The Writer’s Retreat Wrap-Up

She works hard for the money… so hard for the money…

So this is how my writing retreat went:

Drinking tea and have a long soak in a clawfoot bath, all in the name of research
Drinking tea and have a long soak in a clawfoot bath, all in the name of research

Stayed in a gorgeous wee house, ‘Amelie’s Petite Maison’ at The Spotted Chook in Montville.

All alone for first time since my baby was born eight months ago… very weird but not totally unpleasant.

Had to extricate a huntsman spider out of my wee house ALL BY MYSELF!! For the record, I don’t DO spiders. My husband does the spiders and snakes; I do the rodents. Such is the perils of being all alone. Spider relocated outside in good health; I aged about ten years.

Engaged in many long soaks in the clawfoot bath.

Drank copious amounts of tea.

Ate chocolate healthy food.

Had a massage.

Suffered through the Worst High Tea in History (apologies to my sister for being subjected to that). On the upside, it actually inspired a change in the scene I was intending to write and I think it’s a better scene now, so all not lost.

Writing and tea drinking
Writing and tea drinking

Drank a cocktail with my sister after the Worst High Tea in History to make up for said suffering.

Oh yes, and worked long hours and finished my latest draft of The Tea Chest, ready to hand over to my publisher. Hooray!

And can I say what a brilliant job my husband did of looking after our bubbalicious, the furry children and the house all by himself for three days. What a superstar! Thank you xx

All in all, a pretty great birthday treat 🙂





This year, my birthday wish is to work

Ah... the elegance of The Spotted Chook is waiting for me!
Ah… the elegance of The Spotted Chook is waiting for me!

Breathe in…. breathe out…. sighhhhhhhh…..

I’m starting to tingle already in anticipation of where I’m headed tomorrow: for three nights at the gorgeous Spotted Chook in Montville, on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. With much relief and joy, I’m heading away all by myself to work on my novel and this is my greatest wish for my birthday weekend, the best present a girl could have. Just me, the mountains, beautiful surrounds, my manuscript, my laptop and more chocolate than humanly possible to consume healthy food.

I need peace and quiet, no internet connection, and dedicated emotional space to finish the current draft I’m working on before it moves to its next stage towards publication. And it’s always about this time in a novel’s development that I begin to feel like it’s really maturing, so I’m excited to see in which directions it will grow in the next few days.

For me, writing retreats are not just a luxury (because sometimes they just involve locking myself in an office for extended periods of time) but an absolute necessity. It’s where the outer layers begin to peel away and I get to the core of my story, my characters and my abilities–What’s underneath that? And what’s underneath that? And that?? Push further. Go deeper. There! There it is!! Hooray!

Oh, and did I mention I’m going to high tea with my sister for the purpose of RESEARCH!? Ah huh… yep.

Happy days!