Sling Some Ink in Paris this Fall with Inkslingers!

Right off the top, I want to let you know I am NOT affiliated with Inkslingers in any way (nor am I being incentivized to mention them). I JUST BELIEVE IN THEM AND IN WHAT THEY DO! I wanted to give them a quick shout-out today because Sue Reynolds and James Dewar are incredible writing instructors and you would do well to spend some time with them if you’re looking to ignite your writing life.

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Picture is mine, but I checked the itinerary – Montmartre is on the itinerary…and it’s where this lovely and iconic pink restaurant is located.

Click the ink bottle below to go directly to the INKSLINGER website:

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Sue Reynolds was one of my first contacts with the WCDR. In my early days in the organization, I attended a writing group led by Sue at the Uxbridge Library. It really served to kick-start the writing life I was bursting to slip into. She and James Dewar (another writing mentor who did a lot to boost my love of poetry) are leading a writing retreat in beautiful PARIS this fall. Although, sadly, I will be missing it…it REALLY is something you should consider doing for your writing life. Both Sue and James are wonderful nurturing writing coaches…and did I mention PARIS?!

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Across the way from Notre Dame, Shakespeare & Company is a MUST SEE bookstore in the very heart of Paris. Inkslingers will take you there!

FROM INKSLINGERS:

Visit Paris as more than just a tourist. Engage with this important city as a literary traveler experiencing it through the words of the great writers who have called it home; and then reflect on your own reactions and experience daily in our inspiring workshops.

Travel in the safety and community of other writers and artists on our exclusive tour bus. Stay at a four-star hotel with easy access to The Metro for setting out on personal or small group excursions.

Sue and James will be joined in Paris by Kate Marshall Flaherty. You can learn about KATE HERE.

INKSLINGERS IN PARIS takes place Oct. 26th to Nov. 3rd

The itinerary looks exquisite. You will visit Père Lachaise Cemetery, House of Victor Hugo, Place de Vosages, Bibliotheque Mazarine, The Musee d’Orsay, The Rodin Museum, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, the Catacombs… and SO MUCH MORE.

HERE’S THE FULL ITINERARY.

Check out the details at the INKSLINGERS website now! Don’t wait, because they are offering an EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT until June 15th. ALSO, for my American readers…pricing is in CDN dollars so you will be further discounted by the exchange.

Honestly, you couldn’t be in more capable hands. Inkslingers are passionate about what they do and they do it tremendously well.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT INKSLINGERS AND LEARN ALL ABOUT THEIR PARIS RETREAT

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INKSLINGERS – Destination SCOTLAND! Writing-Yoga-Discovery Retreat

Come and steep yourself in Scottish literature and landscape. ~ So goes the new call to arms (to pens?) on The Inkslingers’ website.

Are you going to answer the call? It’s always a good idea to invest in your writing life. You owe it to yourself to explore your craft with the same passion with which you explore the world…total immersion. No better way to do it than to do the two things together. Let Inkslingers, along with the literary landscape of Scotland, take you on a writing adventure this July! Wanderlust and Writing are perfect partners…and with Inkslingers guiding the way, you cannot go wrong.

The INKSLINGERS are taking a group of writers to SCOTLAND for a retreat of immersion in words and place.

From July 15 to 23, 2017,

Inkslingers will be offering

a writing/yoga/discovery retreat

in stunning, storied Scotland!

Writers will explore Glasgow, Ayrshire, Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness, Dunkeld, and, Edinburgh. Yoga Classes will be offered by Yoga instructor and Poet, Kate Marshall Flaherty, and the writing sessions will be led by Sue Reynolds, with additional support from Kate and James Dewar. There will be a tour of a distillery, a sheepdog display, the Peter Pan Museum, Edinburgh Castle…and much more. Be prepared to be fully immersed in your surroundings! And you will have the finest writing workshop facilitators guiding your writing experience along the way.

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The copy on the INKSLINGERS’ website says it all:

It is Inkslingers’ mission to deliver writing workshops and retreats that enrich the experience and strengthen the craft of each participant while building community and keeping each writer safe in their creativity. ~ INKSLINGERS

I have been a recipient of their ability to deliver on that promise. Both James Dewar and Susan Lynn Reynolds have made me a better writer.

Who are the Inkslingers? Susan Lynn Reynolds was my initial introduction to the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. I originally took her memoir workshop at a library in Durham Region back in 2002 or 2003. From there, I followed her all the way to Uxbridge, Ontario, the very next day to attend a regular on-the-spot writing group she facilitated at the library there. And I never looked back! Sue is an amazing teacher/facilitator. With her exuberance and passion for writing, and her understanding and knowledge of the craft, she makes an exemplary mentor. After attending her on-the-spot group for a couple of years, I later took an extended workshop on novel writing with Sue…and it got me on my current path of novel-writing. YOU CAN READ SUE’S BIO HERE.

James Dewar is the poet who gave me my first introduction to open-mic and poetry performance. He took a chance on me as a spoken word poet before I was ready…and he ignited a passion in me to strive to be a better poet and a better speaker. He’s a natural teacher/mentor. I also attended a poetry workshop led by James, and it was phenomenal and enlightening. I’d recommend them to anyone. You can read about my experience at James’s POETRY SANCTUARY HERE. The sanctuaries are so worth the drive north of the city. YOU CAN READ JAMES’S BIO HERE.

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Last year (2016) The Inkslingers took a group of writers on a retreat in IRELAND. The whole adventure is captured in their online diaries. You can read all about that retreat at the Inkslingers’ website, to see the detail and care they take in planning their writing adventures:

THE INKSLINGERS IRELAND DIARIES

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James Dewar and Sue Reynolds are The Inkslingers (Ireland, 2016)

This 2017 writing retreat to Scotland has an EARLY BIRD PRICING DISCOUNT for those who book before MARCH 31st. VISIT HERE FOR PRICING AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Scotland is the home and inspiration of a number of the great influences of Western literature: Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, J.M. Barrie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Dunnett, Ian Rankin, Ali Smith, Muriel Sparks, George MacDonald, Samuel Johnson, Kenneth Grahame, Louise Welsh, Josephine Tey and J.K. Rowling, and the iconic Robbie Burns! ~ INKSLINGERS

Soak up the Creativity at Poetry Sanctuary Days!

This past Sunday, I had a rebirth of sorts. Of the poetic kind. My relationship with poetry has always been dismissive, at best. I kind of use poetry, actually. I’ve always seen it as a sort of calisthenic exercise to lube up the writing mind. The result of my poet-ing has never been the driving factor. It was always about the process, just the playing with words to limber up for the real writing. The fiction.

As much as I used poetry, though, I have always had a deep love of it. I see its place and importance in the world. I just never took my own work in the medium very seriously.

Having been away from poetry for so long, however, I began to realize it might have been a bit more important to me than I was letting on. When you feel as though you can’t write poetry, you begin to see a disconnection between yourself and the world around you…the words around you. Poetry is playful. It gives the dabbler a feeling that they are grounded with their surroundings. Well, it made me feel this way, anyway.

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On Sunday I went to POETRY SANCTUARY DAYS at the Uplands Writing Retreat in Goodwood, Ontario. This sanctuary Sunday was hosted by writer, poet, writing instructor James Dewar. James is a friend, a mentor, and a all-round great guy. He was the first to offer me a stage to showcase my poetry. Some years ago now, he gave me a Feature Night at the Renaissance Cafe in Toronto. That was some leap of faith! I’ll be forever grateful for it.

Before I speak of the great and energetic day of creation, I have to say that the location is one of the most beautifully idyllic places I’ve ever come across. The house is all windows, facing a pond, trees, a dock, nature. So beautiful. I stood at the window wondering how anybody could actually live nestled within such amazing beauty. It almost hurt.

James’s lesson on metaphor and simile was one of those defining moments for me. As he spoke, a fissure appeared in my thinking and the light came on. It was so exciting to see poetry in a new light. And we were not only able to take these lessons in and discuss ideas as a group of poets, but we were also given invaluable writing time. The day was structured so that there were hours of quiet time where we all simply lounged around the house writing poetry. The best workshops give writing time to the participants. With the lessons fresh in our heads, we were able to explore what they meant to us as poets. I was able to put what I had just learned into action, thereby solidifying the concepts in my mind.

We also had times when we sat in a circle and shared our raw and vulnerable new pieces of poetry. I heard some extraordinary pieces. Amazing to hear just bled words…so fresh, the ink not yet dry. There was definitely something beautiful and enchanting in each piece I heard. I was honoured to be there, hearing such lovely words.

A delectable lunch was hand-delivered by my favourite foodie, the glorious DEB RANKINE, The Fridge Whisperer…longtime friend and sometime partner in crime. Thanks, Deb…for another fabulous meal!

If you’re in the GTA, you really should check out these poetry sanctuaries. I feel lifted for having gone to one. Thanks to James, for a fantastic day in paradise!

Find out all about the event:

INK SLINGERS – POETRY SANCTUARY DAYS with JAMES DEWAR

While you’re at the site, don’t forget to check out all the other things that INK SLINGERS has to offer!