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We’re back from our eleventh annual writer’s getaway in Grand Lake, and we’ve heard the verdict: People came home with a new sense of oomph, a healthy exhaustion, and a profound tolerance for water, wine and, in some cases, Ransick-mixed Margaritas, which were rumored to make one’s face go numb.
From the people I talked to, about 40 of them, everyone wrote a lot while we were up there. Most are somewhere in the middle, but among participants we had everyone from published, best-selling writers to absolute beginners. No informal caste systems emerged. No one challenged anyone else to a spoken word rumble. We did see quite a few bonds form, heard some awesome readings, took workshops on everything from how Hitchcock can change your writing to close reading. Friendly debates emerged as we discussed this year’s books: Nabokov’s Speak, Memory; Mike Henry’s No Stranger Than My Own; Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth; and, just for giggles, Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road. On movie night, Alexandre Philippe deconstructed Hitchcock’s Rope. We stormed member Sheila Wright’s lovely home on the lake for a reprise of last year’s “cocktails and star gazing” party. She and hubby Roscoe Hill are Lighthouse faves forever. Thanks to Marcela Giusiano-Bird and her hubby Ian, too, for the clerico. (Think sangria with white wine: Fruity goodness.)
We’ve set dates for next year’s romp: July 11 – 16, 2010. Be there or be bereft of the most inspiring week of the year. And don’t forget to enter the Lighthouse “touch a moose” contest. This year’s winner received an all-expense-paid camping trip with LH faculty member William Haywood Henderson, who insisted that the winner carry both backpacks.