March 2014

Travelers and Writers: Here are a few articles on reading, writing and expressing oneself I thought you’d enjoy. Also, if you are near Ojai, CA in April, the town’s annual literary festival Ojai WordFest  is the 10th – 14th (Thursday-Sunday).  – Cheers, Sequoia

Super Speed Reading: Read A Novel Or Two or Three on Your Next Flight. Insane New Technology – Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes!

Sexist Rant on Airplane ‘Cock’tail Napkins: Cowboy Scuba Diver and Pink Frosting Cake

Before the Movies came the Books: The Oscar Nominations 2014 – American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, etc.

“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.” ― Neil Gaiman


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Upcoming Journeys with Sequoia Hamilton


Upcoming trips in 2013 & 2014 include four trips and a cruise for writers:

News Updates

Fall 2012:

The first-ever Screenwriters Symposium was offered by Ojai Writers Workshops at 13th Annual Ojai Film Festival in late October. Workshops included: “Mastering the Dual Elements of Action and Humor” with Stephen de Souza, Legendary Screenwriter who is among the handful of screenwriters whose films have earned over two billion dollars at the box office and “Sell Your Idea, Book, Play or Film Script to Hollywood” with Ken Rotcop, Grandmaster of Pitching. (View the lineup of workshops here:

A huge success, plans are underway to make this an annual event for screenwriters. Mark your calendars for November 2 & 3, 2013.

Summer 2012:

Ojai Writers Workshops were held June 1-30 at numerous locations throughout in Ojai including The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, World University, The Well, World University, The Oaks, The Ojai Library and more. The month-long series of writing workshops included topics such as Mythology, Memoir, Novel Lab, Spa-tacular Writing (spa-hopping and writing) and much more! We also were honored to host a fundraiser for the Ojai Library in honor of Ray Bradbury who passed in early June.

Fall 2011:

Ojai Writers Workshops were held November 11-13 at World University in Ojai. Testimonials: “The workshops were like manna from heaven,” “By far the best writing teachers I have ever encountered! Trust me, I’ve been going to these type of conferences for 20+ years!”

Paris Writers’ Retreat – Ken Rotcop, award-winning Writer and former Creative Head of four Hollywood studios (producing blockbusters such as The GraduateCharlotte’s Web, etc.) — and whom Oprah calls “the best in the business” — was the featured writing teacher for the inaugural Paris Writers’ Retreat with students attending from the U.S., Belgium, Australia, and Morocco.

Summer 2011:
Ojai Writers Conference officially launched in Ojai to an overwhelming reception.

  • ‘The quality of teachers was unparalleled! This was the best writing conference I have ever attended.”
  • “Thanks again for putting the Ojai Conference together. I feel as though it was one of the major stepping stones for moving my life forward.”
  • “You set the tone of welcome and energy, and everyone else picked up on it.  Such a warm and enthusiastic bunch!”
  • “Sequoia, you seem to be a rare bird with a knack for organizing this sort of event, as it seemed that you thought of everything.”
  • “Thanks so much! I’ll really look forward to sharing another wonderful event with you in November.”

Spring 2011:

Two Ojai residents join Sequoia on a Global Writing Adventure

As seen in the photo above, 16 writers attended a coastal writing retreat at The Cliff House Inn with Deb Norton, the featured guest writing teacher in February 2011.

Winter 2010:

  • Sequoia Hamilton and her colleague Deb Court (John of God Guides) featured in theVC Reporter – a weekly publication reaching 100,000 readers in Ventura County, California.
  • John of God featured in Oprah’s December issue of O! Magazine
  • John of God featured on Oprah’s television show
  • Dec 23, 2010 – CNN Feature on John of God
  • Sequoia Hamilton was featured on Law of Attraction Radio, talking about leading Sacred Travels.

Spring 2009:
Egypt: Magic & Mystery – Modern Inspiration in the Cradle of Civilization.This article by Sequoia Hamilton was featured in Ventana Magazine, a monthly lifestyle publication direct-mailed to 40,000+ affluent households in Southern California. Read it now.


Future Trip Being Planned: Ashes & Snow
Since its debut in Venice, Italy in 2002, more than 10 million people on four continents have attended Ashes and Snow – a traveling exhibition of more than 50 large-scale photographic artworks, a 60-minute feature film, and two 9-minute film haiku — making it the most attended exhibit by a living artist in history! We’ll be immersing ourselves in the exhibit on a daily basis. This trip will be combined with a visit to RIO, as the exhibit is scheduled to visit Brazil next. (Dates TBD)

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Global Writing Adventures Announcements

– OPEN CALL FOR WOMEN WRITERS – Be published in the first-ever yearly anthology of “PERFUME ON HER PASSPORT – Travel Stories by Women Writers. For consideration, submit your unpublished max. 2,500-word travel article, personal essay or article of fiction (with your name and contact info) to For more information, visit

– Spring Ojai WordFest for “Lovers of Words” – Join in the fun of this annual literary festival in Ojai, California with more than 100+ “word” events held over eight days. April 6-13, 2013. Visit:

– Fall in PARIS, WRITERS RETREATS open for registration. Sept 21-28, 2013. Details are available online at or call Sequoia at (805) 669-7373.

– ASIAN ADVENTURE to Travel Channel’s pick for “#1 Mind Blowing Destination in the World!” If you’re looking for an adventure and a chance to hone your writing skills, join us as we venture to Angkor Wat, Cambodia Nov 7-17 2013. Details online at

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Sacred Travel to Egypt


Explore mystical Egypt with Daily Guided Meditation & Writing Workshops 

A Window of Opportunity is NOW OPEN to visit EGYPT! Start 2012 at the Great Pyramid and between the Paws of the Sphnix!

Sequoia, our guide, has been ‘called’ by Mother Egypt herself to bring individuals and small groups to Egypt to “Deepen in the Divine and to Awaken on Every Level.” So, prepare for something more than just a mere trip. This will be a transformational experience of a lifetime!

You might be buzzing right now reading this. If so, Mother Egypt is calling you! Can you feel her pull? Now is the time to visit EGYPT!

  • Imagine yourself gazing upon the Sphinx setting powerful intentions, at Isis’s temple opening your heart to unconditional love, and hiking into the heart of the Great Pyramid to activate your highest life potential.
  • Imagine cruising along the Nile while immersing yourself in esoteric ‘Mystery School’ wisdom and accessing personal insights at powerful energy vortexes at ancient temples, which are embedded in like jewels along the Nile’s shore.
  • Imagine slowing down and being — just being — in the presence of profound stillness at one of the most super charged, high-vibrating places on the face of the earth!

Continue reading

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Enter The Dragon – 2012 Beckons The Writer To Emerge


A New Year’s Resolution in November (for Writers): Breath Fire into the New Year, Today

Are you ready to “Enter the Dragon?”

Perhaps celluloid images of martial arts legend Bruce Lee come to mind. Spin-kicks. Flying leaps. Whooping like a crane before striking with lightning-fast speed and precision. Or perhaps you actually remember the climatic fight scene in the room of mirrors from his final movie “Enter the Dragon” where he smashed each mirror (or illusion) in his attempt to outsmart his iron claw-fisted villain.

In just a month or so, we will smash and banish all illusions about what 2011 could have been or was supposed to represent. Then, not only will we cross the threshold to 2012 – long held to be a mystic year of prolific change by the ancients Mayans – but will also usher in “The Year of the Dragon.”

Continue reading

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The Long-term Psychological Benefits of Travel

Sometimes I have the good fortune of stumbling on a new, interesting blog.  Recently I found “The Frontal Cortex,” a blog by Jonah Lehrer (who writes for Wired, New York Times, etc.) Lehrer’s a gifted writer and a trained neuroscientist. His post that really hooked me to “The Frontal Cortex” discusses recent research into the long-term psychological benefits of travel.

Many of the conclusions jive with my views on travel’s positive effects, but it’s very interesting to read about these effects actually measured in the brain and done in a science lab. Here are the main points: Continue reading

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Tips for Writers

By Sequoia Hamilton

  1. Traveling Ignites Writing: “Travel taught me that everything else paled by comparison … And I quickly found, too, that traveling quickened my longing to write.” – Pico Iyer, travel writer and author of Video Night in Kathmandu and numerous other travel-themed books Continue reading
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