Eat. Play. Sleep.

a two-day play date with Sue Ann Gleason & Cami Flake

November 7 & 8, 2015

Mill Valley, California

Psssst, how would you like to get away for a weekend retreat where all you do is eat gorgeous food, play with a camera, paint and paper, and sleeeeeeeeeeeeep in a lovely room looking out on a redwood forest?

Seriously. Sign me up.

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I’m Sue Ann Gleason: a lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination and a champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life.

In 2006 a health crisis brought me to my knees. Since then I have been on a journey of reinvention. I am a teacher, a writer, a nourishment guide and a chocolate enthusiast. And yes, I really do eat chocolate for breakfast.

I believe creative expression has the power to heal both our bodies and our hearts. I’m gleefully exploring portals of creativity (in work and at play) that have been buried under layers of ‘busy.’ I hope this weekend inspires you to do the same!


I’m Cami Lenox Flake: open-minded, open-hearted lover of beauty in all forms and proud mama to my sweet little boy who delights me every day with his curiosity, his humor and his unbridled enthusiasm.

I am a freelance videographer, a lifestyle photographer and a visual storyteller. My work is about movement, light, color … and heartfelt connections. I believe photography is about letting go of the rules and being open to the beauty in front of you.

I hope this weekend leaves you with a renewed enthusiasm for documenting your life in pictures and a deeper intimacy in noticing.

A delicious weekend of pampering and play?
Yes, please.


Screen shot 2015-07-18 at 2.19.56 PMMost of us lead busy lives. Sometimes we take breaks from ‘busy.’ We go on vacation. We invest in a retreat. We book a massage or a mineral bath.

And then … we return.

And, we go back to being busy.

Until the next vacation, retreat, spa date, massage. . .

Our intention for this retreat is to spoil you rotten while you’re here and then send you off with delicious tools for accessing beauty, making art, and finding replenishment in your day to day lives.

Our promise? Your mini ‘me-cations’ will be every bit as restorative as the vacations you take once or twice a year. Maybe even more restorative.

Yes, we’re going to send you away with a new habit that is soooooooo intoxicating you won’t be able to resist it.

A delicious weekend of pampering and play?
Yes, please.

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writers & ‘wanna be’ writers

artists & ‘wanna be’ artists


art dabblers (I’m a dabbler.)

picture takers

story keepers


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:: a slowing down, a deeper sense of noticing, a playful look at process ::

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we’ll take a leisurely picture walk in the redwoods
& stroll around town

we’ll eat exquisite chocolate

we’ll drink artisan roasted coffee … herbal tea

you’ll have time to play and to integrate what you’re learning about
capturing images on film and making art

we’ll provide you with writing prompts that stir the imagination
and awaken the heart

you’ll feel ripples of laughter

you’ll enjoy a fabulous farm to table dinner on Saturday evening

a catered lunch on Sunday

& nourishing snacks & surprises

all in the company of spirit-rich women

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two days of writing/art workshops with Cami & Sue Ann
beginning Saturday morning at 9 AM
ending Sunday afternoon at 4 PM

On Saturday our workshops will be held both out of doors (picture walk)
and inside the Mill Valley Inn.

On Sunday we’ll meet at O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, a gorgeous space to
meander about and create art.

Saturday evening dinner at El Paseo, a local, farm to table restaurant

a catered lunch on Sunday afternoon

time to explore Mill Valley on your own …
or to nap

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your travel arrangements/expenses

your lodging arrangements/expenses

any meals/snacks you need in addition to the ones we provide

your transportation to and from the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts

the beautiful Mill Valley Inn is offering us a 10% discount on rooms
which include a beautiful (and ample) continental breakfast
and a wine and cheese hour!

We suggest you arrive Friday so that you can be rested, refreshed and ready.
Our play date begins Saturday morning at 9 AM sharp.
We don’t want you to miss a thing!

There are other hotel options in the area as well.


Questions? Send us a note and we’ll do our best to answer them within 24 hours. Bookmark this page because we’ll be including ‘real’ questions in ‘real’ time.

Space is limited so we are asking for a $300 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot and then the remainder 30 days from your down payment or October 19th, whichever comes first.

We expect this retreat will book quickly. Space is limited due to the intimate nature of the experience we’re creating.

A delicious weekend of pampering and play?
Yes, please.


REGISTRATION/CANCELLATION POLICY: The fee for this retreat includes two full days of writing, photography and art workshops, a farm to table dinner on Saturday evening, and a catered lunch on Sunday afternoon plus snacks and beverages. It does NOT include travel or lodging. We require a non-refundable $300 deposit to hold your spot. If you pay in full and need to cancel, we will retain the $300 deposit and refund your balance. The full balance is due one month from your deposit or October 19, 2015, whichever date come first. If you are not paid in full by then we reserve the right to offer your spot to members on our waiting list. In the case of acts of God, war, disaster or unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to retain your fees and reschedule the workshop.

On the Fence Questions

Here are the questions that are coming our way. We’re noticing a theme; it’s called “I’m not.”

I’m not a writer, photographer, mixed media artist. I’m not creative. Will this weekend still be a good fit for me?

Great question. Thank you! I’m going to tackle this one and then next week Cami will tackle any photography questions you may have. You can submit those right here.

First, I’d like to tell you a little story. For a long time I had this perception that I wasn’t a writer, an artist, a photographer, a … fill in the blank.

I even wrote a blog post titled, I’m Not a Writer.

I STILL have that perception even though I have been writing a pretty decent blog for several years now.

I still have that perception about my photography, too, even though I take food photos that would probably make you swoon.

Even when I produce something that looks pretty good, be it a pie, a collage, a photo, or an essay, I STILL have this conversation in my head. There’s even a name for it: the impostor syndrome. According to Wikipedia, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women. Hmmmmm.

Here’s how I shift that perspective every single time it shows up. I explore creativity as a portal to play.

I jump into the creative sandbox and I dabble. Sometimes I even produce something I like but for me, it’s the process, not the product.

That’s what we hope to give YOU. An opportunity to use photography, paint, and words, through carefully crafted, playful exercises, as a way to connect more deeply with the world around you in a powerfully playful way.


Instructions to Painters & Poets
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I asked a hundred painters and a hundred poets
how to paint sunlight
on the face of life
Their answers were ambiguous and ingenuous
as if they were all guarding trade secrets
Whereas it seems to me
all you have to do
is conceive of the whole world
and all humanity
as a kind of art work
a site-specific art work
an art project of the god of light
the whole earth and all that’s in it
to be painted with light. […]

see full poem here



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