Last weekend I, along with five other horror / dark fantasy writer buddies, brought the ultimate horror trope to life when our three day writing retreat took us to … a cabin in the woods!
Ok, so perhaps it wasn’t quite a cabin (we were spoiled in deluxe spa lodge accommodation), but it was definitely in the woods. The towering Mountain Ash and lush tree ferns of Mount Dandenong made for a very dramatic setting, and added the perfect misty veil of atmosphere to our winter write-in.
We kick started the retreat with a Friday night ‘Christmas in July’ dinner at the Pig and Whistle Tavern at Olinda, complete with Santa hats. Terrifying looking bunch, aren’t we? 🙂
On Saturday morning, the ever-fabulous Deb Sheldon joined us for coffee and cake (and wine) and added value to our group with her fabulous industry insights and writerly advice. It’s easy to see why Deb’s award-winning career has enjoyed such longevity and acclaim: she’s a total professional.
The rest of the weekend was a wonderful fusion of personal writing time, work shopping, wining, dining, woodland wandering, and reflecting on our writing goals and objectives. I made plotting progress on ‘Tawn’, the first book in my sci fi trilogy, The Hypatia Chronicles, and got some healthy words down on the first draft.
For me, there is no greater inspiration and motivation than spending time with like minded people who share my passion for writing and celebrate and support each others work and ambitions. A huge thank you to Isabelle, who presented everyone with a gorgeous horror-themed retreat gift bag (below), Dominique, Kate, Noel, and a special high five to Louise, who single-handedly oversaw every aspect of the retreat – from go to whoa – like a boss.
Oh, and we also had two retreat cats! This is ‘Citroen’, who alternated between judgemental glares, demands for cuddles, and aloof disdain.
If you’re a writer who needs time away from life to get some words down or to reconnect with your community, I heartily recommend a writing retreat to inspire, invigorate, and refresh your creative spirit.
Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days x