I Love A Great Retreat 

Hello Friends,

Last weekend I attended the Ninja Writers Retreat. It’s been wonderful fun and my motivation has been renewed, my creativity sparked. I learned new things about myself and different ways to do some of the writerly things we writers do to get our stories on the page. I wish it had been a longer retreat, but isn’t that always the case?

The Retreat was held at the St. Mary’s Art and Retreat Center in Virginia City, Nevada, about thirty minutes from Reno. I’ve been to the 


building as a paranormal investigator many times (for investigations and conferences), during tours and at yoga retreats. But, I haven’t been here for about a year. It has changed! It’s very nice. There is new management with a greater focus on the art aspect of the center. Art is placed on each of the four floors, an art decorated room around every corner, giving the entire building an art gallery appearance and feel. Since I love art galleries, I think this is fabulous!

The thing I like the most about St. Mary’s is the quiet serenity I feel when I am here. It’s as if I’m in a different time zone of sorts. The time zone isn’t one of clocks and actual time, rather it is one I feel within my body. It is a zone of comfort and peace, with perfect, restful sleep. I can look out the window and feel as if I am looking at forever, even when looking at something near. The treed mountains, along with the red and tan earth, reach out until sight is lost, touching the expansive blue sky at the horizon. Since childhood, one of my favorite activities was lying on the ground or hood of the car seeing pictures and scenery in the clouds. One could do that with ease in the clouds of the Virginia City sky. I feel at home.

This building used to be a hospital during the old mining days. (There is still mining in the area.) The miners asked the Daughters of Charity, who were nuns, to come to Virginia City and build a hospital. There was a Storey County hospital, but the care was substandard and too many miners died. They needed the kind of help only the Daughters could provide. 

Many of the Daughters were nurses and had a reputation for providing excellent care. St. Mary’s hospital opened in 1876. The medical care at St. Mary’s was the best, most modern, care available, rivaling hospitals in San Francisco. Today here it sits, renovated and cared for thanks to many donations and guests, along with loving care, through the years. (Please forgive me for any inaccuracies in the history. I have been told conflicting stories.)

There are spirits at St. Mary’s, but they are mostly quiet and give the building a benevolent feel. I have stayed twice in a particular room, where I had a wonderful experience. At 2:00 in the afternoon, and waking me in the early morning, I felt a soft energy around my wrist. I realized it was a sister checking my vitals. I said, “Thank you.” In return, I felt a soft hand patting my shoulder and a feeling of intense, perfect love flooded my body. It was truly wondrous.

I hope your week has been fabulous, and that you are all well and whole. Please comment below. Where have you felt most loved, serene, or at peace? Where is your “happy place?”

Julie XOXO


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