Feb 03

The writing retreat (finally)

The internet is finally back (yay!) but it’s been too hot this week to really do much with it. In between melting and not sleeping, I lost my blogging enthusiasm. But tonight there’s a cool southerly change, and I can sit at my desk without sticking to the chair, so here (finally) are some photos from the writing retreat.

Back in January I spent a week in a lovely house in the blue mountains (just outside of Sydney) with these wonderful people. Unfortunately, it was only a week because I couldn’t afford the full fortnight *sigh* I really wish I could have. I’d never done anything like this before, so it took a few days to get settled in, to work out the rhythms of writing, walking, eating and drinking gin & tonic. When the week was over I felt like I was only getting started! It was a pleasure getting to know the writerly folks and I would have loved more time with them too.

Anyway, here’s the house. See what I mean about lovely?

This is taken from the road on the way down to the house. We had no mobile reception and hardly any internet in the house itself, so everyday I took myself and my phone for a walk to the top of the road to keep in touch with the outside world. Scary thing, I started to learn to live without the internet (just don’t tell it that or it might go away again…). On these walks I saw many birds, kangaroos, lizards and even a snake or too.

We were surrounded by critters. There were the ducks and geese:

I love the way geese always look angry. Cutest were the deer:

Always ready to eat bread out of your hand.

On the second last day Russell took us all on a bushwalk to see a waterfall. Lots of walking, very hot day, lots of stairs. But, it was worth it:

And here’s the gang, at the start of our walk:

From left to right: Nicole Murphy listening to Russell Kirkpatrick. Donna Hanson wisely sitting down to take photos. Matthew Farrer sightseeing, and Kylie Saluka unfortunately hidden there.

Ok ok, I know. I didn’t spend a week there to feed cute animals and go on long walks (that was just an added bonus). It was, after all, a writing retreat. I spent my time between revisions of Suited and short story writing. My paltry word count came to about 12k of new words — but lots of sentences were tweaked, let me tell you! I mean, yeah, some people wrote 80k in two weeks, but I’m still proud of my words. *mutters away to self*

Summary? The writing retreat was fantastic! I enjoyed the opportunity to focus on writing, without real life getting in the way. And I loved being surrounded by fantastic and inspirational writers who also happen to be wonderful people to spend time with.

And yeah, I was very taken with the deer.


  1. Rabia

    Looks like a wonderful place to retreat to. The deer are adorable.

  2. Joanne

    It was. And they were! :)

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