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Asheville Writers Retreat 2023

Two weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend my first-ever writers' retreat with the Christian Mommy Writers, an incredible group of women who love Jesus and writing.

I journeyed to the beautiful mountains just west of Asheville, North Carolina, and met twenty strangers who became my dearest friends in only four short days. We rented an Airbnb that rivaled a chateau and spent the time in deep conversation and roaring laughter. Here are a few photos of the Airbnb and our big group!

Here are a few behind-the-scenes moments you won't see in the photos:

  • You won't see... all the hard work that the ladies--led by the incomparable Bethany Cox--put into planning not only the lodging but the workshops, the food, the gala, etc. I can't even keep track of who did what, but I can tell you they outdid themselves. (Comparatively, all I did was show up.)

  • You won't see... The astounding lineup of speakers, which included our very own Christian Mommy Writer member Kimberly Duffy, and an in-person visit from Pepper Basham, along with virtual talks with Amanda Dykes, Cara Putnam, Joanna Davidson Politano, and more, and devotionals by the den-mother of our community, Kimberley Woodhouse.

  • You won't see... Me bunking in one room--youth camp style--with Christine Boatwright, Tara Grace Ericson, Laurie Sibley, and Jessica Barber. #bestroomiesever

  • You won't see... dance parties in the living room and by the fireside.

  • You won't see... Bananagrams and manicures and late-night talks around the kitchen table.

  • You won't see... Moms in a hot tub. #thathappened

  • You won't see... Hannah Hood Lucero's car getting stuck on the gravel driveway and nearly getting stranded there forever! #videoproofbelow

  • You won't see... the adorable pixie that is Alisa Hall writing the most amazing superlatives for each attendee. I'll share mine at the bottom. **wink**

  • You won't see... several gals shrieking and jumping straight onto their chairs, in true damsel-style, at the sight of a mouse scurrying through the room and Hannah trying to kill said mouse with her boot (she was not successful, and the mouse lived to tell its own story about the crazy tenants that tried to kill it.)

  • You won't see... Sara Hovel, Alisa Hall, and me making an amazing Taco Bar for lunch, including gluten-free and dairy-free options, because I'm always #allergenfriendly.

  • You won't see... how far everyone had to journey just to make it to the retreat. Poor Dani Renee nearly got stuck in Dallas on her way to the retreat, only to have her return flight canceled by the airport the day before. (She made it home to CA. Eventually).

  • You won't see... that the wi-fi at the Airbnb not working for the first 24 hours, and there was no cell service, so we couldn't let our husbands know we had arrived safely. That wasn't fun.

  • You won't see... carloads of ladies exploring Asheville and the surrounding area, including bookstores and a dinner out at a restaurant that somehow accommodated twenty-one women at one table.

  • You won't see... the hours of deep conversations or the time spent in prayer for each other.

But it all happened, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.

As these ladies have become treasured friends of mine, I kind of want to brag about them. I know you'll want to know them, too, so be sure to check out their websites and social media links posted below!

To the ladies of the Christian Mommy Writers community, thank you for all that you are and all that you do. You are loved, appreciated, and I am so grateful we had the chance to spend time together. I can't wait until we meet again!

Without further ado - our shenanigans--in picture form:

My superlative via Alisa Hall:

Stephanie Rose Finsterbush is most likely to... communicate with the birds and happy critters to finish her chores. After hanging the sheets to dry, they bring her coffee and gluten-free cookies while she writes her historical romance under the shade of an oak.

Pretty accurate! I'm actively looking for the perfect oak to write beneath now. (I already have my gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, wheat-free, soy-free, sesame-free, but most definitely not sugar-free cookies ready to go.)

All my love,

P.S. Writers you'll want to look up:

Love you, ladies!

P.P.S. Here's the #videoproof of Hannah's car finally making it up the driveway! This is after several tries, unloading the passengers and getting a pep-talk from the ninety-year-old Airbnb owner. Don't turn your audio up too loud... there may or may not be excessive cheering.

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4 comentarios

08 ago 2023

Love all the moments you captured (and didn’t capture 😉). It was such a joy to hang out with you and the other ladies in this group.

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Laurie Sibley
Laurie Sibley
05 ago 2023

Such a great write-up. It truly was a wonderful time.

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Hannah Hood Lucero
Hannah Hood Lucero
04 ago 2023

I love this! Especially the making it out of the driveway part. I don’t think that old man wanted me to take up permanent residence.

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Heather Wood
Heather Wood
03 ago 2023

It was such a precious time with precious people!

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