Ten Years of Retreating

Anne here, and no, I'm not talking about a very slow military retreat, but my annual writing retreat with a group of eight other writers. I'm away in Queensland, on retreat at the moment, and we're celebrating our tenth anniversary. That's ten years with the same group, spending a week together each year writing, talking writing and publishing, sharing our knowledge and socializing, and I thought I'd like to reflect on that. FromBalcony

It started initially as a way to support writers we knew who were relatively isolated, especially from other romance writers. We were all published, but our editors were overseas, in London and New York. We didn't all know each other at the first retreat, and we came together a little cautiously, wondering if this would work.

We came from four Australian states and one person from New Zealand. To give you an idea of the distances, the writer from Far North Queensland lived as far from the next published romance writer as the distance from London to Moscow. Ten years later, a couple of the original members of the group have dropped out, but we're still from four Australian states, and the NZer has spent the past year living in a beautiful medieval town in the south of France. And we're still going strong: for all of us, this retreat each March remains a highlight of our writing year.

A lot has changed in that time — a lot more books have been written, we're all a wee bit older and kids have grown up, a couple have become grandmothers, and the publishing world has changed dramatically. Friendships have been tested and have strengthened, and we've refined the art of the writer retreat, where we combine writing with professional development and fun.

We write in the morning — and those of us on deadline also write after lunch and sometimes in the evenings, but at lunchtime and in the evenings it's mostly discussions and professional development. We talk about the market, discuss craft-of-writing issues—for instance about revisions, or how our process has changed, interesting new things we've learned, keeping the magic alive—all sorts of things of interest only to us. 
Purp&GoldDuskThe biggest change we've seen since we started is in the publishing world. When we started, I was the only one writing longer books — all the others were writing short contemporary category romance for the same publisher — Harlequin. Now most of us have several publishers and a few of us have also dabbled in self-publishing. The future for authors is heading towards becoming hybrid authors, writing for one or more publishers and/or self-publishing. And publishing is constantly changing, so there's always a lot to learn.

Our first retreat was beside the sea, and after our second one, which was inland, we decided that the sea was an essential ingredients. We've tried a few different spots, and for the last five years settled on one particular location that ticks all the boxes — apartment accommodation, so we each have a private place to write, a sea view, lots of good little eating places close by.

But really, the sea is the biggest drawcard, with its ever-shifting moods, the constantly changing light —brilliant sunrises or misty mornings, moody nights with lightning flickering out to sea, or waking as I did this morning to wild winds and crashing waves —you never know what to expect, and even though the view from the balcony is theoretically constant, it's never the same. And it's up near the tropics, so even when it rains, it's warm, which coming from a colder climate, I find endlessly weird and entertaining. FromTheBed

We're all convinced the sea feeds our muse. There's something about the sea and the salt air, the interface of land and water and sky, and the endless rhythmic pounding of the waves,hypnotic and soothing and inspiring. Walking along the beach whether at crack of dawn, high noon, dusk, or later, swimming, paddling, beach-combing or simply watching it all from above —that photo on the right is the view from my bed—I know, indulgent, isn't it? — it fills the creative well. Add to that the company of like-minded creative types and inspiration is all around.

Each year it just gets better. We're better at knowing what will work, and there are always fresh challenges and new insights to keep us on out toes. We're amazed that the first ten years have flown so fast, and we're already talking about the next ten. Wish us luck.

So what about you — do you love the sea? Do you have a group of friends that meet regularly — or irregularly? Are you worried about the future of publishing or not? Let us know what you think.

140 thoughts on “Ten Years of Retreating”

  1. I love the sea. I’m from the mid-west and I had never seen the sea up close and personal until I was touring Holland when I was 19. I was on a tour bus and we were on our way to the Inn where we would be staying that night. The tour bus turned the corner, and there was the North Sea. I was so excited, I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was hard to appear sophisticated after that – and I was trying so hard (smile).

    Reply
  2. I love the sea. I’m from the mid-west and I had never seen the sea up close and personal until I was touring Holland when I was 19. I was on a tour bus and we were on our way to the Inn where we would be staying that night. The tour bus turned the corner, and there was the North Sea. I was so excited, I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was hard to appear sophisticated after that – and I was trying so hard (smile).

    Reply
  3. I love the sea. I’m from the mid-west and I had never seen the sea up close and personal until I was touring Holland when I was 19. I was on a tour bus and we were on our way to the Inn where we would be staying that night. The tour bus turned the corner, and there was the North Sea. I was so excited, I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was hard to appear sophisticated after that – and I was trying so hard (smile).

    Reply
  4. I love the sea. I’m from the mid-west and I had never seen the sea up close and personal until I was touring Holland when I was 19. I was on a tour bus and we were on our way to the Inn where we would be staying that night. The tour bus turned the corner, and there was the North Sea. I was so excited, I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was hard to appear sophisticated after that – and I was trying so hard (smile).

    Reply
  5. I love the sea. I’m from the mid-west and I had never seen the sea up close and personal until I was touring Holland when I was 19. I was on a tour bus and we were on our way to the Inn where we would be staying that night. The tour bus turned the corner, and there was the North Sea. I was so excited, I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was hard to appear sophisticated after that – and I was trying so hard (smile).

    Reply
  6. Mary, I’m sure that while you were thinking you’d been unsophisticated, you reminded everyone else of just how amazing it is, to see the sea for the first time ever. I remember seeing the Mississippi for the first time and being utterly amazed that I couldn’t see the other side — and it was a river! Because we just don’t have rivers that size here.

    Reply
  7. Mary, I’m sure that while you were thinking you’d been unsophisticated, you reminded everyone else of just how amazing it is, to see the sea for the first time ever. I remember seeing the Mississippi for the first time and being utterly amazed that I couldn’t see the other side — and it was a river! Because we just don’t have rivers that size here.

    Reply
  8. Mary, I’m sure that while you were thinking you’d been unsophisticated, you reminded everyone else of just how amazing it is, to see the sea for the first time ever. I remember seeing the Mississippi for the first time and being utterly amazed that I couldn’t see the other side — and it was a river! Because we just don’t have rivers that size here.

    Reply
  9. Mary, I’m sure that while you were thinking you’d been unsophisticated, you reminded everyone else of just how amazing it is, to see the sea for the first time ever. I remember seeing the Mississippi for the first time and being utterly amazed that I couldn’t see the other side — and it was a river! Because we just don’t have rivers that size here.

    Reply
  10. Mary, I’m sure that while you were thinking you’d been unsophisticated, you reminded everyone else of just how amazing it is, to see the sea for the first time ever. I remember seeing the Mississippi for the first time and being utterly amazed that I couldn’t see the other side — and it was a river! Because we just don’t have rivers that size here.

    Reply
  11. I love being near the sea. The sea is a very long car drive from me. But I would be cautious about living by the sea because of hurricanes. Of course, in the plains we have tornadoes. There’s no completely safe place to escape Mother Nature’s wrath. I think the sea gives you a little perspective on how small we all are. Perhaps that frees up the muse. Not sure.

    Reply
  12. I love being near the sea. The sea is a very long car drive from me. But I would be cautious about living by the sea because of hurricanes. Of course, in the plains we have tornadoes. There’s no completely safe place to escape Mother Nature’s wrath. I think the sea gives you a little perspective on how small we all are. Perhaps that frees up the muse. Not sure.

    Reply
  13. I love being near the sea. The sea is a very long car drive from me. But I would be cautious about living by the sea because of hurricanes. Of course, in the plains we have tornadoes. There’s no completely safe place to escape Mother Nature’s wrath. I think the sea gives you a little perspective on how small we all are. Perhaps that frees up the muse. Not sure.

    Reply
  14. I love being near the sea. The sea is a very long car drive from me. But I would be cautious about living by the sea because of hurricanes. Of course, in the plains we have tornadoes. There’s no completely safe place to escape Mother Nature’s wrath. I think the sea gives you a little perspective on how small we all are. Perhaps that frees up the muse. Not sure.

    Reply
  15. I love being near the sea. The sea is a very long car drive from me. But I would be cautious about living by the sea because of hurricanes. Of course, in the plains we have tornadoes. There’s no completely safe place to escape Mother Nature’s wrath. I think the sea gives you a little perspective on how small we all are. Perhaps that frees up the muse. Not sure.

    Reply
  16. So far, all your responders appear to from the U. S. and from the mid-west. Makes it hard for us to relate to the ocean. EXEPT — there are 5 fresh water seas in the mid-west. The second time I saw Lake Michigan from a Chicago Beach, I stared at all that water, that went on-and-on-and on without end and I felt the pull of eternity. Later in life we had a Chicago apartment where I could look out the window over the Illinois Central tracks and watch the lake change. It was a changeable as the sea was said to be.
    (The FIRST time I saw Lake Michigan, I was too young for me to remember. We were in Benton Harbor, Michigan; my mother said, “Look Sue, there’s some water for you.” I’m told I replied, “Too much water!”
    Later when we visited New York City, (and later when we worked ther, and I saw the ocean from a Long Island beach, it looked and felt like Lake Michigan to me to me, but the aromas were different.
    And finally, other than the 7 NYC years, I have lived in the Missouri-Mississippi valley my entire life. It isn’t as wide as where you saw it, Anne. But it is “my” river and I feel at home anywhere along it.
    My daughter in Omaha and my son in Jefferson City live on the Missouri. Their younger sister lives in a New York City borough on Long Island. So we remain urban water dwellers.

    Reply
  17. So far, all your responders appear to from the U. S. and from the mid-west. Makes it hard for us to relate to the ocean. EXEPT — there are 5 fresh water seas in the mid-west. The second time I saw Lake Michigan from a Chicago Beach, I stared at all that water, that went on-and-on-and on without end and I felt the pull of eternity. Later in life we had a Chicago apartment where I could look out the window over the Illinois Central tracks and watch the lake change. It was a changeable as the sea was said to be.
    (The FIRST time I saw Lake Michigan, I was too young for me to remember. We were in Benton Harbor, Michigan; my mother said, “Look Sue, there’s some water for you.” I’m told I replied, “Too much water!”
    Later when we visited New York City, (and later when we worked ther, and I saw the ocean from a Long Island beach, it looked and felt like Lake Michigan to me to me, but the aromas were different.
    And finally, other than the 7 NYC years, I have lived in the Missouri-Mississippi valley my entire life. It isn’t as wide as where you saw it, Anne. But it is “my” river and I feel at home anywhere along it.
    My daughter in Omaha and my son in Jefferson City live on the Missouri. Their younger sister lives in a New York City borough on Long Island. So we remain urban water dwellers.

    Reply
  18. So far, all your responders appear to from the U. S. and from the mid-west. Makes it hard for us to relate to the ocean. EXEPT — there are 5 fresh water seas in the mid-west. The second time I saw Lake Michigan from a Chicago Beach, I stared at all that water, that went on-and-on-and on without end and I felt the pull of eternity. Later in life we had a Chicago apartment where I could look out the window over the Illinois Central tracks and watch the lake change. It was a changeable as the sea was said to be.
    (The FIRST time I saw Lake Michigan, I was too young for me to remember. We were in Benton Harbor, Michigan; my mother said, “Look Sue, there’s some water for you.” I’m told I replied, “Too much water!”
    Later when we visited New York City, (and later when we worked ther, and I saw the ocean from a Long Island beach, it looked and felt like Lake Michigan to me to me, but the aromas were different.
    And finally, other than the 7 NYC years, I have lived in the Missouri-Mississippi valley my entire life. It isn’t as wide as where you saw it, Anne. But it is “my” river and I feel at home anywhere along it.
    My daughter in Omaha and my son in Jefferson City live on the Missouri. Their younger sister lives in a New York City borough on Long Island. So we remain urban water dwellers.

    Reply
  19. So far, all your responders appear to from the U. S. and from the mid-west. Makes it hard for us to relate to the ocean. EXEPT — there are 5 fresh water seas in the mid-west. The second time I saw Lake Michigan from a Chicago Beach, I stared at all that water, that went on-and-on-and on without end and I felt the pull of eternity. Later in life we had a Chicago apartment where I could look out the window over the Illinois Central tracks and watch the lake change. It was a changeable as the sea was said to be.
    (The FIRST time I saw Lake Michigan, I was too young for me to remember. We were in Benton Harbor, Michigan; my mother said, “Look Sue, there’s some water for you.” I’m told I replied, “Too much water!”
    Later when we visited New York City, (and later when we worked ther, and I saw the ocean from a Long Island beach, it looked and felt like Lake Michigan to me to me, but the aromas were different.
    And finally, other than the 7 NYC years, I have lived in the Missouri-Mississippi valley my entire life. It isn’t as wide as where you saw it, Anne. But it is “my” river and I feel at home anywhere along it.
    My daughter in Omaha and my son in Jefferson City live on the Missouri. Their younger sister lives in a New York City borough on Long Island. So we remain urban water dwellers.

    Reply
  20. So far, all your responders appear to from the U. S. and from the mid-west. Makes it hard for us to relate to the ocean. EXEPT — there are 5 fresh water seas in the mid-west. The second time I saw Lake Michigan from a Chicago Beach, I stared at all that water, that went on-and-on-and on without end and I felt the pull of eternity. Later in life we had a Chicago apartment where I could look out the window over the Illinois Central tracks and watch the lake change. It was a changeable as the sea was said to be.
    (The FIRST time I saw Lake Michigan, I was too young for me to remember. We were in Benton Harbor, Michigan; my mother said, “Look Sue, there’s some water for you.” I’m told I replied, “Too much water!”
    Later when we visited New York City, (and later when we worked ther, and I saw the ocean from a Long Island beach, it looked and felt like Lake Michigan to me to me, but the aromas were different.
    And finally, other than the 7 NYC years, I have lived in the Missouri-Mississippi valley my entire life. It isn’t as wide as where you saw it, Anne. But it is “my” river and I feel at home anywhere along it.
    My daughter in Omaha and my son in Jefferson City live on the Missouri. Their younger sister lives in a New York City borough on Long Island. So we remain urban water dwellers.

    Reply
  21. Sue, I love the notion of urban water-dwellers. Australia is much the same size as continental USA, but our interior is almost all desert, and our capital cities are all on the coast, so we are a nation of largely coastal dwellers. Even those who grew up in the interior (as I did in my early childhood) made trips to our various state capitals and learned the difference between swimming in rivers and lakes, and swimming in the sea.

    Reply
  22. Thanks, Kathy
    It certainly lets you know how small and helpless you are, but I think part of the inspiration of it is the constantly shifting colors, textures and moods of the sea. Regency and especially Victorian-era people used to believe that you breathed in pure ozone at the seaside and that renewed and refreshed your mind and body. There’s a surfing competition about to take place here, so there’s also lots of people-watching to do — for those not on deadline. 🙂

    Reply
  23. Sue, I love the notion of urban water-dwellers. Australia is much the same size as continental USA, but our interior is almost all desert, and our capital cities are all on the coast, so we are a nation of largely coastal dwellers. Even those who grew up in the interior (as I did in my early childhood) made trips to our various state capitals and learned the difference between swimming in rivers and lakes, and swimming in the sea.

    Reply
  24. Thanks, Kathy
    It certainly lets you know how small and helpless you are, but I think part of the inspiration of it is the constantly shifting colors, textures and moods of the sea. Regency and especially Victorian-era people used to believe that you breathed in pure ozone at the seaside and that renewed and refreshed your mind and body. There’s a surfing competition about to take place here, so there’s also lots of people-watching to do — for those not on deadline. 🙂

    Reply
  25. Sue, I love the notion of urban water-dwellers. Australia is much the same size as continental USA, but our interior is almost all desert, and our capital cities are all on the coast, so we are a nation of largely coastal dwellers. Even those who grew up in the interior (as I did in my early childhood) made trips to our various state capitals and learned the difference between swimming in rivers and lakes, and swimming in the sea.

    Reply
  26. Thanks, Kathy
    It certainly lets you know how small and helpless you are, but I think part of the inspiration of it is the constantly shifting colors, textures and moods of the sea. Regency and especially Victorian-era people used to believe that you breathed in pure ozone at the seaside and that renewed and refreshed your mind and body. There’s a surfing competition about to take place here, so there’s also lots of people-watching to do — for those not on deadline. 🙂

    Reply
  27. Sue, I love the notion of urban water-dwellers. Australia is much the same size as continental USA, but our interior is almost all desert, and our capital cities are all on the coast, so we are a nation of largely coastal dwellers. Even those who grew up in the interior (as I did in my early childhood) made trips to our various state capitals and learned the difference between swimming in rivers and lakes, and swimming in the sea.

    Reply
  28. Thanks, Kathy
    It certainly lets you know how small and helpless you are, but I think part of the inspiration of it is the constantly shifting colors, textures and moods of the sea. Regency and especially Victorian-era people used to believe that you breathed in pure ozone at the seaside and that renewed and refreshed your mind and body. There’s a surfing competition about to take place here, so there’s also lots of people-watching to do — for those not on deadline. 🙂

    Reply
  29. Sue, I love the notion of urban water-dwellers. Australia is much the same size as continental USA, but our interior is almost all desert, and our capital cities are all on the coast, so we are a nation of largely coastal dwellers. Even those who grew up in the interior (as I did in my early childhood) made trips to our various state capitals and learned the difference between swimming in rivers and lakes, and swimming in the sea.

    Reply
  30. Thanks, Kathy
    It certainly lets you know how small and helpless you are, but I think part of the inspiration of it is the constantly shifting colors, textures and moods of the sea. Regency and especially Victorian-era people used to believe that you breathed in pure ozone at the seaside and that renewed and refreshed your mind and body. There’s a surfing competition about to take place here, so there’s also lots of people-watching to do — for those not on deadline. 🙂

    Reply
  31. I’m from Sydney, Australia, and grew up beside the Pacific Ocean. I love the sea but I remember the first time I saw Lake Ontario. I was absolutely amazed that even from the top of high rise the water filled the skyline, just like the sea. That’s when I started to appreciate just how dry Australia really is in comparison to other countries. Of course, seeing the amount of water that goes over Niagara Falls helped. We have no rivers that even come close to that. The other thing that struck me in your writing today, Annie, was the distance comparison. I think Australians take distance and travel for granted more than any other nation on earth. It would never occur to me to consider that a trip one part of Australia to another is the equivalent of London to Moscow. In my family (and many others) we fly it, drive it or get there however we can, for family, friends and holidays without thinking that it’s impossible. My husband travels that far for lawn bowls weekend! But I would think that London to Moscow is much too far. Perception is an amazing thing.

    Reply
  32. I’m from Sydney, Australia, and grew up beside the Pacific Ocean. I love the sea but I remember the first time I saw Lake Ontario. I was absolutely amazed that even from the top of high rise the water filled the skyline, just like the sea. That’s when I started to appreciate just how dry Australia really is in comparison to other countries. Of course, seeing the amount of water that goes over Niagara Falls helped. We have no rivers that even come close to that. The other thing that struck me in your writing today, Annie, was the distance comparison. I think Australians take distance and travel for granted more than any other nation on earth. It would never occur to me to consider that a trip one part of Australia to another is the equivalent of London to Moscow. In my family (and many others) we fly it, drive it or get there however we can, for family, friends and holidays without thinking that it’s impossible. My husband travels that far for lawn bowls weekend! But I would think that London to Moscow is much too far. Perception is an amazing thing.

    Reply
  33. I’m from Sydney, Australia, and grew up beside the Pacific Ocean. I love the sea but I remember the first time I saw Lake Ontario. I was absolutely amazed that even from the top of high rise the water filled the skyline, just like the sea. That’s when I started to appreciate just how dry Australia really is in comparison to other countries. Of course, seeing the amount of water that goes over Niagara Falls helped. We have no rivers that even come close to that. The other thing that struck me in your writing today, Annie, was the distance comparison. I think Australians take distance and travel for granted more than any other nation on earth. It would never occur to me to consider that a trip one part of Australia to another is the equivalent of London to Moscow. In my family (and many others) we fly it, drive it or get there however we can, for family, friends and holidays without thinking that it’s impossible. My husband travels that far for lawn bowls weekend! But I would think that London to Moscow is much too far. Perception is an amazing thing.

    Reply
  34. I’m from Sydney, Australia, and grew up beside the Pacific Ocean. I love the sea but I remember the first time I saw Lake Ontario. I was absolutely amazed that even from the top of high rise the water filled the skyline, just like the sea. That’s when I started to appreciate just how dry Australia really is in comparison to other countries. Of course, seeing the amount of water that goes over Niagara Falls helped. We have no rivers that even come close to that. The other thing that struck me in your writing today, Annie, was the distance comparison. I think Australians take distance and travel for granted more than any other nation on earth. It would never occur to me to consider that a trip one part of Australia to another is the equivalent of London to Moscow. In my family (and many others) we fly it, drive it or get there however we can, for family, friends and holidays without thinking that it’s impossible. My husband travels that far for lawn bowls weekend! But I would think that London to Moscow is much too far. Perception is an amazing thing.

    Reply
  35. I’m from Sydney, Australia, and grew up beside the Pacific Ocean. I love the sea but I remember the first time I saw Lake Ontario. I was absolutely amazed that even from the top of high rise the water filled the skyline, just like the sea. That’s when I started to appreciate just how dry Australia really is in comparison to other countries. Of course, seeing the amount of water that goes over Niagara Falls helped. We have no rivers that even come close to that. The other thing that struck me in your writing today, Annie, was the distance comparison. I think Australians take distance and travel for granted more than any other nation on earth. It would never occur to me to consider that a trip one part of Australia to another is the equivalent of London to Moscow. In my family (and many others) we fly it, drive it or get there however we can, for family, friends and holidays without thinking that it’s impossible. My husband travels that far for lawn bowls weekend! But I would think that London to Moscow is much too far. Perception is an amazing thing.

    Reply
  36. Mary, I also remember watching the water at Niagara Falls and being awed at the power of it. And yes, we do take distance for granted — and travelling. The Moscow to London comparison came after a UK author had commented on an author email loop that AuthorB lived pretty close to AuthorM, and how nice that must be. She was looking at a map of Australia — obviously a small one — and they looked pretty close. They were even in the same state. So AuthorB pointed out that though they did live in the same state, the distance between her and AuthorM was the same distance as from Moscow to London. I remember there was quite a reaction. 🙂

    Reply
  37. Mary, I also remember watching the water at Niagara Falls and being awed at the power of it. And yes, we do take distance for granted — and travelling. The Moscow to London comparison came after a UK author had commented on an author email loop that AuthorB lived pretty close to AuthorM, and how nice that must be. She was looking at a map of Australia — obviously a small one — and they looked pretty close. They were even in the same state. So AuthorB pointed out that though they did live in the same state, the distance between her and AuthorM was the same distance as from Moscow to London. I remember there was quite a reaction. 🙂

    Reply
  38. Mary, I also remember watching the water at Niagara Falls and being awed at the power of it. And yes, we do take distance for granted — and travelling. The Moscow to London comparison came after a UK author had commented on an author email loop that AuthorB lived pretty close to AuthorM, and how nice that must be. She was looking at a map of Australia — obviously a small one — and they looked pretty close. They were even in the same state. So AuthorB pointed out that though they did live in the same state, the distance between her and AuthorM was the same distance as from Moscow to London. I remember there was quite a reaction. 🙂

    Reply
  39. Mary, I also remember watching the water at Niagara Falls and being awed at the power of it. And yes, we do take distance for granted — and travelling. The Moscow to London comparison came after a UK author had commented on an author email loop that AuthorB lived pretty close to AuthorM, and how nice that must be. She was looking at a map of Australia — obviously a small one — and they looked pretty close. They were even in the same state. So AuthorB pointed out that though they did live in the same state, the distance between her and AuthorM was the same distance as from Moscow to London. I remember there was quite a reaction. 🙂

    Reply
  40. Mary, I also remember watching the water at Niagara Falls and being awed at the power of it. And yes, we do take distance for granted — and travelling. The Moscow to London comparison came after a UK author had commented on an author email loop that AuthorB lived pretty close to AuthorM, and how nice that must be. She was looking at a map of Australia — obviously a small one — and they looked pretty close. They were even in the same state. So AuthorB pointed out that though they did live in the same state, the distance between her and AuthorM was the same distance as from Moscow to London. I remember there was quite a reaction. 🙂

    Reply
  41. The Great Lakes really are fresh water inland seas, and I grew up within easy driving distance of Lake Ontario and Lack Erie. I always loved visiting the shores there. I’d not seen the ocean when I was young, but Great Lakes served the same purpose very well.

    Reply
  42. The Great Lakes really are fresh water inland seas, and I grew up within easy driving distance of Lake Ontario and Lack Erie. I always loved visiting the shores there. I’d not seen the ocean when I was young, but Great Lakes served the same purpose very well.

    Reply
  43. The Great Lakes really are fresh water inland seas, and I grew up within easy driving distance of Lake Ontario and Lack Erie. I always loved visiting the shores there. I’d not seen the ocean when I was young, but Great Lakes served the same purpose very well.

    Reply
  44. The Great Lakes really are fresh water inland seas, and I grew up within easy driving distance of Lake Ontario and Lack Erie. I always loved visiting the shores there. I’d not seen the ocean when I was young, but Great Lakes served the same purpose very well.

    Reply
  45. The Great Lakes really are fresh water inland seas, and I grew up within easy driving distance of Lake Ontario and Lack Erie. I always loved visiting the shores there. I’d not seen the ocean when I was young, but Great Lakes served the same purpose very well.

    Reply
  46. Hi Anne. We are having a go at creating such retreats for RWA (Australia) members right now. This is such an exciting time – especially for us deprived rural writers and it will be no surprise that my motivation to join the committee was personal! I am sure I speak for us all when I say I’d hope to see regular retreats such as yours spin off from the program.
    Personally I’m with you: Tropical beachfront location- tick. Structured writing times- essential. Nearby cafes and restaurants a must! And a FULL WEEK. Nothing less (that said, the program is looking to start with long/weekends initially and that’s where the spin-offs could arise from.). So I am green with envy when I read this, but did just come home from a Queensland island holiday, where my writing was supercharged, followed by extra days in brisbane where I lost my rhythm- so yes – it must be all those minerals in the air which never really stills. But regardless, being with other writers anywhere is so inspirational to me. Xxx j

    Reply
  47. Hi Anne. We are having a go at creating such retreats for RWA (Australia) members right now. This is such an exciting time – especially for us deprived rural writers and it will be no surprise that my motivation to join the committee was personal! I am sure I speak for us all when I say I’d hope to see regular retreats such as yours spin off from the program.
    Personally I’m with you: Tropical beachfront location- tick. Structured writing times- essential. Nearby cafes and restaurants a must! And a FULL WEEK. Nothing less (that said, the program is looking to start with long/weekends initially and that’s where the spin-offs could arise from.). So I am green with envy when I read this, but did just come home from a Queensland island holiday, where my writing was supercharged, followed by extra days in brisbane where I lost my rhythm- so yes – it must be all those minerals in the air which never really stills. But regardless, being with other writers anywhere is so inspirational to me. Xxx j

    Reply
  48. Hi Anne. We are having a go at creating such retreats for RWA (Australia) members right now. This is such an exciting time – especially for us deprived rural writers and it will be no surprise that my motivation to join the committee was personal! I am sure I speak for us all when I say I’d hope to see regular retreats such as yours spin off from the program.
    Personally I’m with you: Tropical beachfront location- tick. Structured writing times- essential. Nearby cafes and restaurants a must! And a FULL WEEK. Nothing less (that said, the program is looking to start with long/weekends initially and that’s where the spin-offs could arise from.). So I am green with envy when I read this, but did just come home from a Queensland island holiday, where my writing was supercharged, followed by extra days in brisbane where I lost my rhythm- so yes – it must be all those minerals in the air which never really stills. But regardless, being with other writers anywhere is so inspirational to me. Xxx j

    Reply
  49. Hi Anne. We are having a go at creating such retreats for RWA (Australia) members right now. This is such an exciting time – especially for us deprived rural writers and it will be no surprise that my motivation to join the committee was personal! I am sure I speak for us all when I say I’d hope to see regular retreats such as yours spin off from the program.
    Personally I’m with you: Tropical beachfront location- tick. Structured writing times- essential. Nearby cafes and restaurants a must! And a FULL WEEK. Nothing less (that said, the program is looking to start with long/weekends initially and that’s where the spin-offs could arise from.). So I am green with envy when I read this, but did just come home from a Queensland island holiday, where my writing was supercharged, followed by extra days in brisbane where I lost my rhythm- so yes – it must be all those minerals in the air which never really stills. But regardless, being with other writers anywhere is so inspirational to me. Xxx j

    Reply
  50. Hi Anne. We are having a go at creating such retreats for RWA (Australia) members right now. This is such an exciting time – especially for us deprived rural writers and it will be no surprise that my motivation to join the committee was personal! I am sure I speak for us all when I say I’d hope to see regular retreats such as yours spin off from the program.
    Personally I’m with you: Tropical beachfront location- tick. Structured writing times- essential. Nearby cafes and restaurants a must! And a FULL WEEK. Nothing less (that said, the program is looking to start with long/weekends initially and that’s where the spin-offs could arise from.). So I am green with envy when I read this, but did just come home from a Queensland island holiday, where my writing was supercharged, followed by extra days in brisbane where I lost my rhythm- so yes – it must be all those minerals in the air which never really stills. But regardless, being with other writers anywhere is so inspirational to me. Xxx j

    Reply
  51. Anne, I hope that you and your fellow writers have a wonderful retreat.
    I like the sound of the ocean which is both hypnotic and relaxing. My husband likes that sound so much that he has a machine with ocean sounds that we sleep to.
    I gather monthly with two groups ~ one is a book discussion group, the other is a (fairly new) group that meets to do art. I enjoy them both though neither group meets by the sea. A parenting group I belonged to for some eleven years once went on a weekend retreat to the beach; that was a fun time.

    Reply
  52. Anne, I hope that you and your fellow writers have a wonderful retreat.
    I like the sound of the ocean which is both hypnotic and relaxing. My husband likes that sound so much that he has a machine with ocean sounds that we sleep to.
    I gather monthly with two groups ~ one is a book discussion group, the other is a (fairly new) group that meets to do art. I enjoy them both though neither group meets by the sea. A parenting group I belonged to for some eleven years once went on a weekend retreat to the beach; that was a fun time.

    Reply
  53. Anne, I hope that you and your fellow writers have a wonderful retreat.
    I like the sound of the ocean which is both hypnotic and relaxing. My husband likes that sound so much that he has a machine with ocean sounds that we sleep to.
    I gather monthly with two groups ~ one is a book discussion group, the other is a (fairly new) group that meets to do art. I enjoy them both though neither group meets by the sea. A parenting group I belonged to for some eleven years once went on a weekend retreat to the beach; that was a fun time.

    Reply
  54. Anne, I hope that you and your fellow writers have a wonderful retreat.
    I like the sound of the ocean which is both hypnotic and relaxing. My husband likes that sound so much that he has a machine with ocean sounds that we sleep to.
    I gather monthly with two groups ~ one is a book discussion group, the other is a (fairly new) group that meets to do art. I enjoy them both though neither group meets by the sea. A parenting group I belonged to for some eleven years once went on a weekend retreat to the beach; that was a fun time.

    Reply
  55. Anne, I hope that you and your fellow writers have a wonderful retreat.
    I like the sound of the ocean which is both hypnotic and relaxing. My husband likes that sound so much that he has a machine with ocean sounds that we sleep to.
    I gather monthly with two groups ~ one is a book discussion group, the other is a (fairly new) group that meets to do art. I enjoy them both though neither group meets by the sea. A parenting group I belonged to for some eleven years once went on a weekend retreat to the beach; that was a fun time.

    Reply
  56. Hi Anne! I’m a fellow RWA member living in Port Lincoln, South Australia and I just wanted to write and say, ‘Snap!’. I’ve been running writing retreats for a group of writer friends for exactly the same amount of time you have! Our first retreat of 2017 (we hold 2-3 a year) is coming up the first week of May and it marks our tenth anniversary!
    Like your group, we are drawn to the sea but our retreats are held at the same location every time – a remote beach campsite just south of Tumby Bay. Eight to nine of us go there for a week, write all day, walk on the beach, and then have group discussion at night. We absolutely love our time their and get so much done in the peace and quiet. Great to read that you’re doing the same!

    Reply
  57. Hi Anne! I’m a fellow RWA member living in Port Lincoln, South Australia and I just wanted to write and say, ‘Snap!’. I’ve been running writing retreats for a group of writer friends for exactly the same amount of time you have! Our first retreat of 2017 (we hold 2-3 a year) is coming up the first week of May and it marks our tenth anniversary!
    Like your group, we are drawn to the sea but our retreats are held at the same location every time – a remote beach campsite just south of Tumby Bay. Eight to nine of us go there for a week, write all day, walk on the beach, and then have group discussion at night. We absolutely love our time their and get so much done in the peace and quiet. Great to read that you’re doing the same!

    Reply
  58. Hi Anne! I’m a fellow RWA member living in Port Lincoln, South Australia and I just wanted to write and say, ‘Snap!’. I’ve been running writing retreats for a group of writer friends for exactly the same amount of time you have! Our first retreat of 2017 (we hold 2-3 a year) is coming up the first week of May and it marks our tenth anniversary!
    Like your group, we are drawn to the sea but our retreats are held at the same location every time – a remote beach campsite just south of Tumby Bay. Eight to nine of us go there for a week, write all day, walk on the beach, and then have group discussion at night. We absolutely love our time their and get so much done in the peace and quiet. Great to read that you’re doing the same!

    Reply
  59. Hi Anne! I’m a fellow RWA member living in Port Lincoln, South Australia and I just wanted to write and say, ‘Snap!’. I’ve been running writing retreats for a group of writer friends for exactly the same amount of time you have! Our first retreat of 2017 (we hold 2-3 a year) is coming up the first week of May and it marks our tenth anniversary!
    Like your group, we are drawn to the sea but our retreats are held at the same location every time – a remote beach campsite just south of Tumby Bay. Eight to nine of us go there for a week, write all day, walk on the beach, and then have group discussion at night. We absolutely love our time their and get so much done in the peace and quiet. Great to read that you’re doing the same!

    Reply
  60. Hi Anne! I’m a fellow RWA member living in Port Lincoln, South Australia and I just wanted to write and say, ‘Snap!’. I’ve been running writing retreats for a group of writer friends for exactly the same amount of time you have! Our first retreat of 2017 (we hold 2-3 a year) is coming up the first week of May and it marks our tenth anniversary!
    Like your group, we are drawn to the sea but our retreats are held at the same location every time – a remote beach campsite just south of Tumby Bay. Eight to nine of us go there for a week, write all day, walk on the beach, and then have group discussion at night. We absolutely love our time their and get so much done in the peace and quiet. Great to read that you’re doing the same!

    Reply
  61. I LOVE the sea!! I go for my walk beside it as many mornings as possible. I love the sound the waves make. Just standing there and breathing in the fabulous air is so refreshing.
    Some years ago I got a very bad bout of depression. I walked for as much and as long as I could on the beach. It really helped and I’ve continued to do the same. It seems to give a lift to the spirits whatever the mood.

    Reply
  62. I LOVE the sea!! I go for my walk beside it as many mornings as possible. I love the sound the waves make. Just standing there and breathing in the fabulous air is so refreshing.
    Some years ago I got a very bad bout of depression. I walked for as much and as long as I could on the beach. It really helped and I’ve continued to do the same. It seems to give a lift to the spirits whatever the mood.

    Reply
  63. I LOVE the sea!! I go for my walk beside it as many mornings as possible. I love the sound the waves make. Just standing there and breathing in the fabulous air is so refreshing.
    Some years ago I got a very bad bout of depression. I walked for as much and as long as I could on the beach. It really helped and I’ve continued to do the same. It seems to give a lift to the spirits whatever the mood.

    Reply
  64. I LOVE the sea!! I go for my walk beside it as many mornings as possible. I love the sound the waves make. Just standing there and breathing in the fabulous air is so refreshing.
    Some years ago I got a very bad bout of depression. I walked for as much and as long as I could on the beach. It really helped and I’ve continued to do the same. It seems to give a lift to the spirits whatever the mood.

    Reply
  65. I LOVE the sea!! I go for my walk beside it as many mornings as possible. I love the sound the waves make. Just standing there and breathing in the fabulous air is so refreshing.
    Some years ago I got a very bad bout of depression. I walked for as much and as long as I could on the beach. It really helped and I’ve continued to do the same. It seems to give a lift to the spirits whatever the mood.

    Reply
  66. I am in love with almost any body of water bigger than a mud puddle. It does speak to me – I have figured out that I must have been some sort of crustacean in an earlier life.
    I had a close group of friends, but circumstances beyond our control separated us. It is a big loss. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
  67. I am in love with almost any body of water bigger than a mud puddle. It does speak to me – I have figured out that I must have been some sort of crustacean in an earlier life.
    I had a close group of friends, but circumstances beyond our control separated us. It is a big loss. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
  68. I am in love with almost any body of water bigger than a mud puddle. It does speak to me – I have figured out that I must have been some sort of crustacean in an earlier life.
    I had a close group of friends, but circumstances beyond our control separated us. It is a big loss. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
  69. I am in love with almost any body of water bigger than a mud puddle. It does speak to me – I have figured out that I must have been some sort of crustacean in an earlier life.
    I had a close group of friends, but circumstances beyond our control separated us. It is a big loss. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
  70. I am in love with almost any body of water bigger than a mud puddle. It does speak to me – I have figured out that I must have been some sort of crustacean in an earlier life.
    I had a close group of friends, but circumstances beyond our control separated us. It is a big loss. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
  71. Anne, your retreat sounds so wonderful, and it is a tribute to your incredible way with words that for a few minutes while I was reading your post, I was a million miles away from my desk at work, breathing in the sea air and thinking about a quiet room to return to to write after a shared meal with friends. Ah . . . . Thank you, for that 2 minute retreat.

    Reply
  72. Anne, your retreat sounds so wonderful, and it is a tribute to your incredible way with words that for a few minutes while I was reading your post, I was a million miles away from my desk at work, breathing in the sea air and thinking about a quiet room to return to to write after a shared meal with friends. Ah . . . . Thank you, for that 2 minute retreat.

    Reply
  73. Anne, your retreat sounds so wonderful, and it is a tribute to your incredible way with words that for a few minutes while I was reading your post, I was a million miles away from my desk at work, breathing in the sea air and thinking about a quiet room to return to to write after a shared meal with friends. Ah . . . . Thank you, for that 2 minute retreat.

    Reply
  74. Anne, your retreat sounds so wonderful, and it is a tribute to your incredible way with words that for a few minutes while I was reading your post, I was a million miles away from my desk at work, breathing in the sea air and thinking about a quiet room to return to to write after a shared meal with friends. Ah . . . . Thank you, for that 2 minute retreat.

    Reply
  75. Anne, your retreat sounds so wonderful, and it is a tribute to your incredible way with words that for a few minutes while I was reading your post, I was a million miles away from my desk at work, breathing in the sea air and thinking about a quiet room to return to to write after a shared meal with friends. Ah . . . . Thank you, for that 2 minute retreat.

    Reply
  76. Mary Jo, seeing the Great Lakes for the first time, I could easily have imagined they were a sea. It was inconceivable for me that you couldn’t see the opposite shore. The theory is that the interior of Australia once had huge lakes, also, but now the water is all underground — an artesian basin — and the largest lakes we have in the interior are hard salt pans that are filled with water once in a flue moon. But there are all kinds of species adapted to that irregular supply of water and a few short weeks after rain there will be flowers in bloom everywhere, and creatures that have been cocooned in dried mud for years will emerge, mate, breed and die, all within a short window of wet opportunity. Nature is extraordinary.

    Reply
  77. Mary Jo, seeing the Great Lakes for the first time, I could easily have imagined they were a sea. It was inconceivable for me that you couldn’t see the opposite shore. The theory is that the interior of Australia once had huge lakes, also, but now the water is all underground — an artesian basin — and the largest lakes we have in the interior are hard salt pans that are filled with water once in a flue moon. But there are all kinds of species adapted to that irregular supply of water and a few short weeks after rain there will be flowers in bloom everywhere, and creatures that have been cocooned in dried mud for years will emerge, mate, breed and die, all within a short window of wet opportunity. Nature is extraordinary.

    Reply
  78. Mary Jo, seeing the Great Lakes for the first time, I could easily have imagined they were a sea. It was inconceivable for me that you couldn’t see the opposite shore. The theory is that the interior of Australia once had huge lakes, also, but now the water is all underground — an artesian basin — and the largest lakes we have in the interior are hard salt pans that are filled with water once in a flue moon. But there are all kinds of species adapted to that irregular supply of water and a few short weeks after rain there will be flowers in bloom everywhere, and creatures that have been cocooned in dried mud for years will emerge, mate, breed and die, all within a short window of wet opportunity. Nature is extraordinary.

    Reply
  79. Mary Jo, seeing the Great Lakes for the first time, I could easily have imagined they were a sea. It was inconceivable for me that you couldn’t see the opposite shore. The theory is that the interior of Australia once had huge lakes, also, but now the water is all underground — an artesian basin — and the largest lakes we have in the interior are hard salt pans that are filled with water once in a flue moon. But there are all kinds of species adapted to that irregular supply of water and a few short weeks after rain there will be flowers in bloom everywhere, and creatures that have been cocooned in dried mud for years will emerge, mate, breed and die, all within a short window of wet opportunity. Nature is extraordinary.

    Reply
  80. Mary Jo, seeing the Great Lakes for the first time, I could easily have imagined they were a sea. It was inconceivable for me that you couldn’t see the opposite shore. The theory is that the interior of Australia once had huge lakes, also, but now the water is all underground — an artesian basin — and the largest lakes we have in the interior are hard salt pans that are filled with water once in a flue moon. But there are all kinds of species adapted to that irregular supply of water and a few short weeks after rain there will be flowers in bloom everywhere, and creatures that have been cocooned in dried mud for years will emerge, mate, breed and die, all within a short window of wet opportunity. Nature is extraordinary.

    Reply
  81. Jay, we’ve evolved the methods that worked for us over time. When we first did this, it was a one-off and I don’t think any of us expected another retreat, let alone that we’d continue for ten years. And more — we’re already planning next year. Part of the success of it is that we work hard as well as socialize. Being all working writers who earn our living from our writing, it’s essential that we can justify the time and expense to ourselves.
    And yes! Being with other writers is sooooo inspirational.

    Reply
  82. Jay, we’ve evolved the methods that worked for us over time. When we first did this, it was a one-off and I don’t think any of us expected another retreat, let alone that we’d continue for ten years. And more — we’re already planning next year. Part of the success of it is that we work hard as well as socialize. Being all working writers who earn our living from our writing, it’s essential that we can justify the time and expense to ourselves.
    And yes! Being with other writers is sooooo inspirational.

    Reply
  83. Jay, we’ve evolved the methods that worked for us over time. When we first did this, it was a one-off and I don’t think any of us expected another retreat, let alone that we’d continue for ten years. And more — we’re already planning next year. Part of the success of it is that we work hard as well as socialize. Being all working writers who earn our living from our writing, it’s essential that we can justify the time and expense to ourselves.
    And yes! Being with other writers is sooooo inspirational.

    Reply
  84. Jay, we’ve evolved the methods that worked for us over time. When we first did this, it was a one-off and I don’t think any of us expected another retreat, let alone that we’d continue for ten years. And more — we’re already planning next year. Part of the success of it is that we work hard as well as socialize. Being all working writers who earn our living from our writing, it’s essential that we can justify the time and expense to ourselves.
    And yes! Being with other writers is sooooo inspirational.

    Reply
  85. Jay, we’ve evolved the methods that worked for us over time. When we first did this, it was a one-off and I don’t think any of us expected another retreat, let alone that we’d continue for ten years. And more — we’re already planning next year. Part of the success of it is that we work hard as well as socialize. Being all working writers who earn our living from our writing, it’s essential that we can justify the time and expense to ourselves.
    And yes! Being with other writers is sooooo inspirational.

    Reply
  86. Kareni, I know of quite a few people who use recorded beach sounds to help them sleep. I’d sleep with my windows open, except that flocks of hundreds (thousands?) or rainbow lorikeets roost in the trees that line the foreshore and as dusk and predawn, their noise is deafening. I love lorikeets, but to be woken by mad screeching and chattering at 4.30am? No thanks. 😉
    Your book groups sound lovely – maybe you can talk them into a retreat by the beach some time.

    Reply
  87. Kareni, I know of quite a few people who use recorded beach sounds to help them sleep. I’d sleep with my windows open, except that flocks of hundreds (thousands?) or rainbow lorikeets roost in the trees that line the foreshore and as dusk and predawn, their noise is deafening. I love lorikeets, but to be woken by mad screeching and chattering at 4.30am? No thanks. 😉
    Your book groups sound lovely – maybe you can talk them into a retreat by the beach some time.

    Reply
  88. Kareni, I know of quite a few people who use recorded beach sounds to help them sleep. I’d sleep with my windows open, except that flocks of hundreds (thousands?) or rainbow lorikeets roost in the trees that line the foreshore and as dusk and predawn, their noise is deafening. I love lorikeets, but to be woken by mad screeching and chattering at 4.30am? No thanks. 😉
    Your book groups sound lovely – maybe you can talk them into a retreat by the beach some time.

    Reply
  89. Kareni, I know of quite a few people who use recorded beach sounds to help them sleep. I’d sleep with my windows open, except that flocks of hundreds (thousands?) or rainbow lorikeets roost in the trees that line the foreshore and as dusk and predawn, their noise is deafening. I love lorikeets, but to be woken by mad screeching and chattering at 4.30am? No thanks. 😉
    Your book groups sound lovely – maybe you can talk them into a retreat by the beach some time.

    Reply
  90. Kareni, I know of quite a few people who use recorded beach sounds to help them sleep. I’d sleep with my windows open, except that flocks of hundreds (thousands?) or rainbow lorikeets roost in the trees that line the foreshore and as dusk and predawn, their noise is deafening. I love lorikeets, but to be woken by mad screeching and chattering at 4.30am? No thanks. 😉
    Your book groups sound lovely – maybe you can talk them into a retreat by the beach some time.

    Reply
  91. Diane, that’s amazing — and wonderful. It sounds a lot like ours, except we don’t camp. We’ve been at the same location for 5 years now, and we have no plans to move. And because we come from all over Australia (and NZ of France or wherever) we try to ensure that it’s only one flight for most people.
    But lovely that we’re both doing what works so well.

    Reply
  92. Diane, that’s amazing — and wonderful. It sounds a lot like ours, except we don’t camp. We’ve been at the same location for 5 years now, and we have no plans to move. And because we come from all over Australia (and NZ of France or wherever) we try to ensure that it’s only one flight for most people.
    But lovely that we’re both doing what works so well.

    Reply
  93. Diane, that’s amazing — and wonderful. It sounds a lot like ours, except we don’t camp. We’ve been at the same location for 5 years now, and we have no plans to move. And because we come from all over Australia (and NZ of France or wherever) we try to ensure that it’s only one flight for most people.
    But lovely that we’re both doing what works so well.

    Reply
  94. Diane, that’s amazing — and wonderful. It sounds a lot like ours, except we don’t camp. We’ve been at the same location for 5 years now, and we have no plans to move. And because we come from all over Australia (and NZ of France or wherever) we try to ensure that it’s only one flight for most people.
    But lovely that we’re both doing what works so well.

    Reply
  95. Diane, that’s amazing — and wonderful. It sounds a lot like ours, except we don’t camp. We’ve been at the same location for 5 years now, and we have no plans to move. And because we come from all over Australia (and NZ of France or wherever) we try to ensure that it’s only one flight for most people.
    But lovely that we’re both doing what works so well.

    Reply
  96. Teresa, what a lovely story. It doesn’t surprise you that you gained so much benefit from the seaside. My parents used to live a stones thrown from the beach, and I really missed those regular walks along the beach with the dog. City parks and the lovely creek down the back from my place are nice, but the beach is so special.

    Reply
  97. Teresa, what a lovely story. It doesn’t surprise you that you gained so much benefit from the seaside. My parents used to live a stones thrown from the beach, and I really missed those regular walks along the beach with the dog. City parks and the lovely creek down the back from my place are nice, but the beach is so special.

    Reply
  98. Teresa, what a lovely story. It doesn’t surprise you that you gained so much benefit from the seaside. My parents used to live a stones thrown from the beach, and I really missed those regular walks along the beach with the dog. City parks and the lovely creek down the back from my place are nice, but the beach is so special.

    Reply
  99. Teresa, what a lovely story. It doesn’t surprise you that you gained so much benefit from the seaside. My parents used to live a stones thrown from the beach, and I really missed those regular walks along the beach with the dog. City parks and the lovely creek down the back from my place are nice, but the beach is so special.

    Reply
  100. Teresa, what a lovely story. It doesn’t surprise you that you gained so much benefit from the seaside. My parents used to live a stones thrown from the beach, and I really missed those regular walks along the beach with the dog. City parks and the lovely creek down the back from my place are nice, but the beach is so special.

    Reply
  101. Annette, I confess to a childhood love of mud puddles — splash! LOL. Mum didn’t feel quite the same, sadly.
    I’m sorry you lost your close group of friends. In the last few years I’ve reconnected with a small group of women I went to school with, but hadn’t seen most of them for decades. But we reconnected so easily, and it’s been lovely.

    Reply
  102. Annette, I confess to a childhood love of mud puddles — splash! LOL. Mum didn’t feel quite the same, sadly.
    I’m sorry you lost your close group of friends. In the last few years I’ve reconnected with a small group of women I went to school with, but hadn’t seen most of them for decades. But we reconnected so easily, and it’s been lovely.

    Reply
  103. Annette, I confess to a childhood love of mud puddles — splash! LOL. Mum didn’t feel quite the same, sadly.
    I’m sorry you lost your close group of friends. In the last few years I’ve reconnected with a small group of women I went to school with, but hadn’t seen most of them for decades. But we reconnected so easily, and it’s been lovely.

    Reply
  104. Annette, I confess to a childhood love of mud puddles — splash! LOL. Mum didn’t feel quite the same, sadly.
    I’m sorry you lost your close group of friends. In the last few years I’ve reconnected with a small group of women I went to school with, but hadn’t seen most of them for decades. But we reconnected so easily, and it’s been lovely.

    Reply
  105. Annette, I confess to a childhood love of mud puddles — splash! LOL. Mum didn’t feel quite the same, sadly.
    I’m sorry you lost your close group of friends. In the last few years I’ve reconnected with a small group of women I went to school with, but hadn’t seen most of them for decades. But we reconnected so easily, and it’s been lovely.

    Reply
  106. What a lovely thing to say, Margaret — thank you. I wish I could send you a bubble of pure, warm sea air and a whoosh of a passing lorikeet or two— just one or two, in their flocks they’re too noisy.

    Reply
  107. What a lovely thing to say, Margaret — thank you. I wish I could send you a bubble of pure, warm sea air and a whoosh of a passing lorikeet or two— just one or two, in their flocks they’re too noisy.

    Reply
  108. What a lovely thing to say, Margaret — thank you. I wish I could send you a bubble of pure, warm sea air and a whoosh of a passing lorikeet or two— just one or two, in their flocks they’re too noisy.

    Reply
  109. What a lovely thing to say, Margaret — thank you. I wish I could send you a bubble of pure, warm sea air and a whoosh of a passing lorikeet or two— just one or two, in their flocks they’re too noisy.

    Reply
  110. What a lovely thing to say, Margaret — thank you. I wish I could send you a bubble of pure, warm sea air and a whoosh of a passing lorikeet or two— just one or two, in their flocks they’re too noisy.

    Reply
  111. I am very lucky to live 5 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean-and at one point I was living only a block and a half away. It’s a great place for walks, or to just sit and stare. We don’t get ocean sunsets because we’re on the east coast, but it’s a treat to see a full moon rising over the ocean.

    Reply
  112. I am very lucky to live 5 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean-and at one point I was living only a block and a half away. It’s a great place for walks, or to just sit and stare. We don’t get ocean sunsets because we’re on the east coast, but it’s a treat to see a full moon rising over the ocean.

    Reply
  113. I am very lucky to live 5 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean-and at one point I was living only a block and a half away. It’s a great place for walks, or to just sit and stare. We don’t get ocean sunsets because we’re on the east coast, but it’s a treat to see a full moon rising over the ocean.

    Reply
  114. I am very lucky to live 5 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean-and at one point I was living only a block and a half away. It’s a great place for walks, or to just sit and stare. We don’t get ocean sunsets because we’re on the east coast, but it’s a treat to see a full moon rising over the ocean.

    Reply
  115. I am very lucky to live 5 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean-and at one point I was living only a block and a half away. It’s a great place for walks, or to just sit and stare. We don’t get ocean sunsets because we’re on the east coast, but it’s a treat to see a full moon rising over the ocean.

    Reply
  116. Karin, my parents used to live beside the beach too, and I miss it so much. We are also on the east coast of Australia, but a couple of years ago I was in Western Australia and it was so cool to see the setting sun sinking into the ocean.

    Reply
  117. Karin, my parents used to live beside the beach too, and I miss it so much. We are also on the east coast of Australia, but a couple of years ago I was in Western Australia and it was so cool to see the setting sun sinking into the ocean.

    Reply
  118. Karin, my parents used to live beside the beach too, and I miss it so much. We are also on the east coast of Australia, but a couple of years ago I was in Western Australia and it was so cool to see the setting sun sinking into the ocean.

    Reply
  119. Karin, my parents used to live beside the beach too, and I miss it so much. We are also on the east coast of Australia, but a couple of years ago I was in Western Australia and it was so cool to see the setting sun sinking into the ocean.

    Reply
  120. Karin, my parents used to live beside the beach too, and I miss it so much. We are also on the east coast of Australia, but a couple of years ago I was in Western Australia and it was so cool to see the setting sun sinking into the ocean.

    Reply
  121. The book group did take a day trip once (using the train) to a bigger city a couple of hours away with a phenomenal used book store. Who knows? A weekend at the ocean might happen some day.

    Reply
  122. The book group did take a day trip once (using the train) to a bigger city a couple of hours away with a phenomenal used book store. Who knows? A weekend at the ocean might happen some day.

    Reply
  123. The book group did take a day trip once (using the train) to a bigger city a couple of hours away with a phenomenal used book store. Who knows? A weekend at the ocean might happen some day.

    Reply
  124. The book group did take a day trip once (using the train) to a bigger city a couple of hours away with a phenomenal used book store. Who knows? A weekend at the ocean might happen some day.

    Reply
  125. The book group did take a day trip once (using the train) to a bigger city a couple of hours away with a phenomenal used book store. Who knows? A weekend at the ocean might happen some day.

    Reply
  126. Thanks, Andrea. I think the wenches are a bit far-flung to be able to have a regular retreat, withmembers on opposite coasts of the US, and in Canada, the UK and Australia. But it’s a lovely idea.
    Actually, you and MJP and Susan and Jo could probably retreat together without too much trouble.
    The other night, we were discussing how ours started, and half the retreaters had never met until that first day. And now, ten years later, we’re a bit like family to each other. So my suggestion is to plan it with a couple of friends and each invite a few people you think might be good to retreat with.

    Reply
  127. Thanks, Andrea. I think the wenches are a bit far-flung to be able to have a regular retreat, withmembers on opposite coasts of the US, and in Canada, the UK and Australia. But it’s a lovely idea.
    Actually, you and MJP and Susan and Jo could probably retreat together without too much trouble.
    The other night, we were discussing how ours started, and half the retreaters had never met until that first day. And now, ten years later, we’re a bit like family to each other. So my suggestion is to plan it with a couple of friends and each invite a few people you think might be good to retreat with.

    Reply
  128. Thanks, Andrea. I think the wenches are a bit far-flung to be able to have a regular retreat, withmembers on opposite coasts of the US, and in Canada, the UK and Australia. But it’s a lovely idea.
    Actually, you and MJP and Susan and Jo could probably retreat together without too much trouble.
    The other night, we were discussing how ours started, and half the retreaters had never met until that first day. And now, ten years later, we’re a bit like family to each other. So my suggestion is to plan it with a couple of friends and each invite a few people you think might be good to retreat with.

    Reply
  129. Thanks, Andrea. I think the wenches are a bit far-flung to be able to have a regular retreat, withmembers on opposite coasts of the US, and in Canada, the UK and Australia. But it’s a lovely idea.
    Actually, you and MJP and Susan and Jo could probably retreat together without too much trouble.
    The other night, we were discussing how ours started, and half the retreaters had never met until that first day. And now, ten years later, we’re a bit like family to each other. So my suggestion is to plan it with a couple of friends and each invite a few people you think might be good to retreat with.

    Reply
  130. Thanks, Andrea. I think the wenches are a bit far-flung to be able to have a regular retreat, withmembers on opposite coasts of the US, and in Canada, the UK and Australia. But it’s a lovely idea.
    Actually, you and MJP and Susan and Jo could probably retreat together without too much trouble.
    The other night, we were discussing how ours started, and half the retreaters had never met until that first day. And now, ten years later, we’re a bit like family to each other. So my suggestion is to plan it with a couple of friends and each invite a few people you think might be good to retreat with.

    Reply
  131. Hi Anne! How I envy you your retreat group! I often feel isolated writing away in the country, even though my husband is here and also writing. I like looking at the sea, ideally from on top of a cliff or from a distance. I don’t like sand. It gets in everything. And I don’t like sea water. Salt. Ugh! Give me a swimming pool with lanes and a wall to tuck and tumble against and I’ll love you forever. As for feeding my muse, well I reckon it’s hard to beat sitting on the deck under an umbrella gazing at the mountains, or watching the birds smd snimals that inhabit our orchard.

    Reply
  132. Hi Anne! How I envy you your retreat group! I often feel isolated writing away in the country, even though my husband is here and also writing. I like looking at the sea, ideally from on top of a cliff or from a distance. I don’t like sand. It gets in everything. And I don’t like sea water. Salt. Ugh! Give me a swimming pool with lanes and a wall to tuck and tumble against and I’ll love you forever. As for feeding my muse, well I reckon it’s hard to beat sitting on the deck under an umbrella gazing at the mountains, or watching the birds smd snimals that inhabit our orchard.

    Reply
  133. Hi Anne! How I envy you your retreat group! I often feel isolated writing away in the country, even though my husband is here and also writing. I like looking at the sea, ideally from on top of a cliff or from a distance. I don’t like sand. It gets in everything. And I don’t like sea water. Salt. Ugh! Give me a swimming pool with lanes and a wall to tuck and tumble against and I’ll love you forever. As for feeding my muse, well I reckon it’s hard to beat sitting on the deck under an umbrella gazing at the mountains, or watching the birds smd snimals that inhabit our orchard.

    Reply
  134. Hi Anne! How I envy you your retreat group! I often feel isolated writing away in the country, even though my husband is here and also writing. I like looking at the sea, ideally from on top of a cliff or from a distance. I don’t like sand. It gets in everything. And I don’t like sea water. Salt. Ugh! Give me a swimming pool with lanes and a wall to tuck and tumble against and I’ll love you forever. As for feeding my muse, well I reckon it’s hard to beat sitting on the deck under an umbrella gazing at the mountains, or watching the birds smd snimals that inhabit our orchard.

    Reply
  135. Hi Anne! How I envy you your retreat group! I often feel isolated writing away in the country, even though my husband is here and also writing. I like looking at the sea, ideally from on top of a cliff or from a distance. I don’t like sand. It gets in everything. And I don’t like sea water. Salt. Ugh! Give me a swimming pool with lanes and a wall to tuck and tumble against and I’ll love you forever. As for feeding my muse, well I reckon it’s hard to beat sitting on the deck under an umbrella gazing at the mountains, or watching the birds smd snimals that inhabit our orchard.

    Reply

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