Nancy Stohlman, Uncategorized

Coming Home: Magic at 8,000 Feet (Reflections and Photos from the Grand Lake Retreat)

Grand Lake (photo by Kathy Fish)

From Nancy Stohlman:

Every retreat has its own magic, its own signature. Even if you go to the exact same location, no two retreats are the same. Grand Lake was our 9th retreat, and no matter where we go–from the tropics to the arctic, in a medieval castle or a Rocky Mountain log cabin–it’s always the people who animate that location. We’ve been lucky, and Grand Lake was no exception. Our high altitude group felt like coming home–metaphorically linking arms with new family and climbing the creative mountain together.

The Grand Lake crew

There is always something wonderful about coming home, and Colorado in the summer is a special sort of magic. John Denver wasn’t wrong to describe the Rocky Mountain High as, “coming home to a place he’d never been before.” Whether it’s your first or hundreth time, being in these mountains brings out something peaceful, a sort of childlike wonder at the majesty of nature at her finest, from the fairy-like hummingbirds to the sweet gurgling streams to the shooting stars in a moon-filled sky.

photo by Kathy Fish

So what happens when you put a group of talented, open-hearted artists into a setting of natural beauty and wonder? Absolute magic in more ways than one. Magic on the page. The magic of old friends who have never met. The magic of a group belly laugh until everyone is crying with joy. The magic of sneaking up early to watch the meteor showers and then the sunrise. The  magic of digging deep into the stories that must be told in a room where everyone is rooting for your success.

the moon at sun rise

Thank you my partner in retreat crime, Kathy Fish, and to all the amazing writers who gathered on the mountaintop in August. Happy happy writing until we meet again!

watching the sunrise

From Kathy Fish:

Nancy’s retreats take us to such amazing places around the world, but it was wonderful to gather in the place we both call home: stunning Colorado. This was our second retreat at Shadowcliff Lodge, a place I adore. Homey, rustic, and welcoming, nestled cliffside next to Grand Lake, it feels like summer camp for adults and is a perfect place to restore one’s creativity. We ate heartily, photographed hummingbirds, encountered a bear, (well some of us did!)  and rose before dawn to watch the Perseids.  Everyone seemed to be on the same wavelength, embracing the same warm, creative spirit. In lively and productive workshops, we encouraged and supported each other and wrote our hearts out. Beautiful, layered stories were written and lovely connections forged. I can’t wait to go back in 2023!

photo by Nancy Stohlman

From K.B. Jensen:

The Colorado writing retreat in Grand Lake with Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish was a magical and life-changing experience. I learned and relearned so much from them about finding joy and prioritizing my own writing. The inspiring conversations with other writers were also a major plus. Nancy and Kathy were able to foster a supportive community within hours and were our guides on an amazing, reinvigorating writing adventure. After finishing my latest book, it was just what I needed to start going on the next.

Hummingbird action shot! (photo by Kelli Short)

From Brian Dickson:

Such gratitude for meeting these people. Lots of writing, laughter, sacred space. Thanks Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish!

Our magical writing space

From Kristin Tenor:

My experience at the Flash Fiction Retreat in Grand Lake, Colorado was phenomenal. Nancy & Kathy are both generous and supportive facilitators with a wealth of knowledge to share in a safe, creative environment. You will walk away from this retreat transformed. I did.

Kristin Tenor reading at salon night

From Jill Royce Loomis:

I experienced High Altitude Inspiration!  Seriously, I am in a new phase of writing and I’m building a community of great writers from this retreat.  I love you, Nancy and Kathy.  You are enriching my life.

photo by Meredyth Lillejord

From Barbara Greenstein:

Nancy and Kathy have a wonderful complementary energy in bringing ideas into the room and words to the page.  They are supportive and extraordinarily kind teachers. The flash retreats whisk you away to magical places and provide a rich pot of gold to dip into once there.

photo by Meredyth Lillejord

From Barb Ristine:

I found the retreat to be both restorative and inspirational. I enjoyed my time here, and I will miss being with everyone. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I didn’t come with any set expectations other than this would be a generative retreat. This time far exceeded any expectations I may have had. The individual conferences were a wonderful time to discuss my work and get advice. In the daily workshops, Kathy and Nancy made sure that everyone was heard when they wanted to share, but never forced participation. The environment  they created felt safe and supportive.

salon night!

From Tammy Breitweiser:

Retreats allow for total immersion in the creative process, and the Flash Fiction retreat was a tremendous gift to my writing life. It was my first destination retreat experience and it has changed my writing life forever. I was open to the experience, and everything exceeded my expectations from the scenery, the writing conversations, the people, the depth, and the instruction. This group has become my forever writing people. There was time for restoration of my spirit, which allowed me to write about topics I had been avoiding. At this time in my life, it was a transition from one phase of life to another.  All the things I learned during the retreat I will use moving forward in my writing life. I am forever grateful for this experience.

More photos:

animal visitor at dusk! (photo by Tammy Breitweiser)
photo by Meredyth Lillejord
alpenglow
shadowcliff
Beautiful Grand Lake as seen from our retreat

Also read “Everything is a Story: Reflections and Photos from the Spanish Flash Fiction Retreat”

2023 Retreats will open in October—get on the waiting list for first access!

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