So I put my mum´s GPS to the test and set it for the location of my writer´s retreat: Sheepwash, Devon. If you want country, this is where it´s at, my friends.
After wiggling and winding my way over Exmoor (really beautiful area… google it) I finally came to the little village of Sheepwash. Out the other side and along another winding track is Totleigh Barton, a part medieval farmhouse in the dip between several hills and alongside a river. This is where I and fifteen others were going to live for five nights in an effort to uncover the literary genius within.
This was a birthday gift from my mum and dad… Up there with hot air ballooning and my camera as one of THE best birthday presents ever.
Not only were the workshops delivered by two great UK authors, Tiffany Murray and Ross Raisin, but I was part of a truly lovely and slightly nutty mixture of individuals for those few days.
We spent each morning in workshops with Ross and Tiffany and then the afternoons were all about writing. The ominous prospect of having to read out some of our work in a Friday night celebration was enough to scare the living crap out of most (except those of us who are a little partial to the spotlight, even at the risk of making ourselves look foolish). But we were regularly reassured that it wouldn´t be nearly as frightening as it sounded, by the time we got there. And I think they were right. The standard of work read out on the Friday night was really amazing. It was honestly such a privilege to hang out with such a creative, supportive and lovely group of people.
It was also a ridiculously funny week. Inevitably there were lots of conversations about the stories from people´s lives… Oh my god I have lived a sheltered existence! There was also a night in which I learned about drinking shots with a dead man´s toe in (an initiation ceremony if you want to go search for gold somewhere in the US) and taught people about the lesbian finger theory… I´ll leave that one wide open to interpretation.
I think I found my writing mojo too… I hit on a story that I have always thought about, but never seen as a story, as such… turns out it might be… but I´ll let you know if I get anywhere with that.
In the meantime, I will move on to the walking trip… cos I´m two days in and lots to tell! Stay tuned…