incredibly lucky to have in Denver.
In February Lighthouse was honored with the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. I just discovered this short film about the school. The video features Lighthouse Program Director Andrea Dupree, Denver's Poet Laureate Chris Ransick, screenwriter Alexandre O. Philippe, and board member Marcelina Rivera (incorrectly ID'd as faculty). On a side note, debut novelist and Pajama Gardener Carleen Brice is a board member for Lighthouse. Lighthouse was started by Andrea Dupree and Mike Henry in 1997 and now has a membership of over 1,000 writers. The story of how Lighthouse came to be is here.
Tomorrow, I'll be headed up to the 11th annual Grand Lake Retreat for five days of writing and reading in beautiful natural surroundings. You can see details about it here or read about some of my experiences at the retreat last year here and here.
It will be interesting to see how my experience this year differs from last year. When I signed up for the retreat last year, I'd never attended a writing course before. I was headed into to completely unknown territory and I was terrified. For all I knew, I was walking into The Algonquin Round Table, prey to a modern day version of "The Vicious Circle". I was sure everyone there would be accomplished, brilliant and expose me for the talentless hack I was. Naturally, it was nothing like that. It was the single best step to becoming a better writer I could have taken.
After attending the retreat last year, followed by several courses at Lighthouse throughout the year, I anticipate the week with the same sense of excitement I'd have if I were headed to a summer cottage in the woods with friends and family.
I'll have lots to share when I return, but I'll be checked out from July 6th through the 11th.
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It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.