A week at Doe Branch Ink is a marvelous blend of inspiration, natural
beauty and interaction with fellow writers from across the land. In
our group they came from Minnesota, New Jersey, Arkansas, North
Carolina, Georgia and New York.
Their geographic homes, literary goals and seasoned experiences made
even the most casual conversations intensely interesting. Dave
Gessner and Bill Roorbach, our team of writers-in-residence, are a
brilliantly qualified duo who also happen to be extremely entertaining
and personable. Their structured morning sessions covered a vast
range of knowledge about the business of writing along with individual
critiques and guidance that resonated not only with the person center
stage but had all others furiously writing down nuggets of knowledge
to post on the walls of our writing caves. My favorite, “Writing a
book is the hardest thing I have ever done,” said Dave. I thought I
was the only person who believed that.
On arrival the natural beauty of the setting stopped me. The main
lodge is near the top of a mountain graced with a long range view
across a valley and meadow laced with a creek that eventually flows
into the French Broad River. Multiple trails beckon you into the
woods. A natural bonus is we hit peak blooming season for
rhododendron. June weather did not disappoint.
Our comfortable accommodations offered privacy and respite. This, in
keeping with our goals for the week, communicated that we were here
for a serious undertaking, not a plush resort vacation. The food was
healthy and consistently good.
Morning sessions with Dave and Bill bristled with lively conversation,
critiques and discussion. The mood of our unstructured afternoons was
clearly business and off we went to a chosen spot to write away. The
dedication exuded by several writers encouraged us all to assert
discipline. The one-on-one critiques, mine with Dave, was
informative, direct and encouraging. I came to Doe Branch looking for
inspiration and motivation. I got it in spades.
My week and experience at Doe Branch was extremely beneficial–I would
strongly recommend it to my friends and may go again.