The Magic Of Swanwick

Firstly i must apologise for my blog absence recently. Health issues, along with an overwhelming sense of “i Just Don’t Know What To Say” Syndrome have hit me hard. Thanks to the 100k Challenge, I’m still writing, daily, and hoping that some of it, at some stage, might make it into the novel.

But why I’m really here today is to record/share my thoughts on Swanwick 2014…

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Am I Really A Writing Retreat Type?

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet? I’ve not been on FaceBook, I’m behind in replying to comments, e mails and reading blogs. I guess it was appropriate then, that at the end of a week where I’ve not been feeling too good, I should have a Mini Writing Retreat 🙂

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Mini Writing Retreats

The hubster plays a lot of chess. Matches for his club and our County which often take him to exotic destinations such as Hastings! Lol. My overseas readers probably won’t get that joke so I apologise…just Google Hastings 😉

I’ve been going through the calendar and it seems that on the following dates I will be home alone all day!

Saturday 12th January
Saturday 26th January
Saturday 2nd March
Saturday 24th March

I could just potter around, do a bit of housework, scrub the bath, catch up with some decluttering perhaps? Nah! Sod that! I’m going to have some Mini Writing Retreats 🙂 Ok, when you think of a writing retreat you think about going away somewhere, but, there’s nothing to stop you having one at home 🙂 As Judy Reeves says “Consider that a writing retreat is not necessarily a place, but a concept.” Good old Judy, I love her 🙂

A mini retreat can just be a day out of your normal life, where you just do what you want to do (writing wise), without all the pressure of home and family stuff. Ok, yes, I know I’m lucky. My kids aren’t little, they don’t need my constant care and attention. So if you have little kids get their dad to take them out, for the whole day! 😉

I did a couple last year and they’re great fun! Here’s what you do:

1. Gather together supplies. We’re talking chocolate, cake, Pringles, hot chocolate (these are just some of my faves by the way, but you’ve probably got your own). Alcohol is probably strumming it a bit, you don’t want to end up falling asleep at the keyboard 😉

2. Plan in advance what you’re going to write. Personally I like to use prompts. Why? Because I use my mini retreat days almost like a day of practice. A chance to get away from the project I’ve been working on for the last 3 months, allowing my creative juices to flow and my muse to be inspired.

3. Wave bye to the kids/husband/wife, shut the door and turn off the phone and computer. As far as the world is concerned you’re on retreat so don’t use it as a day for surfing the web, catching up with blogs or FaceBooking. No no no. If you really were on retreat, with no internet access, no phone reception, people wouldn’t be able to get hold of you then would they? So don’t let them now. Remember, mentally you are un-contactable 😉

4. Dress comfortably and start writing! And munching 😉 Simples!

My final tip for a mini retreat is to get yourself a copy of this baby!

Inside is a selection of cards each listing 20 prompts on different themes 🙂

Nooooo, don’t be silly, I’m not going to list some of them here, that wouldn’t be very fair on Judy now would it. But, if you really do fancy giving it a go, e mail me and I’ll help you out with some ideas….but I won’t reply today as I’m on retreat 😉

And that’s it! 🙂 I’m excited already! Poor hubby, he feels bad leaving me on my own all day on a weekend. I’ll cope I say with pouting lip as I push him out the door *sniggers* 😉

Fancy joining me? Have you ever had mini retreats?

Writing Retreat Day 2

An early start this morning, as breakfast was at 8…..but I found myself outside at 7.45 having my first cigarette of the day with the security guard. A lovely man who told me all about the wildlife on the estate….seee, I’m learning stuff too! Lol

It’s now 3pm and I’ve just crossed the 20,000 threshold. 20,172 to be exact! Sorrento Sunrise still stands at just over 18,000 and the new words are on a couple of short stories using my writing prompts that I do every day. I’m kind of looking at this years Nano as being a disaster, but I guess it isn’t really. I’m still gunna hit the 50,000, but I’ll probably have lots of unfinished stuff lol. And there was me saying I didn’t want to be one of those writers who had a drawer full of unfinished manuscripts! Whoops! 😉

So what excuse do I have? Well, apart from the fact that the “T” has rubbed off my netbook key (this is it’s 3rd Nano), none what so ever! I don’t regret going for the Mills & Boon….the object of the exercise was to see if I could write one. Perhaps the answer to that question is…..I can’t *snigger*

I had a wander around the grounds today….wow!

And this is the view from my bedroom window.

And this is the room where the magic happens.

All 14 of us were sitting at this table last night tapping away at laptops/netbooks….I wish I’d taken a photo! 🙂

Right, better get back to it….think I’ll have a reading break first though 😉

How are my fellow Wrimo’s doing?

Writing Retreat Day 1

Hi people 🙂

Have you missed me? He he he!

Well, I have 226 e mails in my inbox that need sorting, but, I’ve managed To get my word count up to 18,163 for Nano! (That’s a lie actually, I’ve managed to get my e mails down to 101 by taking full advantage of the WordPress “like” button).

I’m sorry I’m so behind with all your blogs, will catch up on Sunday I promise 🙂

I was told this place is lovely, and it is! Must be fantastic in the summer that’s for sure!

This place would be ideal for inspiration for a gothic novel 😉

My room is very nice, and I’m going to enjoy walking round the gardens tomorrow 🙂


The only problem is that I’ve finished Sorrento Sunrise, yep, it’s done, at 18,000 words….Oh, dear lol. The question now is whether I try to pad it out with 30,000 words or move onto something else? I can’t believe it! Where have I gone wrong! Lol

So what should I do….add loads of waffle, or start working on something else?