Last weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to California and attend the Wrightwood Literary Festival. Never having been to the Wrightwood area was an adventure on it’s own. It’s a picturesque small town, population 425, nestled up in the mountains just north of San Bernardino. The area was not only beautiful, but rich with small town charm and nice residents.
After the festival I parked and wandered around. I ventured inside two antique shops, a local grocery store, a pizza place, and the town’s tiny pet shop (They had animals for adoption and I nearly left with a senior Beagle/Hound mix.)
The Wrightwood Literary Festival, while about writing, was much more than that. It was about nature. And if you have ever been up there you will know that it’s hard to avoid surrounding yourself in anything other than the thoughts of how we are connected to nature.
This event was different from any other writing event I have been too, and cheaper too! Usually, these things are full of big names, from agents to editors to publishers. Where the entire conference you are more worried about pitching and meet-and-greets, that everything becomes stressful and overwhelming. This was all about taking a breathe, and relaxing and grounding yourself. To center yourself and open your senses.
So, while I didn’t gather notes about writing and how to pitch and how to submit, I came away with something even better. Remembering to breathe, remembering why I write in the first place. Remembering that if I shut out the distractions and look to nature I can create amazing stories.