Last weekend I attended another of Kate Walker's fabulous writing retreats, organized by Malaga Workshops. The Hayes in Swanwick was a venue I'd not been to before and, although not far from Derby, it is set in lovely grounds and surrounded by farmland. I went with the aim of not actually doing much writing as I wanted to do a lot of thinking instead. And, thanks to Kate's critique of my manuscript and her generous comments and encouragement, I was able to reassess very carefully and positively my current work in progress. As such, from arriving feeling a little jaded, I came away with a much clearer idea of where the book is going and with renewed energy to do the editing necessary for submission after Christmas.
As always, meeting up with writing friends - aka the legendary Walker's Stalkers - was great and a fun and productive weekend flew by far too quickly. There were a couple of new faces there too and the group really worked well, with everyone getting lots of writing done in between the feedback sessions. And when creativity proved elusive, there were the tranquil gardens to explore, which really helped clear one's head and recharge the batteries. We even kept calm when our 'honesty' bar mysteriously disappeared on the last night. Happily, the course organizer Lois Maddox tracked it down with her usual and admirable tenacity!