Sixteen overnight APW members, spouses, and and including four non-member writers, plus three others who came during the day, attended the writer’s retreat at the Merritt Center just north of Payson, under the Mogollon Rim.
Tucked away in tall ponderosa pines, the secluded mountain lodge provided time to relax, a choice of activities and good food. A number of activities such as creating a vision board, journaling, taking creative photos, and writing exercises were offered. Many did their own thing. Hammocks invited relaxation, nearby woods begged to be explored. Several walked the native stone labyrinth. One spouse painted, another explored nearby attractions.
Betty Merritt, owner and founder, gave us a history of the lodge and shared her mission of helping veterans. We also gathered at mealtimes and got to know each other better. The food was delicious with plenty of snacks in between.
Saturday night we were fortunate to have entertainment. Gail Hearne gave a presentation on Leo the MGM Lion when he spent unexpected time in the wilderness in Rim Country. After that Kathleen Kelly & Jim West entertained us in the patio with a variety of music.
Sunday morning Betty Merritt led those who wanted to go on a short hike up to a sacred Native American site and invited us to participate in a ceremony.
After the hike and breakfast, some participated in writing exercises.
We wrapped up with a delicious lunch and group photo. Pam Stevenson presented Betty with a copy of Skirting Traditions, signed by the authors who were there. It was a relaxing but refreshing experience. Everyone came away with something valuable.
Photos by Carol Osman Brown, Bill Stevenson, Jaimie Bruzenak, Barbara Lacy and Gail Hearne.
The time to take advantage of discounted registration fees for the writers’ retreat up in the cool pines of Payson will end on June 26. Join us on July 27 and 28 in a lovely setting. Kick start your creativity, write, paint, hike or relax. The $95 fee is a real steal; it includes a room plus four meals, water and snacks. The retreat is sponsored by the Rim Country District. Read the recent blog entry for more information.