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An In-Saddle Writers' Workshop

Scribes make for the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown.

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An In-Saddle Writers' Workshop

Wild Horse Sanctuary

An offbeat writers' workshop clip-clops into the Wild Horse Sanctuary near Shingletown on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16.

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TODAY'S TOP TEN WRITING TIPS: If you're a writer, of any sort -- novels, screenplays, poetry, grocery lists, or all of the above -- you likely have dealt with the onslaught of creative quick tips to get those writer-block-y walls brought down in a jiffy. Count backwards from 100 or smile ten times in a row or do both simultaneously appear alongside a host of other suggestions that may or may not hold much water. But, truly, the one tip you do need is this: Step away from what you're writing. Really away, so you're not staring at the last sentence you just wrote and wondering where to go from there. And if you want to get really, really, really away, there's an intriguing option straight ahead: Writin' Riders, a two-day horse-and-words gathering at the Wild Horse Sanctuary near Shingletown.

GRAB THE REINS: Set to clip-clop on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16, Writin' Riders is a workshop led by author Terri Farley. Ms. Farley'll head out into the wide open spaces with attendees, on the search for the sanctuary's most famous inhabitants, the ponies that roam free. Along the way, off-horse, there will be writing discussion, a shade-tree lunch, and a 90-minute writing workshop. You'll also read a short piece you've written (fingers crossed) while at the sanctuary.

A NOVEL IDEA: Writing workshops come in every stripe, but we do salute those that think outside the box, and by box we mean a room with chairs and tables. Some physical activity is good for the thoughts, just about every study shows, and some hours in the saddle might jostle your next book into being. And, nope, your books don't have to be about riding or horses, but if they are? So much the better. Cost is $475, accommodations and meals are in that mix, and more. Even if this isn't for you, maybe an offbeat, fresh-air creative happening is what you need? Let this be the sign you've been waiting for.

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