Patricia Ann Chaffee
Patricia Ann Chaffee 

Professional Writer ~ Spiritual Director ~ Retreat Guide ~ Expressive Arts Facilitator ~ Simple Living Advocate 

Check out the latest newsletter..And register for the next Creating A Writing Life Retreat on August 17 in Madison, CT.

Creating a Writing Life            June 2019

Lately I have been encountering cairns wherever I go. They may just appear to be a pile of rocks, (Gaelic for "heap of stones"), but they are more than that for the people who build them. Cairns have been around longer than we have been tracking, how long things have been around. Yep, that long. We've been stacking rocks a long time. They symbolize a variety of things but are often used as navigation for hikers, in astronomy, or for ceremonial purposes.  In Buddhist and other faith traditions, they can be a sacred space, used for worship or prayer, and can be a symbol of peace and balance. 

I noticed the cairn pictured above on my way to Ender's Island in Mystic where we had a Creating A Writing Life Retreat two weeks ago. Then last weekend, I was at Mercy By the Sea in Madison to attend a retreat by author of Moments of Grace, Laurie Blefeld, to nurture my own spirit. There was another one, high on  a bluff overlooking the water. I wondered about the person who built it. I wondered about their story and what brought them there. I'm a curious sort, perhaps from my time as a reporter and freelance writer. I've conducted hundreds of interviews and I guess that role requires a certain degree of curiosity.

I remember when I wrote for southern Rhode Island newspapers and we would run an annual photo contest. I helped judge the photo entries. Inevitably I would select a cairn as a favorite, and my editor, Dave Smith would always nix it. He was a great editor and a true inspiration for my writing life. He wasn't much for stacked stones though, while I found them both fascinating and beautiful. 

The mystery of a cairn is as personal as the unwritten stories or poems we hold within us. And those unwritten stories are the impetus for my decision to make our August 17 retreat at Mercy By the Sea, the last. They may be offered through other organizations or retreat centers but not directly through me as I have other projects in mind. I look forward to sharing those with you as they unfold. Stay tuned.

We still have some space for the August event and if you register with a friend you both get a discount.  I'm looking forward to our time with guest speaker Gail Chianese. She is a contemporary romance writer, author of seven books and member of the Connecticut Romance Writers of America. I look forward to hearing her story.

Until next month, that's all for now.  Watch for those stones... 


Click here to view the rest of this issue...


Super simple registration: Email or call me with your request to register,
and I'll let you know if there is still room and where you can send your registration. 

Inspiring & empowering emerging writers for over a decade !
(and aren't we all emerging in some way?)

(860) 536-0051

July 2017 Creating A Writing Life Retreat at Mercy By the Sea, Madison, CT

June 2017 Retreat at Mercy By the Sea

Sign up to receive the Creating A Writing Life newsletter that celebrates writing, creativity, simplicity, and learn about upcoming programs and's free and easy. Just email your request to .














Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
Copyright© 2015 Patricia Ann Chaffee