Branson Retreat

Two weeks ago I met up with former Inkspers Brenda Anderson and Stacy Monson in Branson, Missouri for a writing retreat. We stayed at an amazing resort at The Cliffs at Long Creek, a short but curvy drive from downtown Branson.

The first night we were visited by a masked intruder. Lucky for us it was a friendly animal critter, not a criminal critter. This little guy was very dedicated to climbing up the beams that hold the screen for the basement patio, and he almost made it had we not gotten too close and scared the poor guy away.

Racoon at BransonEach of the seasons were represented in the seven days we spent at the resort. There were 70 degree days, a hail storm to rival any we’ve had in Iowa, a windy day that would blow the hair off of your head, and a day of massive snowfall. You just can’t beat the Midwest for changing seasons in short order.

I managed to get two of my floundering manuscripts tore apart and pieced back together to into stronger, more interesting stories. I also started a Middle Grade novel about a Troll Princess who learns that beauty is more than warty skin deep.

After our group, which included Brenda’s daughter Sarah and another friend Mari Keisling, spentMoses musical Moses the majority of our week writing, we ended our retreat on a high note watching Moses, a musical at the Sight and Sound theater. Brenda got us a backstage tour after the show, and we got to meet the actor who played Moses. I can’t say enough about the musical and Sight and Sound theater. Moses was an amazing production, the actors incredibly talented, and they even had live animals that traversed the aisles. It was probably a good thing I didn’t have an aisle seat! I wouldn’t have been able to not reach out and touch the camel as it plodded past.

Alas, the last day came and went and I am back home building on all of the work I managed to get done during our luxurious stay. Next year we plan on having the retreat at a resort in Minnesota, but I will always remember the incredible stay we had at Long Creek.

Below is a video I took when I first entered the resort. Be jealous. Be very, very jealous.

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Dawn Ford

Dawn is a young adult fiction author, creating authentic stories that cut through the lies we hide behind to break through to our inner truths. Her passions are her faith, family, shoes, purses, things that sparkle, and anything steampunk. Keep up with Dawn's news and events at

9 thoughts on “Branson Retreat”

  1. Ahhh, it was such a fabulous week! No distractions, just writing and awesome fellowship. Can’t wait until next year! (BTW – Inksper readers would have been even more jealous if you’d shown them my 5-showerhead shower and the huge jetted tub and the pool table and the theater room with recliners (which we didn’t even use!)

    1. I’m terrible at pool, so I avoided it, lol! I did use the theater room that one morning. It was a great place to write–quiet and tucked away.

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful and productive time! C’mon, though– wouldn’t a REAL criminal been so much more fun than the raccoon? (Says the person writing a murder mystery!)

  3. Oh my — gorgeous inside and out!!!!! And I am jealous! Especially for the masked bandit sighting. 🙂 How accommodating of Missouri to offer you a variety of seasons during your stay. You don’t get that kind of service just anywhere. LOL

    1. It was amazing. We all wanted to stay. It was really neat that the infinity pool opened one day with the 70 degree weather and that night we had the hail storm, so the pool had to be closed the next day. I was glad we took a moment to walk up and dip our toes in the chilly water!

  4. Color me jealous, too!! Beautiful house, beautiful view, and a MUSICAL?!! Sigh. I’m so glad you got so much work done!! I need about a MONTH to get done what I need to! lol!

    1. Well, I didn’t get done exactly. But I did make progress and enjoyed myself along the way. 😉

  5. We love Branson. That house looks perfect for a writing retreat! Spots to hang out together, and places to be alone as well! So glad y’all got to do this!

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