Instead of a prompt for JumpStart Monday, I want to share about my weekend. In fact, you’ll be seeing some changes on my blog, which I’m going to switch to three times a week so I can play around with some other things like Vine, InstaGram (yes, there’s a video/photo theme here), and also commit more time to writing.

This past weekend I organized and went on a mini writing retreat with three other writers. We started off in Aspen on Friday afternoon at the Colorado Book Awards, where my book Rock On, was a finalist, along with the talented Donna Cooner with her novel, Skinny, and Pamela Mingle‘s Kissing Shakespeare for the young adult category. Kissing Shakespeare won and we were all so excited to be there to celebrate with Pam, who is part of our critique group!

We all went out to dinner to continue our celebration and then the four writers–Laura Deal, Cheryl Reifsnyder, Lisa Brown Roberts and me,  headed to our hotel in Glenwood Springs to begin our retreat. We chatted for awhile and then, because it was Summer Solstice, created a creativity ritual on the spot with candles, incense, Tarot cards and Julia Cameron’s Creativity Affirmations from her book, The Artist’s Way. Then everyone went their separate ways to work on their projects.

We stayed in a Marriott Residence Inn so there were two bedrooms and a common area so plenty of room to spread out in the room or go downstairs to the lobby or outside because with views like the one above, it’s difficult not to be inspired.

The only rule we had was that we would all honor each others’ goals and writing space. If some of us were going on a hike and you were deep in the groove, you stayed there. If you wanted to chat and someone else did, fine. If you wanted to write, we left you alone. Before dinner on Saturday, we each decided to share some opening pages of our works-in-progress and it was wonderful to get a taste of the beautiful, funny and amazing works springing forth.

We wrote, we ate, we drank, we laughed and we celebrated ourselves as writers, friends, and human beings with a creative purpose. It was joyous, magical, and an experience I want to repeat as soon as possible. I feel deep gratitude to these women for sharing themselves, their creative energy, and inspiring me with their beauty.