For several years, I intermittently joined an evolving group of women in a day-long writing retreat held in a charmingly reimagined 1700s home near the Salisbury, CT-Millerton, NY border. Our leader gave us a “prompt” to write about, and the idea was not to take your pen off the paper until the time was up. She was a family therapist and published poet, basing her writing sessions on Natalie Goldberg’s book “Writing Down the Bones.”
There was only a limited number of attendees - eight, I think. The day included a delectable and healthy lunch with wine — and there were strict rules. We were not to comment, either praising or criticizing, one another’s stories. We were not to react to those who shed tears, but rather, offered them a Kleenex and kept a respectful silence.