Writers’ Camp 2014

On March 7-9, eleven members of Peauxdunque gathered in Hopedale, Louisiana for the annual Writers’ Camp. We cooked, ate, drank, read, wrote, discussed, walked about, laughed, shared, all that sort of stuff you do at camp. Mainly, we processed the past writing year, and re-energized each other for the coming writing year. Here are some pictures (in an updated slideshow):

(Photos by Tad Bartlett, Emilie Staat, Emily Choate, J.Ed. Marston, and Terri Shrum Stoor.)

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On a rise over a holler

Writers Camp is where Peauxdunque repairs at the beginning of every year, to reflect on the past year and recharge for the coming one. Usually an overnight to a place appropriately called Hopedale, 2013 saw us take a whole weekend instead. Gathering from all points Peauxdunquian, eating at a place (appropriately) called Dreamland on the way up, taking roads northward pointing, dwindling steadily in lanes and traffic until it was dark, twenty degrees, on a one-lane, moss-covered track at the bottom of a holler, next to a brook, icy water over rocks, and the GPS saying, “You’ve come as close to your destination as you can travel by car. You must now exit the car and walk.” Up a rise that felt like a mountain but surely wasn’t, until all the travelers were together. Susan Kagan, who had secured the hilltop retreat from a good soul; Emily Choate over from Nashville; J.Ed. Marston over from Chattanooga-way; Janis Turk flown all the way up from San Antonio; and Denise MooreTerri StoorMaurice Ruffin, and Tad Bartlett the long drive up from New Orleans. At a place not near any other places, nameless, now called, appropriately, Peauxdunque, Tennessee.

Late into the night, twice, a whole day in the middle, and a far-too-short morning on the end, plus the long hours of driving up and back, there was solid talk about writing and reading and words. There were plans discussed, theses, novels, stories, essays. We took time to be silent and to write, to wander the hillside over fresh snow and under old stars. Below is a slideshow of some photos from our time, taken by Terri, Maurice, Emily, and Tad. We invite all to share; but I particularly invite Peauxdunquians to come back and view them and remember the times in Tennessee over the next year, when you’re feeling momentarily adrift. One more year, then we’ll do it all again.

Successful 2012 Writers’ Camp

Nine of the 2011 members of Peauxdunque convened in Hopedale for the annual Writers’ Camp. Two drinks were invented. Writing was read and challenged. Stars were counted. Pelicans, too. Goals and process discussed. Food cooked and consumed. Hangovers created and cured. And now, after that, let it be a new year. Peauxdunquian Bryan Block captured much of it in the following video and photo montage:

Untitled from Bryan Block on Vimeo.