From Hook to Book

Archive for the tag “writing retreat”

Cloud Gazing with Maggie

I’ve discovered cloud gazing.

Of course, I’ve always known clouds were there, but I can’t think how long it is since I took time out to watch their intricate swirls shape-shifting and sky surfing.

It’s not only therapeutic but creative, and while I watched one cloud jigsaw merge and meld a poem formed too.

I’ve made a little friend at Varuna. Maggie appears whenever I go outside to write, and then he jumps up onto the table to say hello. Poor little guy has a twisted foot, but it looks an old injury and he’s quite agile and chirpy.

Are you my muse here? I ask him. He doesn’t answer, but I suspect so because immediately he went about his business, a poem began to form (not about him) and the words flowed.

Easy to do here. And I’m rapt that over the past two days I’ve put a lot of work into the chapter I’ve turned into a short story, written two poems, focused on working in some action and dialogue into a couple of the slower narrative sections of my novel and rewritten two short scenes.

Never having to stop to cook tea works well for me, because often my most creative bursts come either first thing in the morning or late afternoon.

It’s very much an ideal writer’s life here at Varuna.

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A Writer’s Life at Varuna

I am thrilled to be staying at Varuna Writers’ House in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. For an entire week I’m devoting all my time to writing, reading, thinking and communing with fellow writers. No shopping to do, meals to cook, house to clean, appointments to attend, kids, hubby, family to cater to, or anything to interrupt the flow of thoughts. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. Am I spoilt? Yes – and loving it.

We certainly are spoilt here. On arrival, BANG went all my ideas that maybe I’d lose a kilo or two away from easy access to my fridge. This fridge is super well stocked, as is the larder with too many yummies to mention. Sheila’s meals are scrumptious and I’m taking notes of some of her ideas. I’d better start looking at some of the healthy snack options too, before I have to send home for larger size clothes.

Best of all here (not counting the absolute freedom of time to write) is the creative atmosphere. The house is so quiet during the day with all the resident writers squirrelled away in their various nooks working hard. My writing space is attached to my bedroom, and wonderfully light, bright and airy. A solid desk, a reading chair under the window and the vista so superbly peaceful and open to the gardens as if nature is right there all around me.

Gazing at the glorious trees, hearing the call of the birdsong chirruping nearby and out in the distance lightens my spirit and spurs my fingers to type or write. Funny how freehand seems to be more appealing in this part of the world this morning. Yesterday too, and I wrote for a couple of hours in the garden.

The day was hugely productive and I added two new sections to my novel, as well as taking time to curl up in the chair reading a chapter of A History of Australia VI by C.M.H Clark. That’s another blissful bonus at Varuna. They have a fabulous library to thrill any writer. I could easily stay here indefinitely and read my way through it. Ahh, to dream. Actually no, now I’m going back to work.

 Only here, it seems a furphy to even call it work.

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