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Need a Creative Getaway? How About Writing at the Bed And Breakfast!

Need to just “get away” and let those stories that have been percolating in your mind COME OUT?

Krista Soukup and Blue Cottage Agency presents a unique writing experience. Join them for a weekend writing retreat for all genres at the beautiful W.W. Smith Bed and Breakfast in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.


Blue Cottage Agency promotes and represents writers, books and publications, as well as the advancement of the literary arts as a whole. Blue Cottage’s mission is to promote and represent writers, books, literary organizations and publications as well as the advancement of the literary arts as a whole.

This very special writer’s retreat features classes presented by award winning author Candace Simar, author and writing instructor Angela F. Foster and literary publicist Krista Rolfzen Soukup. This retreat also includes scheduled blocks of writing time and a limited number of individual editing, publicity and fiction writing consultations available throughout the weekend.


Friday, October 18:
7:00 p.m. Appetizers and Welcome “Beginnings”

Saturday, October 19:
9:00 a.m. “Writing Without Cliché”
12:00 p.m. Lunch1:00 p.m. “Killing the Passive Voice”
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. “Marketing for Writers”
Sunday, October 20:

9:00-11:00 “Best Writing Tips”

Price $199.00 Includes writing retreat, instruction, meals and beverages (Lodging not included)

To register or call 218-828-4717.

Limited Rooms available at the W.W. Smith B & B.
To reserve a room or for information on additional local Bed and Breakfast or hotel lodging options call 1-800-799-5661

Making a Living on YOUR Terms: FREElance FREEdom

Freelance Freedom
I am a education/learning junkie. I am constantly looking for and taking new classes, courses, and seminars that will help ME be a better ME in business.
I truly feel that the success I am enjoying now is a product of my willingness to set aside the time and bucks to learn what I need to learn to move forward in my dreams.
Here’s a Cool Story:
I’ve always felt like the lone-soldier-on-the-hill when it came to being a blogger and work-from-home entrepreneur. Last year, I met a fellow community member and, in that moment, it was like I found my TWIN. Kathleen was also a freelancer and had left a good job to pursue a dream of working from home as a writer. Not only was she doing great, she was rockin it. It was a blessing to talk with someone else about the struggles, triumphs, issues and best practices of working as a freelancer.

We talked, dreamed and plotted and came to the realization that together, we knew a lot of stuff!

Kathleen ( the “Crafter of Words”) is a full-time freelance writer and a regular contributor to HerLife Magazine out of Kansas City and Her Voice here in Brainerd, as well as several online publications.

Kathleen Krueger

Then there’s ME :) I left the retail industry life two years ago to work full-time (from home and on my own terms)  as a virtual assistant, writer and blogger. I too write for HerLife Magazine (Sacramento and Central Valley) and am also a regular contributor to HerVoice magazine. Did I mention I am a blogging fiend? I blog on 7 different blogs including this one. Love, love LUV blogging.
me updated

So as former “9 to 5ers” we decide to join forces and pull back the curtains on what’s it like to experience FREElance FREEdom. We wanted people to know that, hey, we’ve “been there.” We know the struggles and frustration of working to make a living, but feeling like you’ve forgotten to make a life. But we made a choice and made a change.

Freelancers can be anything from accountants and marketing pros to writers and virtual assistants. The opportunities are endless.

The key here is the word “FREE.”  As an independent contractor (Freelancer) you have the ability to shift and adjust your work load and working hours around that thing called LIFE.

Together Kathleen and I teamed up to create a  “lunch and learn” experience called FREElance FREEdom on September 21, 2013.


This is a physical seminar (the on-line option is being created as we speak, but not available yet) but if you live within driving distance of Baxter Minnesota and have always wanted to explore work-from-home options, this seminar is something you might want to jump on.  This event is designed to be a day-long, info-packed freelancing “how-to” boot camp that allows people just like you to see that….
life  beyond the cubicle, is very possible.
Don’t think this bootcamp will be two talking heads, fluff and a lot of blah, blah, blah. We plan to dig deep and share a TON. Everything from using contracts with clients, to where to find clients, how to pitch an editor and how to get paid what you are worth will be covered in this day-long freelance event.
To get the full break down of class offerings go HERE.
Interested? FABBY. Our Early Bird Ticket price ends September 1 and tickets will only be available until 9/14. We also have limited seating so don’t delay securing your place now. Go here for details or to purchase your ticket!

Squeezing Out The Last Ounces of Summer

Today over on my Franticmommy blog I share an article about how I need summer to sllloooowwwww down.

I looked and there are 23 days until school officially begins here in the Lake Country. TWENTY-THREE!


I intend to squeeze out every last drop of summer in those remaining 23 days. Here’s some ideas how:

Find a Festival:

Events like The Chokecherry Festival, Emily Days, and Deerwood Summerfest are just a sampling of local summer fun. I love exploring new towns, looking through craft booths, and noshing of festival foods. Check for upcoming events, pack up the fam, and GO.

 Deerwood Summerfest

Deerwood Summerfest

Have a picnic (a REAL picnic)

Buttercream BakeHouse has a wonderful post and link-up with all sorts of picnic ideas.


Explore The Night Life:

No, I don’t mean clubbing (sorry) I mean family-friendly fun. Jump Into a Book encourages us to study the night sky and learn about constellations and Childhood Beckons shares 15 Ways to Have Fun After Dark.

Have fun outside after dark

Visit a Museum:

I love history and especially local history. Museums are a great family friendly activity cleverly disguised as learning :). Awesome museums win the Brainerd Lakes Area (and beyond) include Crow Wing Historical Society, This Old Farm, Mille Lacs Indian Museum, Northern Trackers Club Train Museum, and Charles Lindberg Historic Site.

Find a Good Playground:

Public Play Centers and Parks are the cheapest fun around and we are blessed with many good ones in this area. Organized Play Groups Like Fresh Air Fridays and Nisswa Time for Play are also options if you have smaller kids.  Here’s a resource for Brainerd playgrounds and Baxter playgrounds. Here’s some local playground reviews Lakes Area Mom Squad has done in the past:


Need more ideas for squeezing out the last drop of summer fun? Check out my post 18 Awesome Summer Activities Lakes Area Moms and Kids or share your ideas in the comment box below.

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