If you are a Write Naked follower you are aware that The Farm at Weather’s Creek, the site of many writing workshops in Western North Carolina, contacted me a few months ago to instruct their first-ever overnight writing class. One of the farm’s owners, Susan, has enjoyed my posts so much that she asked to title the event after Write Naked. 🙂
It was held this past weekend in an historic farmhouse surrounded by 60 rolling acres. (It became the first time I have ever taught a writing class while sitting in a rocking chair!) We had writers from both North Carolina and South Carolina attend. From our group of writers I learned two things:
- Know that everything will work out.
- We can all surprise each other.
With any writing project—whether it’s a poem, novel, or magazine article—we don’t know if a journal will accept it, if an agent will send a contract, or if the magazine will truly have the space and budget to print the piece. Kelly, a writer from Durham attending the workshop, had arrived early and spent time with Susan getting the space set up – including adding signs along the long dirt road to the farmhouse. Susan uses a golf cart to move around the property and not all the fields were completely mowed. Kelly’s purse had been resting on the back of the cart, but somewhere along the way it fell off and was lost. Susan was certain one of the farm’s dogs had run off and buried it.
Kelly was completely calm. Even though her phone, wallet, and car keys were in her purse (And her locked car contained her belongings for the weekend!), she remained completely unphased and calmly reassured everyone that it would turn up. She didn’t let it distract her.
After the first workshop session on SEO and blogging, and then prepping for a BBQ dinner with fried okra, beans grown on the farm, and grilled corn, we enjoyed a piano concert by Dicy, a children’s book author who lives just up the road.
Our post-dinner mission: Hunt for Kelly’s purse.
We re-traced her earlier path: A mowed pathway in a field of 2′-high grass. We called her mobile phone. She explained her ring tone is extremely hard to hear, so it probably wouldn’t be helpful.
Russ, a North Carolina writer who beautifully re-capped more about our weekend in his blog, heard the phone vibrating!
My boyfriend (who was attending as the official workshop photographer – see more photos of the weekend here) went off into the grass where Russ was pointing and found the purse several feet from the path. I am still in awe that anyone could have such an acute sense of hearing!
Those are my two lessons: Keep believing and surprise everyone.
PS – Another fine surprise was our welcome package. Susan had provided each writer with clothespins to hang our clothes by the creek if we went for a swim, alcohol wipes for cleaning potential tick bites, a tiny mirror (that’s the little dot you see on the paper below) to remind us to reflect, stamped postcards featuring her own photography, matches (for light of course), soap handmade by her friend, and when we left I got a batch of dried lavender.