Writing Retreat in Our Imagination #sol22 13/31

The invitation arrived yesterday. I thought I’d save it for later in the month as I usually do, for a writing day that feels thin, when I’m stretching for an idea. But like Terje, I’m so eager to get started that I plan to be one of the first to arrive. Look at that sky! Those flowers! Imagine the writing we could do at our fantasy writing “cabin in the woods.”

That’s a small cabin for the dozens of slicers who are going to join Leigh Anne, but we’ll make it work. Throw in a few deciduous trees and a water view on the other side of that crest, and you’ve got my ideal retreat landscape.

When you arrive, you’ll find me on the couch with my feet propped up, notebook in hand. I’ve been writing in spiral unlined Cachet notebooks from Daler Rowney for nearly twenty years, and only with the blue ink of a Precise V5 Rolling Ball pen, Fine or Extra Fine.

I’m also a dedicated letter writer these days, and I would never travel to a retreat without my letter-writing box. Don’t worry: I’ve got enough cards, postcards, stamps, stickers, and washi tape for you too! Plus a brand-new box of Uniball Vision Rollers in Black, the very best pen for letter writing.

I’ve already rummaged through the coffee mug cabinet and found my “just right” mug–not too small, not too big, not too wide, not too tall. I brought a box of my favorite tea, Pukka Chamomile Vanilla and Manuka Honey, so please help yourself. Just be prepared: it tastes a little more like fennel than any ingredients in the title.

As for food, Terje and I discovered there’s a chef, so we’ll just wait to see what snacks emerge from the kitchen.

When we’re lamenting the world, I’ll remind us of some words from Mariame Kaba that I frequently turn to: “Hope doesn’t preclude feeling sadness or frustration or anger or any other emotion that makes total sense. Hope isn’t an emotion, you know? Hope is not optimism. Hope is a discipline… we have to practice it every single day.”

I hope you’ll join us this month.


My theme for Slice of Life 2022 is finding inspiration in the writing of others. Each day I plan to find my slice in someone else’s words or forms. Leigh Anne’s writing retreat invitation and Terje’s slice inspired me this morning.






31 responses to “Writing Retreat in Our Imagination #sol22 13/31”

  1. Melanie Meehan Avatar

    Love your images that accompany your writing necessities. The description of the tea made me laugh out loud! Maybe someday you’ll make some of it real!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a real writing retreat? We teachers deserve all the good things this year!

  2. mbhmaine Avatar

    I love reading about all your writing accessories, although you just about stopped me in my tracks with unlined notebooks. What?! I’m off to check out Leigh Ann and Terje’s slices now.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I feel so constrained and constricted with lines! I like being able to write in any direction, to draw or doodle if I need to, etc.

  3. Little Bits of Writing Avatar

    LOVE! your letter writing box is lovely and I will soon work to develop one of my own. This is a beautiful SLOW down. I have tried to take Sunday’s as my non work day- I have a couple of tasks to do, but I plan on reading and writing and maybe making my office a little less cluttered and friendlier to inspiration. This summer I applied for a week long Teacher Residency Retreat- If I get it, I will have a week of blissful time alone to write and read. Your post has inspired me to begin collecting my things and my thoughts in hopes…even if I don’t get in, I can create my own HOPE and time here in my little abode. Thanks for the invite. I’m in with my Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea and my Rae Dunn WRITE notebook.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Ooh, I hope you get the teacher residency retreat–that sounds AMAZING. At the beginning of the year, I was taking Saturday at my non-work day, but I never felt restored enough come Monday. So now I take both weekend days fully. No work. No errands. A big WHATEVER to what doesn’t get done! It’s definitely saving me. I need to try your tea too.

      1. Little Bits of Writing Avatar

        Wow! BOTH? Can I get there? I just heard today ” Every action we take is a vote for the person you wish to become.” https://millennial-grind.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Quotes-from-Atomic-Habits-by-James-Clear-5.png

  4. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write Avatar

    You have created the ideal retreat space. Your description of each item, from notebook to pen to coffee mug are just perfect – and the chef, now that is beyond perfect. I’m hoping for an invitation! If not, I guess I can create my own ideal space.

    1. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
      Leigh Anne Eck

      Everyone is invited! Please check out my post in Elisabeth’s post for all the details. We would love to have you “join” us!

    2. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      The wonderful thing about Leigh Anne’s invitations is that everyone gets to join!

  5. Wondering and Wandering Avatar

    I want to be there so badly. Please let’s make that happen! I’m off to pack. Stay tuned! And ditto Molly’s comment about unlined notebooks. I don’t trust myself.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I love the mess of an unlined notebook–but then that’s very in keeping with my personality type. I’m glad you’ll be joining us sometime this month!

  6. Terje Avatar

    I am happy you joined. Letter-writing box sounds creative, caring and inspirational.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      My letter-writing box has become as essential to me as my writer’s notebook!

  7. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
    Leigh Anne Eck

    Thank you for joining the retreat! I love seeing your letter box. I know a couple other people who are writing letters, and it is nice to see this art form returning. I am intrigued by your use of blue ink in the notebook and black for the letters. I am leaving here with your quote in my heart – hope is a discipline–we have to practice it every single day!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It’s a quote I turn to frequently. Thanks for organizing such an enriching get-together for us this year. Penpalling is by far my favorite pandemic hobby!

  8. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    This sounds like a lovely idea, begging to be turned into a plan?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think so many of us would love it if we could have a real-life slicer writing retreat!

  9. Trina Avatar

    You give me notebook envy! I would love to have a writing retreat with you.

    I agree with your mom (I think that’s your mom), I think that it SHOULD be a real thing.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It really should! We’d have so much fun.

  10. jarhartz Avatar

    Why not be a real thing? Yes! I’d come.

    Love the tea selection!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I think we could have a big crowd of slicers! Everyone could bring coffee and tea to sample!

  11. […] morning I read Elisabeth’s post which was inspired by Terje’s post. Elisabeth made me wonder about my ideal writing retreat. […]

  12. arjeha Avatar

    Sounds lie everyone is geared up and excited to be part of this retreat. I can just imaging all of the good conversation, idea sharing, encouragement, and writing that will take place. Enjoy.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      There might be more talking and visiting than writing!

  13. kimhaynesjohnson Avatar

    I want to revive the postcard traditions. Bring them on! Oh, how I wish I could join you in this cabin in the woods to write and drink tea and slice.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Doesn’t it sound marvelous? I recently discovered extra-large postcards, and I love them–enough room to really say something but still in the bite-sized postcard format.

  14. glenda funk Avatar

    I love that quote about hope. It embodies action. You and Kim will need to compare letter-writing implements. The spot you’ve chosen for the retreat is gorgeous.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Isn’t it a wonderful quotation? Whenever I feel down about the state of things, I remember hope is a discipline and a practice.

  15. Debbie Lynn Avatar

    Thank you for your story, as it was yours that lead me to Leigh Anne’s retreat. I am an avid letter writer, too. In fact, it’s often a hard choice…do I write in my journal or write a letter. This will be fun! 🙂

  16. […] a helpful reminder to stay hydrated. Other than that, I’m hoping along with Terje and Elisabeth that there’s a chef on staff at this retreat. I’d love to bring food to share with all […]

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