Is this retreat for seasoned writers only? What if I just enjoy writing as a hobby?

This retreat is for writers of all backgrounds and experience levels, whether you’re published novelist, an occasional poet, a social media scribe, a morning journaler, or anyone who is compelled by the feeling of putting words on a piece of paper. My objective in gathering together is to create space to explore and experiment, and to do so in an inviting setting for all participants. For me, Right Here, Right Now is about grabbing the gifts of the moment and welcoming the words that come on their heels. But no matter what kind of writing we are each doing individually, my hope is that we’ll spend a handful of our evenings together sharing our work with each other and exploring our ideas out loud. This retreat is centered around a writing practice, but I look at it as the hub of a wheel, with spokes leading in a variety of directions that I’m equally interested in articulating.

Why did you pick February for this retreat? And why the Jersey Shore?

As a child of New England winters, I always believed cold weather was a perfect excuse to hunker down and dig into a project, to learn something new, or simply to fall into the open pages of a good book (or 10). I still do. I think of winter as a nest of productivity and visioning, and I anticipate this retreat as a cozy launching pad for creativity in many forms. Ocean Grove, a popular vacation spot in the summer months, still offers some of its warmer weather attractions (i.e. its proximity to Asbury Park), but I’m eager to take advantage of the town’s quieter season to explore both the interior and exterior landscapes to be found there with few distractions. (Also, Ocean Grove is less than an hour’s drive from Newark International Airport, so it makes for an easy-to-reach destination for out-of-area travelers.)

I’m not sure how I feel about sharing a house with strangers…will I be forced to be social?

As a lifelong introvert, I am well aware of my own tendencies toward solitude and silence. As a facilitator, I lean on these aspects to create an environment of soft corners rather than hard edges, of more windows than doors. I also tend to trust the intelligence of participants to guide their decision-making when it comes to how they engage with others. What this means is permission to opt in and out as needed or desired, with the understanding that adjusting one’s internal gears in a external environment is natural, expected, and welcome. For some, this might look like taking solo walks on the beach at night before tucking into a good book. For others, it might mean bouts of silliness, gamesmanship, and bourbon. Private and shared accommodations are available to suit everyone’s tastes and thresholds. The former B&B we’ll be staying in offers nooks and crannies for respite and remove, as well as generous common areas for gathering.

You’re not going to make me do the Polar Bear plunge at the ocean, will you?

Not to worry, no one will lead you to jump in the frigid Atlantic. But I’d love if it you’d come cheer on those who might venture to try it. I envision Right Here, Right Now as an open and supported invitation to take risks, try doing something outside of your own expectations, and delight in others’ efforts in service to whimsy, joy, and adventure. 

Do you have a question I haven’t answered here? Just send me an email and I’ll get back to you! Or, if you’re ready to sign up, follow the link below to secure your deposit.