The Painted Bird Bookshop owner Rosalind Gerspacher hosts the Heart and Mind Writers Group.

Escape with writing group

Ever wanted to fly away to exotic faraway lands? Pull off a bank robbery of mythic proportions? How about save the world from nuclear disaster or travel on an African safari?

Solving complex mysteries and intricate rescues has become a regular occurrence for a group of local writers that come together Friday night at the Painted Bird Bookshop in Sicamous.

Rosalind Gerspacher, owner of the Painted Bird Bookstore, says the “Heart and Mind” writers group started out as a way to escape cabin fever this winter.

“Many people read to while away the hours when shut in during bad weather. Writing also takes you away. Only this time, you control where the story is going,” said Gerspacher.

Fran Christie, another member of the group explains, “The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.” Anyone can do it. You don’t have to be an accomplished writer to join the group. “There are writers of all levels that join in,” she says, “and the bottom line, all the writers agree, is having fun.

“We take turns picking a theme to write on, and it’s pretty random. You don’t have to stick with the theme either; sometimes people go off in another direction,” said Gerspacher.

Everybody has their own style and preferences. One writer prefers science fiction. Another one likes to write fantasy.

“Sometimes we just do journaling,” said Gerspacher. “Real life is often stranger than fiction. You wouldn’t believe the adventures some of our writers have had. Over the top. It’s really fun.”

Having a theme to write on seems to get you going, Christie explains.

“Lots of ideas for writing come out of that group. You don’t have to worry about writers block,” she said, adding her own preference is murder mystery.

“Most of the writers are just in it to have a good time, but it’s a good motivator to people who want to publish too,” said Gerspacher. “It gets you over writers block, that’s for sure. And there are plenty of new ideas brewing every Friday night.

“You never know which way it’s going to go.”

Gerspacher says that unlike some writers’ groups that target a certain age group, this writers’ group has had people of different ages, from young adults to seniors. They all come together with writing as the common interest.

Arts and crafts are popular in Sicamous. Writing is another way to while away the hours. Only this time it’s done with words instead of yarn.

Come and try it out Fridays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Painted Bird Bookstore, at Parkland Centre.

Spin a tale of adventure and intrigue. It’s free.

Wherever you want to travel in your imagination, the Sicamous writers group can help get you there.