Sunday, August 29, 2010

Writers Retreat on Dead Lake

I had the good fortune of being invited back to my writer friend's cabin on Dead Lake.  Author Julie Saffrin and her husband have what I consider the "perfect" cabin.  Unlike some of the more popular lakes in Minnesota with one cabin about every 20 feet of shoreline, Dead Lake in Otter Tail County has a minimal number of homes even though it is a very large lake. 

The weather was perfect each day...beautiful sunshine, warm temps, a nice breeze off the lake.  (And let me tell you, "perfect" and "weather" rarely coincide on the same day in Minnesota!)  The Saffrin's dock is surrounded by cattails on both sides and there aren't any other cabins or homes visible...which I love.  Earlier this year I wrote a historical fiction piece titled, "Cries on the Prairie", about a tragedy in 1870 that actually happened on Horse Head Lake in Otter Tail County.

On Friday afternoon I went down to the dock alone, the cattails were dancing in the wind, I saw several eagles flying overhead, and it made me this what it looked liked for my great-grandparents when they homesteaded on Horse Head Lake in 1870?  Maybe...maybe not, but it made me feel like I was seeing what they could have seen from their cabin.  Goosebumbs...

By the way, I entered "Cries on the Prairie" in the Writer's Digest Short Story Contest, and have another six weeks before I find out if I placed or not. 

My real goal in coming to the retreat was to work on Michigan and Rookie...Guardians of the Night, my next book project.  I was able to get a lot written for Chapter One, including writing in a dog's POV for the first time ever!  Anyway, I needed a quiet place to allow myself to get this book started...and Julie's cabin offered that for me.  It's amazing what you can accomplish in a couple days without any interruptions!

Author Joy DeKok joined Julie and I for the weekend.  As all writers know, when so much of our time is spent alone, it is all the more rewarding to come together as friends and lift each other up in our writing journeys.

Let me give a plug for both Julie and Joy; please check out both of their websites: 

Julie Saffrin, at, author of the forthcoming book, BlessBack, Those Who Shaped Your Life. 

Joy Dekok, at, author of Rain Dance, Under His Wings, and several children's books.

All for now and blessings to all,

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