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I know, you’re probably wondering if I’m dead or alive.

Sorry playahs, this gal has been joyfully dabbling in Costa Rica. It’s my third time returning to the land of “Pura Vida” and just when I assume I’ll get sick of it, this unique country always draws me in.

The true reason I stepped back into Costa Rica was for another writer’s retreat in Puerto Viejo!

Even though Leigh and I courted a smaller group this time, each woman brought so much to the table. A life well lived, full of wisdom, and the willingness to let us guide them for a brief seven days.

There was a memoirist.

A woman writing a book about her career, sharing anecdotes to pass onto the next generation in her profession.

I can’t forget the thoughtful, young woman writing a sci-fi young adult novel.

And the former ballerina, an elegant figure pouring her heart into personal essays.

With Costa Rica as the background to these talented women, it made it all the sweeter.

As usual, over the course of seven days, we teased out the creative muse in these women with workshops, got them started on a piece of writing that either related to a larger work, or let them begin an entirely new piece (hey, we are tough, but not that tough).

By the end of the seven days, with much doubts swimming in their heads, we got them to share wine over candlelight and read those pieces out loud.

Every time, every single time, when fear seems to win, each woman produces professional level work that blows Leigh and I away. It means these women win, not fear.

So let me indulge in memory lane as I show you a bit more of Costa Rica.

A sunrise at Samasati Nature Retreat is like no other:

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This protected bio-reseve invokes pure peace, a prime setting for writers to explore their craft:

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A ton of writing was involved, of course!

If you haven’t visited the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, a number of white sand beaches litter the coast and we took our ladies to a few on an excursion day.

First, renting bikes is a must, because it’s a common way many tourists get around:

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We took our ladies to a butterfly and frog sanctuary, close to Punta Uva and saw some amazing little creatures. A tiny ecosystem thrived with several species of butterflies, a frog pond, and stingless bees (meliponary), bred for pollination.

The owl butterfly, is the largest in Costa Rica, boasting a wingspan of up to 8 inches, and it’s named for its owl-like eyespots on the underside of its wings. Look!

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We howled with laughter at this frog, aptly named the blue-jean frog!

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After the butterfly and frog pond sanctuary, we finally hit the beaches.

I give you, Playa Chiquita:

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And one of the largest, more breathtaking beaches along the coast, Cocles Beach:

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Here’s our fierce, female scribes after an amazing lunch at Pura Gula:

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Not only that, I saw a snake up close and personal! A bit too personal.

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And naturally, my cabana at Samasati was cozy. I spent a bit of time swaying in that hammock.

Leigh and I are excited to do this all over again, yet next time we’re landing in Nicaragua in 2016!

Now I’m back “home”. More on Playa del Carmen later. Promise.