If not having a cabin in the woods is the reason your writing project remains unfinished, you might be all out of excuses. Clearwater Writers is holding an off-the-grid women’s writing getaway next week at Reflections Inn east of Kooskia.Clearwater Writers is a writing community coordinated by Paula Coomer, a Clarkston author and poet, and sponsored by Jim and Ruth May, who operate Reflections Inn. Coomer is the writer-in-residence at the eight-room bed and breakfast overlooking the Clearwater River.
“Reflections Inn is the place I’ve gone to for 15 years to work on my books,” Coomer said.
Coomer used to head to the quiet, remote location for a chance to work privately on her writing without interruptions — until a couple years ago when a morning chimney fire necessitated interaction. The fiasco, which ended well, opened up a conversation in which the Mays expressed their desire to make the place available to the writing community for workshops and retreats. As a result, the Mays and Coomer now collaborate on writing getaways for both groups and individuals.
“It’s kind of magical up there,” said Coomer of the setting.
Besides the natural beauty of the river, mountains and forest, there is no cell service or TVs. And retreat attendees aren’t likely to get the WiFi password. With nothing but a private room, access to a kitchen for meal preparation and unscheduled days and nights, creative work begins to happen.
“People move into their own rhythm,” Coomer said. Finding that rhythm can take time, she said, because most people don’t know what it feels like to separate completely from daily life to focus on something creative.
The process has been successful for those who have attended past retreats. This is the third group retreat of this type that Coomer has coordinated at Reflections Inn; last November’s retreat resulted in a book publication for one person, completed manuscripts for two others and the discovery of a writing ability for a fourth.
“It’s a combination of place and space that fosters creativity,” said Coomer, who makes herself available to help and advise those attending the retreat.
Though this retreat is open only to women and is focused on uninterrupted writing time, Clearwater Writers also offers other opportunities, including workshop-style retreats that are open to both men and women. Private retreats and manuscript consultations are also available. More information is available at www.paulamariecoomer.com or by emailing Coomer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Clearwater Writers Women’s Retreat
WHEN: Nov. 20-25
WHERE: Reflections Inn, 6873 Highway 12, east of Kooskia