Diana Osberg

This retreat was not only a very beneficial part of my screenwriting, but also the most fun I have had in years. The venue, the instructor and the one on one time we had was unprecedented. The organizer did a exemplary job and ensured everything went according to plan.

Rory O’Connor

Writers on the Water Screenwriting Retreat

Diana in Forbidden City, Beijing, China

I’m Diana Osberg, founder and owner of Mia Terra Retreats. It seems I was destined to be a storyteller, writer and healer. At four years old, I stepped on stage for the first time and performed the story of “Alice in Wonderland.” I played all the characters, using different voices, and got a standing ovation from my audience.

At the age of five, I began to tell stories as a guest artist on a radio show called “The Children’s Corner.” About that time, I also began to perform puppet shows and became a frequent guest performer at various clubs, classes and organizations around my hometown, the huge metropolis of Augusta, Maine.

Fast forward a few years. Now, I live in the huge metropolis of Los Angeles. I’m a screenwriter and storyteller. I co-wrote the award-winning feature THE JOURNEY and my thriller VIRTUAL WITNESS is featured in Bill Boyle’s book “The Visual Mindscape of the Screenplay.” I love to tell stories about my many years working in the film industry and the many adventures I’ve had while traveling around the world.

I especially love to go on unusual adventures. I’ve helmed a 165 meter bark through the Strait of Gibraltar under the command of the ship’s captain. I’ve sailed as crew on tall ships in New Zealand, Spain and the Canary Islands, participated in an English immersion program with Spanish business people in Spain, and tracked Mustangs in the wilds of Nevada on horseback. I’ve climbed the Great Wall of China and the rugged steps of Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ve even kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, but did not get the gift of the gab. I guess I’ll have to kiss it again.

In some ways, life seems so easy now, but I’ve been through it all on my journey to enlightenment. I survived a brutal childhood, starved and lost my home more than once, been through bankruptcy, been married and divorced, had a parade of partners who betrayed me, and spent most of my adult years alone without the support of family or friends.

Through it all, I’ve remained tenacious and determined to build a life that I can love. I’ve had faith that I could do it. I learned to let go of the negative thoughts that plagued me, telling me that I was nothing, and have come to accept them as stepping stones toward deep wisdom.

An experience I had in college helped me understand the importance of bad things in our lives. It helped me know that I would succeed. It’s a profound moment that I cannot explain, but I’m eternally grateful for receiving this gift.

One day when I was in school at UNC Chapel Hill, I was walking back from a play rehearsal to my dorm on the other side of campus. I was struggling with my professional goals and quite literally starving as a student. I was putting myself through school after my divorce, and life was almost unbearable for me.

It had been raining all day and everything was soaked. I had come to the top of the stairs that led down through a tunnel of trees toward my dorm. Something happened in an instant. I experienced a vision – a flash of images. I looked down through the tunnel of trees. They were dogwoods in blossom, and the white flowers glowed against the wet, black trunks. How beautiful they were. I looked up at the sky. The black clouds were edged in gold and the sun crept out from behind them. The beauty of this moment caught my breath.

There was no thought process at all, but I was filled with knowledge. I realized that I appreciated the beauty of the dogwood flowers and the golden sun only because of the contrasting darkness. I knew in a deep way why bad things happen to us. We can only appreciate the good in our lives when we have the bad to show us the good.

After that, there were many more dark days and years to follow, and in the darkest of all, I never forgot the dogwoods. I remembered the light that stood out against the darkness. And I put one foot in front of the other and moved toward what I knew in my gut would be a bright future.

I’ve spent so many hours alone that I’ve been forced to get to know myself and to like myself and to love myself. I’ve accepted my flaws, because that’s part of the perfection of being human. Human beings are innately flawed – and that’s okay. It’s more than okay. Being flawed is what helps us move forward. Being flawed is what makes us search for solutions. Being flawed is what compels us to become better people. It helps us find each other, and together, there’s no stopping us.

I always felt like an outcast, moving from place to place, job to job. It seems that in my travels around the world I was always looking for a home and a family; I was looking for my tribe. I’ve found little pieces of home everywhere I’ve gone.

It took years, but I finally figured that out. And now, I have found my tribe. It’s you. It’s all of the marvelous people who have come on my retreats, all the ones who will be joining me at future retreats. We have the spirit, the desire, to do more with our lives. We won’t settle for anything less. We are the ones who dare to dream, who dare to jump into life, who dare to push until we find our joy, find our place in this world. We are the ones who dare to be imperfect and who have the audacity to live a life of passion.

Now that I’ve learned how to drive my story, I can help you create yours. Together, we’ll discover the world and ourselves, and dare to share our stories with others.