A Week in the Woods #SOL17

Although I normally wake up super early to read and write, this morning I slept through until after 7:00AM. Imagine my surprise when I noticed my phone lit up with a tweet from Stacey and GratitudeAbundanceMelanie announcing that I had won the commenting challenge! The prize? An opportunity to attend a summer writing workshop at the Highlights Foundation! To say I am thrilled is an understatement. I have been scoping this place out ever since Stacey wrote about her experience there attending an Unworkshop. It is located in the pristine woods of the Pocono Mountains, close to Beach Lake, where my brothers and I vacationed as kids, which makes it even more endearing.

Ironically, in yesterday’s post, I mused between living in a cabin in the woods versus a cottage by the sea. I concluded that the beach is a great place to read and discover, whileFallCabin the woods is a great place to write and uncover. So now, as life imitates art, I will spend a
week in the woods to live as a writer – a gift that is truly a blessing. Over the last two and half years, I have sustained four surgeries to correct an injury on my foot from tripping over my rambunctious black labrador, Lucy. Since two of those surgeries occurred in the summers of 2015 and 2016, this will be the first summer I can be out and about. What better place to explore my thinking and creativity than in the beauty and tranquility of this setting.

Now I have to decide how I will spend my time. Do I want to continue on my family’s WoodedPathmemoir as a photo journal? Do I want to explore a picture book idea? Do I want to write my talk for an upcoming retreat in September? Do I want to unpack the box of letters I acquired from an auction, which chronicles the life of a couple from WWII through their marriage, and the start of their family? Do I want to think about creating something as a resource for teacher? There are so many outstanding options to choose from. So far, I am in between a July offering called Summer Camp at the Barn which includes open workshops along with one-to-one mentorship. The other is the lure of the Unworkshop, where I can work on my writing independently.

In any case, it’s going to be wonderful. I am so grateful to the Two Writing Teachers for extending this opportunity to write in this community, and I am overwhelmed with the Highlights Foundation for offering such a generous gift. I promise to keep you posted on my decision and on my experience.




20 thoughts on “A Week in the Woods #SOL17

  1. Congratulations on winning the commenting challenge! What a good reflecting slice on how you will be spending your time. I particularly enjoyed your comparison of reading at the beach and writing in the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it great to have choices like these to make! Again, I’m so happy for you! I’m intrigued by your box of letters acquired at an auction. Are there any photos in that box? I’ve done a small bit of online research about family and found lots of newspaper clips about my mother’s family when she was a girl in their small town society column — social events they attended, awards at church and school, trips made with relatives, people who visited them, property her dad purchased… things I did not know. Just a thought if you go that direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, Laurie! A Highlights workshop is a true gift. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend two, and would go again in an instant. Your project choices all sound intriguing, especially those letters. You never know, though, where that path through the woods will take you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Catherine. I also found out today, that I was accepted to TC June writing, so today was a double blessing. I had to decline acceptance the last two summers due to my surgeries. I am open to whatever lies ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Leigh Anne! The woman was a teacher who graduated from the old Trenton State Teachers College, and her husband graduated from Princeton. The letter he wrote to her were reviewed by the army before they could be sent. There are other artifacts that show the hospital bill for giving birth! I have to everything in order and timeline their lives. It will definitely be fun!


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