Missed the exit for Route 2 on the way home but the Pike was faster so it didn’t cost us, time-wise.

During the writing retreat at Stump Sprouts in Hawley, Mass (led by Maureen Buchanan Jones), we had little sun. It which hardly mattered given the indoor focus, but it did mean I didn’t get the same quality of photos as other years.

This year I walked A LOT. I finally got to use one of the many emergency ponchos I’ve purchased over the years (and for which I have taken much shit, BTW). That was a vindication of sorts.

The retreat numbers shrank for Covid and did not scale back up, probably because it’s so much nicer to bunk alone. It made a nice difference. At night, it was so quiet and so dark. Quite delicious.

It’s hard to characterize the retreat experience. People made me laugh. Some cried while reading. We were silly, intense, thoughtful, and there for each other. It’s true that when you show up for another person’s writing, you are showing up for them.

I also did Tarot readings for about half the group which added a little extra intimacy.

I “got” a couple Lucy Audubon scenes (even though I keep saying I don’t want to write about her) and interestingly, a Salem witchcraft scene. That was unexpected.

Now I’m back home and wanting to get it together. on Instagram, maybe a newsletter, etc.

QUESTION: thinking about my upcoming trip to Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Jackson, and maybe Memphis — any recommendations?

Another QUESTION: Are any of you interested in writing with me and others once a week starting in September? It’ll be ten weeks on zoom. Two hours a class on Wednesday mornings. The structure is simple and surprisingly productive — we write to prompts and then read around. All levels of experience welcome.

Email me ( or drop a comment if interested. First class is free to give newbies a taste. Otherwise, $30 per session. I always talk to people before enrollment.

Recent prompt

19 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. RainSluice

    “yes” to writing with you! I am starting to wrap my head around such a commitment, right here, right now. yes!
    That retreat sounds like it was great! Brava!
    I love your photo and caption about missing the exit for Route 2. Somehow it lands in my brain next to a line (John Ashbery?) something like: off the highway “…and into a plowed cornfield”.
    Also the photo with those distant blue mountains is gorgeous.
    “The story becomes the medicine…”
    I think all this just got me out of a funk I didn’t know I was in.
    Thank you.

  2. Tina

    The legacy museum in Montgomery .. is a must see. Lots of other places I’m sure are already on your list. It’s going to be an amazing trip.
    Such a beautiful place for your retreat..

  3. Liz A

    love the picture of the sun/moon rising/setting over the mountains … and yes please … I’d love to write with you now that I’ve figured out a work-around for Zoom

  4. Saskia van Herwaarden

    those views are spectacular
    your writing sessions sounds like something I would enjoy [I know from painting/working together in an online Carla Sonheim class how well it does work], however the six hour time difference means it would be late afternoon here and as I go to clay class Wednesday evenings I would not have time to eat in between plus I’ld feel rushed… I’m gonna pass

    1. deemallon Post author

      The time difference is tricky. 11 am is just barely workable for people on the west coast, but it does work, so my Tuesday group is at 11. Six hours is a lot though.

  5. Ginny

    I’d like to try one of your classes. I tend to choke in situations like this but I’ve always wanted to do one of these group writing classes. Do you have room for one more?

  6. Faith

    A photographer once told me that cloudy days actually made for better photos–no glare and richer colors. I think your photos attest to that.

    I feel the urge to get back to writing. My son is doing a detailed edit of a novella length story I wrote years ago. I hope he finishes before he starts back to school (for MA in creative writing). That will be, I hope, a good motivation for me.


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