Nerissa's Retreat Schedule 2014
Winter Jan 3-5 2014; Spring March 21-23;
Summer Adirondack June 27-29
Summer Weeklong Retreat July 7-11
Fall September 19-21
Classic Weekend Retreats start on Friday at 5:30pm with registration, dinner and a round of introductions. We will do writing exercises and work on works in progress until 9:00. The next morning at 9:15, we will congregate for coffee, tea and a short lecture, discussion and some exercises, followed by individual writing. Break for lunch. Regroup in the afternoon for sharing finished work or works in progress and another writing session. We will have a group dinner on the porches of the fine Victorian homestead we'll be using.
Sunday will be the same as Saturday, but we will end at noon.
For Deep Retreats, we write a little more and share a little less. It's an excellent time to get a project started, work uninterrupted on a longer piece or just breathe a little. And together, we will welcome the light back in on the Spring Equinox!
On Friday evening, we'll gather at 5:30 for a delicious home cooked meal and discussion around Nerissa's large dining room table. We'll write together and share what we've written that night. Saturday morning, Nerissa will serve you breakfast, coffee and tea, and we'll write from 9:30-noon. After lunch break, return at 3 for another couple hours of writing. Saturday dinner will be the traditional roast chicken with yams and a vegetarian alternative. We''ll hear from poets and songwriters Saturday night and then sing our hearts out (or play Attaturk...). Sunday, we'll gather for one more short writing session and then sharing. Retreat ends at noon on Sunday.
To register, write her at Nerissand@gmail.com. Cost is $200 for Weekend Writing Retreats and $400 for the Weeklong Summer Retreat ($300 for Creativity Retreats.) A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to hold your spot. There is a surcharge if you choose to pay with PayPal, below.
The fee does not include accommodations, but there are lovely and affordable places to stay nearby and we can help direct you to them. Fee includes dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, abundant coffee and tea, and light refreshments. Breakfast and lunch are catch as catch can. The retreat is 1.2 miles from downtown Northampton, and a half a block from the bike path, right on the bus line.
photo by Kris McCue
Summer Adirondack Retreat June 27-29, 2014 Writing it up in the Garden Retreat in the Adirondacks!!!
For this retreat, we will write for the usual two days (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning) and spend Sunday afternoon hiking, canoeing, and just hanging out in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The retreat is held in the town of Keene and the Nields Family house, a beautiful A frame with huge windows and generous porches, woods and lawn, and the spirit of Big Yellow. Not to be missed!
Summertime Weeklong Writers Retreat!
July 7-11 Monday-Friday
Finally--give yourself to your writing for one delicious week! We will meet from 9am-4pm. Mornings will be dedicated to writing in my beautiful house, inside or out on the porch, or patio, or in the secret spot in the center of my labyrinth...or even on the second floor of my barn. There will be breaks for stretches, tea and coffee, snacks. We'd have lunch together around my dining room table or outside in the backyard--I'd provide lunch. We'd get back to writing at 1 and do some light sharing/workshopping from 3-4. Think Yaddo. Think MacDowell. Evenings, you are on your own to explore the cultural life of the Five College area, dine at some of our fine establishments, watch the late sunset, even go for an evening hike on one of the Seven Sisters.
For those with children: there are multiple wonderful week-long summer camps in the area. Consider coming with your partner and kids and making it a vacation! Many local houses available for week-long rent. And/or I can arrange for babysitters and a play group.
For those with dogs--you can stay at the wonderful nearby Clarion Hotel, one mile away.
Creativity Retreat (not yet scheduled for 2014)
I Want To Be a Woman Like Me Creativity retreat with Nerissa & Katryna Nields! Have you ever wondered if you can sing? Draw, Paint? Write? Perform? Join us for an experiential retreat where we will teach you the secrets to living fully, making creativity a part of your every day experience. You will learn practical tools, habits and skills and you are guaranteed a fabulous time! Open to beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
You will arrive at 5:30 on Friday and be greeted by Katryna, Nerissa and various members of Nerissa's family. You will be fed an amazing meal cooked by us excellent cooks: a meal that is healthy but you'd never know it, it's THAT GOOD! After dinner, we'll go around and introduce ourselves, set intentions and Katryna and I will talk about bringing the creative into your daily life. We'll have our first creative session during which all will write. You can plan on being back at your hotel by 9pm. Saturday: Arrive at 9:15 for light breakfast, coffee, tea. We'll do one session in the morning, during which Katryna will teach you her secret special technique for painting and drawing. Saturday afternoon we will sing in three part harmony. After another fabulous dinner, we will do some group singing for those inclined! Sunday we will arrive again at 9:15 and make vision boards (collage work/play) until noon. All kinds of artists are welcome, and we will craft a program specifically for you. Cost: $300 (includes some materials).
People take their shoes off here.
It is a safe space
The walls are welcoming, full of so many pictures:
Memories of white dress days,
Bathtub scenes captured in pencil,
Most are in rectangled frame houses of their own, while others have roommates.
It is an artful geometry.
Outside the house is green:
Painted wood trim,
Prickly needles on bushes,
I take a moment to appreciate the space, glancing out at the world from inside the front door which, really, is like glancing out at the world from the inside of a heart.
Something starts here-
The most precious of births
Minds twirl into action,
Communal inspiration bounces
Wall to wall
Head to head
Pen to paper
Fingers to keys
As though stuck in a poetic game of pinball.
The writing begins,
A tiny, barefoot heartbeat.