Saturday, November 6, 2010

Writing Re-Treat

This would probably be the best Trick-or-Treat costume for me this past week.
I left on Halloween for Colonyhouse, the Oregon Writers Colony
Writing Retreat in Rockaway Beach (a 3~1/2 hour drive for me)
and, for the most part, have been sucker-cupped to my computer this week
with a few breaks for showering, eating and visiting with my writing companions.
If I had visual artist/graphic capabilities,
I would insert pen, notebook and computer
to the above photo.

It's my third visit to Colonyhouse (for photos and more info, click here) and I've booked myself a few more weeks next year, the luxury of uninterrupted writing time being hard to come by in the real world.

Right now I dedicate one day a week to writing
~and whatever other little tidbits of time I can sneak in~
but hope one day in the future to be able to set aside 2 or 3 days.

The once-a-month writer's week at Colonyhouse is normally one full work-week (technically Mon-Fri.) but one of my writing companions had 2 extra days coming so ours has been a FULL week. Such a gift! (And thank you again!)

Our week started off stormy, with the first night's winds whipped so high
I was afraid the roof might venture away looking for a new home or an even better view.
But after that, things calmed and we were blessed with a little sun
and a relatively serene week.

My room upstairs looks out onto a windswept tree
but yields a little view of the ocean to the right
and Lake Lytle to the left.

The storm wreaked havoc with some of the local wildlife
and birds became a theme during our week.

My writing partner (we normally meet on Mondays to spend a full day writing)
ended up performing two bird rescues the day after the storm
and while delivering them to the local wildlife rehabilitation center
got a call about a third (which, luckily, someone else was able to bring in).

I've been rereading Jonathan Livingston Seagull and, while here, dreamed of a spiritual bird sanctuary/zen-like retreat which I later realized was only a few blocks from the (real-life) place I go in my mind for meditational/guided imagery sessions.

Not certain about the meaning of the all the bird symbolism this past week (there were even more references to birds) but I know it will all be revealed. The fun is in the magical path (the journey/process) leading to the answers (the destination).

The Stormy Weather Arts Festival is on this weekend in Cannon Beach (and as I sit writing in a little cafe in Manzanita, the weather is cooperating to resemble its name). I took a few hours in my last couple of days to venture into Manzanita and Wheeler for some book browsing, antiquing and chai sipping.

The Cloud & Leaf Bookstore came highly recommended by my writing partner

and right next door is the Bread and Ocean Bakery/Bistro which makes a sticky bun seasoned with cardamom (!) and their own homemade chai,

serves dinner in the evenings...

and also sells a coffee brand I hadn't seen before. Sleepy Monk Coffee (locally roasted in Cannon Beach), organic and fair-trade. Loved the logo and coffee roast names.

There isn't much that's not charming in Manzanita...

and I'm looking forward to my next writing re-treat
for days of intensive writing,
symbolic insights
and breaks spent exploring on the Northern Oregon Coast.

(All photographs copyright Kirsten Steen)


  1. Oh, I do miss Oregon. I have so much enjoyed traveling with you this morning. I love your passionate commitment to writing. I love your active pursuit of it. You go, girl!

  2. Looks like a lovely place to get away, Kirsten! xo


Hello and Welcome!
Thanks for coming and for making your thoughts and feelings known. I appreciate all comments greatly.
Hope to see you again!