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Photos of Costa Rica Retreat (Winter 2012)

My January 2012 writers’ retreat in Playa Herradura, Costa Rica, was a colourful and activity-filled adventure thanks in large part to host Jamie Wood, owner of Namaste Gardens. A wonderful group of writers followed me down to Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast for this writing and travel experience and I’m grateful for their enthusiasm, their creativity, their willingness to share stories close to their hearts, and their warm support  and encouragement of one another. Thank you, Christine, Rick, Janet, Jerome, Mary, Gina, Amy, Linda, Sylvia, Patrick, Alison, Abbie — and Jamie too.

A special thanks also to our guest speakers, William Deverell and Sandra Shaw Homer, for sharing with us their insights on the writing life. Check out “10 Writing Tips from Author William Deverell (on a Costa Rica morning)” and Sandra Shaw Homer’s beautiful guest post “Writing from the Heart.”

Photos here are by Allyson Latta, Rick Brazeau and Christine Barbetta. Click a photo once to enlarge.

“I got a sense of the power of restraint from Hemingway, which is the smallest way to put it, because I got much more than that from him. I learned the power of simple language in English. He showed what a powerful instrument English is if you keep the language simple, if you don't use too many Latinate words. And from Faulkner I learned the exact opposite, that excess can be thrilling, that, 'Don't hold yourself in. Don't rein yourself in. Go all the way. Go over the top. Overdo it.' And between the two, it's almost as if you've now been given your parameters. This is the best of one extreme and this is the best of another. And somewhere between the two you may be able to find your style in time to come.”– Norman Mailer, Interview, The Academy of Achievement, June 12, 2004