creativity, Glascow, Inkslinger, Inkslingers, Inspiration, Ireland, James Dewar, Kate Marshall Flaherty, Life, On Writing, Retreats, Scotland, Sue Reynolds, Susan Lynn Reynolds, Words, Workshop, Workshops, Write, Writer, Writers, Writers Retreat, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Life, Writing Program, Writing Retreat, Writing Tips
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.
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.
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:
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
I don’t do this often here, but when I experience something life-changing I like to share the experience and recommend it to others. If you have ever read this blog, you’ll know that I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago back in May of 2014. (SEE THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR A BLACK FRIDAY REGISTRATION SALE FOR THE MAY 2017 CAMINO GUIDED TOUR BY SUE.)
I did my Camino journey with the incomparable Sue Kenney, Camino Guide Extraordinaire. What makes my experience with Sue’s twice yearly Camino guided tour somewhat unique is that I didn’t go into the journey blind. I didn’t find Sue’s tour on the internet and take a chance. I already knew Sue…from writing novel marathons with her. I knew her in her capacity as a writer. She was already a friend when I signed up for her guided Camino de Santiago walk.
I also knew that Sue was a world leading Camino expert. She had walked the Camino several times. She had also written a best selling book about her journey. She is known around the world as CAMINO SUE.
Let’s go back to May 2014 for a moment. I booked my Camino adventure months prior and I was feeling extremely electric about what I was about to experience. It was a transitional moment in my life. I was walking the Camino for change and for empowerment and for discovery. Ever since I had met Sue back in the early 2000s she had sparked a flame in my heart for the Camino. It is said that we all come to the Camino for different reasons, and that once we learn of it and choose to WANT to walk it…it remains a part of your life until you undertake the journey. It waits for you. It knows it will one day see you. The Camino chooses you, much like the puppy you choose at the kennel/breeder in actual fact chooses you. The Camino comes into your life and refuses to leave until you fulfill your promise to walk it.
I arrived in Spain (Madrid) with a fire in my belly and a backpack. Before the journey began, there was the gathering of strangers. Seven of us walked with Sue. There was Nicholas, Danielle, Julia, Connie, Tanya, Claudette, myself and Sue. Eight Musketeers. Connie was our official photographer. Sue was our captain, our guide, our spirit. The others, like me, had signed up for the guided adventure…not quite ready to take on such a large endeavor on our own.
From day one, it was an amazing experience. What Sue does as a guide is remove 100% of the worry. She had every albergue (hostel) booked in advance, she knew how many miles we would walk each day, she lined up meals, she did it all. Our mission, and we did decide to accept it, was merely to WALK. All we had to do was show up and walk. Sue did literally everything else.
What makes Sue the greatest guide is that she knows every nook and cranny of the walk. And not only does she know it, but it knows her. Her vibrant spirit makes her so approachable and memorable. Everywhere we went–every little town along the way–we were greeted with excitement. Because everyone everywhere along the Camino KNOWS Sue. She was on a walking adventure seeing old friends in every town…we were around for the warmth that greeted her. We had special experiences along the way that came with arriving in certain towns with THE SUE KENNEY. We danced. We toasted. We celebrated. We pontificated. We broke bread with wonderful beings on amazing journeys. We saw the Camino in such a unique and profound way…almost as natives, insiders. Sue gave us the experience like nobody else could have. She opened up the Camino to us in a way that made each of us feel at home on the path, like we were visiting relatives.
If you dream of exploring the Camino de Santiago, but you’re not quite ready to do the whole thing, or you’re not quite ready to take on the experience alone…there is only ONE WAY to WALK THE WAY…that’s with guide extraordinaire Sue Kenney. She will give you the inside track on this mystical journey like nobody else can.
And this weekend you can register for her MAY 2017 WALK at a deeply discounted rate. Here’s a blurb she put out today for the Black Friday SALE:
Our next Camino walk is getting booked for May 2017. This weekend we have a BLACK FRIDAY SALE. Book by Sunday November 27 and get up to $900.00 OFF!!! Our best deal ever. Walk for 6 days or 10 days. You don’t have to carry your backpack, we have a service for that. All details are sorted for you. It will be my 19th Camino. Sue will be talking about the next Camino walk on Facebook Live My Camino Book at 11:00 AM today (FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25th, 2016). If you miss it just go to the page and find the post to watch it.
If ever you dreamed of taking THE WALK…do yourself a favour. Take it with Sue. It’s not the full Camino, but it’s an abundantly FULL Camino. I promise you that. Sue will remove all obstacles and give you the sweetest Camino journey you could ever imagine. Take the journey for yourself…you will cherish it forever.
For full details, visit SUE’S SITE HERE.
Ernest Hemingway famously wrote “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast” in his Paris memoir A MOVEABLE FEAST.
He was right. By God, was he right. But he also touched on something with that now famous quote…something in my soul. A truth. He was right in saying PARIS was a moveable feast. It is a rich city of love and light. It has come to represent the beauty of life itself. That’s why those cowardly inhuman bastards who like to think of themselves as a STATE (which is so completely laughable) took aim on our (the world’s) city. Those creatures are the least of the least…pathetic losers. Call them DAESH…because they hate the derogatory term. Don’t call them ISIL or ISIS. That’s what they want. They are DIRT. They are less than dirt. They are heathens and unholy dirtbags who are attempting to hijack a religion and destroy the world and the love within the world. Call them Daesh or call them nothing. I should not compare them to anything…because whatever I could possibly compare them to is BETTER than them. The puckered asshole on the back-end of NOTHING is better than these cowardly nothing pieces of shit (Oops…shit is miles above these creatures). What they don’t know is that the whole world is laughing at their sad pathetic asses and their attempts to destroy the love and joy and peace they can’t begin to understand. They are uncouth imbeciles, from the leader to the smallest of them. Religion?! Ha. Mayhem, destruction, apocalypse whores with Daddy issues. Losers.
OOPS! Me and my tangents. That’s not even where I was going. I didn’t mean to write that. I guess there’s no denying the fact that I have so much disgust for these creatures…as I love life and they abhor it. I think I’m just gonna leave that here. NOW…where was I?
Hemingway said that Paris was a moveable feast…but the more countries I’m fortunate enough to explore, the more I realize that the world in its entirety is a moveable feast. There is beauty in every corner. There are beautiful people in every corner.
It was six years ago today that I boarded a plane and took off for Kenya. I fell instantly in love with the country. It’s hard to believe it was six years ago. Hard to believe in a SIX WHOLE YEARS sort of way AND a ONLY SIX YEARS sort of way. I may have discovered a host of things in Kenya, but I think one of the most important things I stumbled upon while I was there was myself.
From Nairobi to Lamu…from Ngong Hills to Masai Mara…the country took my breath away. Its beauty and its people.
I went there with Summer Literary Seminars and I studied writing while simultaneously discovering the country.
I met amazing people, saw incredible things. I even kissed a giraffe.
Seeing Kenya made clear Hemingway’s words well before I stepped foot on the sacred soil of his beloved Paris. Everywhere we go, if we look, we will find a lovely and breathtaking moveable feast. The more we love, the more we take back the world from those who seek only to destroy it. For evil lurks in dark places…but love…love can be found everywhere. Love itself is a moveable feast…