For years I’ve wanted to attend a Highlights Foundation retreat, but life just got in the way. I even scheduled one and had to cancel due to work. My friends kept telling me you have to go! This time I was determined to get there! I saw a posting for one called “Getting to know your Picture Book with Debbie Ohi.” It started with an online course in June and July then wrapped up in person in September at Highlights where Heidi Stemple, Lisa Cinelli, Rubin Pfeffer, Jake Bazel, and Kelly Light would join Debbie in guiding us through the retreat onsite. I was excited that Debbie was heading up the group because she comes from a tech geek girl background too! She is great, if you get to do a retreat with her don’t pass it up. You won’t be sorry!
I’ve always been comfortable with design and layout but shy when it came to my storytelling. I’ve got plenty of stories, but since I didn’t go to college for writing, I wasn’t as confident in putting my work out there. My SCBWI critique groups have helped me a lot in the last couple of years. I knew I needed to explore additional creative avenues for my growth and to get over my fears.
That is where Highlights changed my life. Did I mention I’m an introvert…I know…I know…you all are like right Cindy…You? Yep me, but that is for another blog post 😉
The guidance Debbie gave us online in June and July helped boost my confidence. When we got to Highlights in September, it was like we all knew each other already! We worked on our stories, and by the end of the weekend I stood up and shared it in front of the group. Thank goodness for podiums. Nobody saw my hands shaking and knees knocking. It felt GREAT!
We had a pretty big group as you can see here in the picture. By the end of the weekend, it felt like we were leaving camp with the hope of coming back again.
If you haven’t taken a retreat to Highlights, maybe this video will convince you otherwise. I forgot to mention that my husband John did an Un-Workshop and shot all this fantastic drone footage while we were there.