Nov 29 to Dec 5, 2015, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico
led by Milli Thornton, writing coach & author of
Fear of Writing: putting the fun back into writing
Closet writers welcome!
This friendly, lively and FUN writing workshop is happening Nov 29 to Dec 5, 2015 in the hills above the charming Mexican village of Todos Santos, on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja peninsula.
With all-new material from Milli (presented in a colorful take-home workbook) your imagination with be triggered by daily expeditions, a cooking class with local chef Iker Algorri and possibly—depending on Mother Nature—a baby sea turtle release!
The 5-day/6-night workshop will be held at Los Colibris Casitas, a Trip Advisor-recommended gem perched on a hillside overlooking a grove of palm trees, the beach and the Pacific Ocean.
Expeditions include Todos Santos historical town tour, Sierra de la Laguna mountain potters, El Triunfo (historic gold & silver mining town), Cactus Sanctuary, life stories from adventure travelers and a cliff walk/beach picnic. (Full itinerary available for download below.)
— Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo
Questions are welcome and highly encouraged . . . but there’s
lots more info below, so be sure to read this page first!
What you’ll find out by thoroughly reading the information presented below:
WHETHER YOU’RE an avid traveler or someone who yearns to travel, this workshop will take you on journeys (both inward and outward) designed to spontaneously combust your preconceived notions. In a 5-day feast of writing, world food and local expeditions, you’ll experience the joys of writing from all of your senses—including the seldom-mentioned 7th sense.
Who is this workshop for?This workshop is suitable for beginners, established writers—and even those who’ve never written before but have been yearning to.
A closet writer is someone who has dreamed of “someday” being a writer but has either been too busy or too scared to try. Now you can come out of the closet the easy way. This workshop can also helped seasoned writers recover from feeling jaded, stale or blocked.
If you’re willing to live your dreams, you don’t need previous writing experience. Workshop presenter Milli Thornton is the author of Fear of Writing and presenter of the popular Fear of Writing Clinic. She knows how to unleash your inner writer, no matter how long it’s been cramped in confinement.
Milli’s methods are based on creativity and the proper use of the imagination, and that’s why you can go from zippo to writing engaging material in one workshop. Here’s a story from one of Milli’s gatherings:
A 79-year-old man named Jim came to the Fear of Writing Clinic with no previous creative writing experience. All he’d ever written since his school days amounted to some office memos. He came to the clinic because he was bored with retirement. After trying the Storyteller Writing Prompts from Milli’s book and then sharing his newly-written stories with the group, the other participants LOVED his writing. The feedback ranged from “Was that a true story?!”—it wasn’t, he was just using his imagination the way Milli had instructed during the workshop—to “Jim, if you don’t keep writing, you’re crazy!”
It can actually be better if you don’t have a lot of training. The beginner’s mind is ripe for exploration! It’s so much easier to let yourself have fun when you don’t have a bunch of publishing industry rules already engraved inside your head.
You’ll learn how to “travel” no matter where you are, how to write from those mysterious places inside of you that light up your world, and how to believe in yourself in unexpected ways.
From a closet writer, after experiencing Milli’s workshop style:
“It seems like I’ve been writing non-stop ever since your workshop. I had a fantastic idea for a book based on one of your workshop exercises and have been writing it ever since. It keeps me awake at night with new twists and turns. I can’t tell you the joy I’m feeling . . . it’s a feeling of coming home for me.”
— Kerree Wheelock, Colorado
First reactions to news of the workshop on Facebook:
“OMG, I want to attend!!!”
— jayni wilson sickler, Santa Fe, New Mexico (veteran of the Fear of Writing Clinic, the Tantrick Writing Clinic, Milli’s Santa Fe writing circle and enthusiastic three-time student of the Fear of Writing Online Course)
“Do closet writers need to bring a flashlight?”
— Terry Price, The Frosty Cow, Abiquiú, New Mexico
Will I have to read my writing to the group? Will my writing be critiqued?
Burning Question #1: Will anyone critique my writing? No! In fact, critiques are not allowed. The philosophy at Milli’s workshops is to provide a safe place where no one has to dread an unkind critique.
Burning Question #2: Will I have to read what I’ve written to the group? Everyone is encouraged to read to the group what they have written, but no one is pressured to read. If you’re nervous, you can wait and observe until you feel ready. If you never feel ready for the entire workshop, that’s OK. But it’s very unlikely. Once you relax and realize you’re in a supportive atmosphere, you will want to take the risk of sharing.
The camaraderie in Milli’s workshops is special, and it’s one of the reasons writers and closet writers stick with her programs over a period of years. In fact, one of Milli’s regulars who read an early version of this page said: “You forgot to mention the camaraderie! That’s such an important part of it.”
“Thanks for a great workshop. I realized several things—one of which is that other people’s fears are no greater or lesser than mine. That was very helpful.”
—Terry Fisher, Albuquerque, New Mexico
“It screams SAFE!”
—Sallye Beranak, Ft. Collins, Colorado
Creative expeditions & workshop itineraryAlthough the wonder of writing on a roof-top deck with a view of the Pacific Ocean is guaranteed to make you happy, we will also venture out on several expeditions during the workshop. Just like the food, the expeditions will feed your senses, which will feed your writing.
Milli will show you how to trick yourself out of the usual “I don’t know where to start” mental traps and use these adventures to go beyond the stereotypes of writing into other dimensions.
Workshop presenter Milli Thornton and adventure travel guide Deborah Stephens of Timeless Journeys scour the countryside looking for the unusual and the classic, the stimulating and the relaxing, the historic and the memorable. You’ll ride in a passenger van with your fellow writing students and your biggest job will be to drink in the beauty and starkness of the Baja desert and mountain landscape.
The expeditions are safe and fun (no action sports) and fodder for a thousand photos.
The student workbook and the curriculum that keeps on giving
The workshop starts with icebreaker exercises created in Milli’s typical style: so easy and fun you’ll barely notice you’re writing. (Wait a minute. Shouldn’t it be harder than this?!)
After you’re warmed up you’ll be catapulted into workbook assignments (based on the expeditions) that will make you want to stay up at night writing.
The exercises are all very specific and well explained. You will never be left wondering what to write or how to get started. Milli has 15 years experience designing writing prompts and creative assignments for her students and coaching clients, and her methods really work.
“I have never written so much in my life. I’m up to page 25 of my story. I thought I was unable to carry a story this long, but I guess I was wrong. Milli, I hit the jackpot with you!”
—Sid Mendelson, Montville, NJ
Not only will the workbook pull creative stuff out of you that you didn’t know was there, you’ll be able to continue using it at home for more writing pleasure. The workbook will also give you fun ways to stay involved with Milli’s writing programs even after you’ve returned home.
“Great writing exercises. Nothing has set me free like these. Thanks!”
—Lyn Canham, Sandia Park, New Mexico
“The exercises were fun! I had a GREAT time.”
—Donna Brown, Albuquerque, New Mexico
What’s Included & Dietary Considerations
Besides the writing workshop and student workbook, here’s what the price of $2,635 includes:
Two casitas have separate bedrooms. One casita has a queen bed in the bedroom plus a queen-size futon in the living area. All other casitas have a shared bedroom (two people per casita) where each person will have her own twin bed. Our Early Bird Registration Bonus is your own bedroom, so book early if you’d like your own room.
Food allergies are no problemo. Bryan & Sergio at Los Colibris always ask each guest to provide their dietary restrictions prior to arriving. Chef Iker at Los Colibris and all the restaurants listed on the workshop itinerary have no problem accommodating a wide range of issues.
Each guest will be required to sign a waiver before stepping into the Los Colibris van for the drive from the airport to Todos Santos.
taking the workshop, traveling Baja, hiking, eating, swimming,
doing yoga oceanside, delving into history
and hidden caverns of my imagination.
— jayni wilson sickler, blogger at http://mochamuse.com
Chef Iker Algorri, at your service!
Our workshop chef, Iker, has a passion for preparing and presenting regional and exotic dishes. You’ll not only be consuming his delicious breakfasts, during our cooking class with Chef Iker you’ll be using what you see, smell, taste, touch and hear to enhance the writing you’ll be doing.
What’s the weather like in Todos Santos in December?
We purposely chose the beginning of December because the weather is lovely at that time of year! Like a not-too-hot summer and with cool nights that invite a cozy sleep.
due to the nearly perfect climate.” — Jim Pickell, CalyCanto Casitas
A Trip Advisor reviewer, ZLI from Powell River, Canada, shares in more depth about December weather in Todos Santos at the link below. Although ZLI indicates the water temperature might be too much of a “gasper” for swimming, Bryan at Los Colibris Casitas says that December is usually still good for it. However, if the water does happen to be too chilly for swimming, Los Colibris has a hot tub we can use to warm up first. Beats being back home in the snow and ice!
More About Los Colibris Casitas
Los Colibris Casitas is located in Todos Santos, Mexico on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja peninsula. Los Colibris has been a recipient of the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 4 years in a row, and the ocean views from the patios are breathtaking. Find out more at their website:
Limit of 12 participants. $2,635 per person (airfare not included).
What would it take for you to live this dream?
If you’re ‘salivating’ at the sound of this adventure but you’re also feeling some hesitation, please drop Milli a line to arrange for a friendly chat. She understand your fears and she doen’t engage in pressure sales tactics. If you want to explore the possibility of coming to this workshop but you’re nervous about some aspect of it, it will be her pleasure to talk with you—no matter what your decision ends up being.