When the Brain Needs a Break

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Last Thursday, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference at Ridgecrest, North Carolina came to a close. The conference began the previous Sunday evening and ended on Thursday at noon. As co-director with Edie Melson, all of us, including our leadership team, faculty, and fabulous conferees were blessed, pleased, excited about the conference, looking forward to the 2018 conference—and exhausted.

Did I mention tired? I needed a way to unwind that pampered my creative spirit.

On Friday morning Edie and I accompanied by our amazing husbands who served faithfully throughout the conference chose to begin the day with breakfast at the Blue Ridge Biscuit Company in Black Mountain, N.C. and then take a driving and hiking tour of a small section of the Blue Ridge Parkway – what a treasure.

Edie and I had our cameras. Understand she has a fancy Sony 6000, and her photos are professional with a capital P.  I had my iPhone camera. She taught me so many techniques about capturing dynamic photographs. One of her recommendations was a free app titled Snapseed to edit, enhance lighting, and make photos unique.

So what did I provide for Edie? Recipes, and novel writing extras. I received the better end of the deal.

Here are a few of the photos I took using my Edie-instructor guidelines.

How do you give your brain a break?





DiAnn’s Library Corner

Librarian – With spring bursting with flowers and budding trees, a display of your patrons’ favorite photographs will provide freshness and color to your display.

Southern Writers Suite T button











Comments 20

  1. Rebekah Dorris

    I just missed you! Our family left our vacation cabin in those gorgeous mountains on that Monday the 21st as y’all were just getting revved up. Listening to that mountain creek, researching for my novel that’s set in that neck of the woods, and enjoying my crew got my cup overflowin’ almost as much as meeting with amazing local historians who gave my anemic plot a shot of cast iron! 🙂

  2. Cynthia Lovely

    We always stay over after the conference and enjoy the quiet at Ridgecrest. I was able to relax in the lobby and out front of Mt. Laurel in the rocker and finally enjoy some sunshine! Then I re-wrote all my notes from the classes and workshops while they were still fresh in my mind. I love to write them long-hand; they seem to get in my head more than entering them in the computer : ) Thanks for all your hard work during this conference – it is greatly appreciated!

  3. Connie Wohlford

    The conference was fabulous, indeed. Thank you.
    Since then, I have been saturated with grandchildren (8 of them)—a different kind of exaustion– and oh, so gradifying. Cooking, laughing, hugging, cooking, and now traveling with four of them—cooking more in our cabin in the woods. Hiking, fishing, swimming & photo taking (with my phone).

  4. Connie Clyburn

    I love to go for walks – that helps me relax. I take along my phone too, to capture whatever I find along the way.

    I also like to shop to unwind – I can browse and never spend a penny!?

  5. Robin E. Mason

    to give my brain a break, i sits on the front porch and i stares at the trees, i listens to the sounds of nature and of children playing (a delightful sound). and when i’m inside, i keeps my door open (unless it’s just too hot or too cold) and i gazes outside a lots (like now, even as i types this)

  6. Dana McNeely

    I like to spend a spare 30 minutes reading, of course! I also like to try and learn a new song on my ukelele. I’m an enthusiastic beginner! 🙂 Like you, I love to take photos with my iPhone camera. I have a lot of amateur shots of the hoards of butterflies in our backyard.

    Is Snapseed used after the photos are taken, or is it an app to enhance your camera’s abilities? Because I can’t always get as close to a butterfly as I’d like, I wondered if there’s an app to mimic a telephoto lens on an iPhone.

  7. Karen Lindsay

    When my brain needs a break I do several things. Firstly, I read. No-brainer. Then if I don’t think I can concentrate, I play video games. Yes, I’m an adult female and I’m also a gamer. I know it’s weird, but I’m a total nerd. 🙂
    I also listen to podcasts while I do that, so it’s pretty relaxing. I get to kill many digital enemies when I play, so it’s also kind of freeing.
    Reading is my favorite way to relax definitely, and luckily, I have time enough to make it a priority in my life.

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