WOOD NYMPHS WRITING RETREAT!

A wonderful time was had by all at the latest Relax and Write Retreat up in the hills and among the trees at Highfields.

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Fourteen women feasted and rested, stretched, danced, laughed, relaxed and wrote in good company.

The lovely folk at Camp Koojarewon took really good care of us, providing delicious vegetarian meals and treats. Everything was spotlessly clean and they built fires to keep us warm, making sure we were all well fed and comfy.

We had the whole camp to ourselves, so even though we were in dorms we were able to spread out and have lots of space to ourselves. The ground were beautiful with lots of walks to explore.

Highlights for me were the crazy fun of scarf dancing and all the great writing that was done in the workshops. I especially loved our workshop out on the verandah where it felt like we were in a tree house.

 

Monique provided glorious healing massages, we ate like queens, and enjoyed the company of other writers, learning from each other and being inspired.

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Come along and join the fun at the next one.

RELAX AND WRITE ON MAGNETIC ISLAND – tropical far north Queensland. June 21 – 23 2019.

More information about that coming soon!

Contact me HERE if you’d like to be kept in the loop for retreat news and for writing hints and tips and publishing opportunities.

Until then – HAPPY WRITING! May the joy of the retreat wood nymphs be with you!

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lots of love

Edwina xx

 

 

 

Interview with QWC

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Guess who got her noggin in the most recent Queensland Writers Centre (QWC)newsletter?

Me!

I did the interview so long ago now I’d forgotten about it, so had a wonderful surprise when I opened the newsletter yesterday.

It includes such words of wisdom as …

“I just glue my bum to the seat and write until something worthwhile comes out.” 🙂

and a few hints and tips on the writing life.

Click HERE to read the full interview.

I have been a member of QWC since 2002, when I first dedicated myself to pursuing writing as a career. They hold great workshops by fabulous local and international authors on the craft of writing, and run a number of programs to assist emerging and mid-list authors as well.

I am a mentor for QWC’s Writer’s Surgery Program, guiding new writers and advising them on their works in progress.

In other news, I’ve submitted my screenplay to Screen QLD and am now waiting (as patiently as I can!) to hear back from them about the next steps forward.

Happy writing everyone! xxx

 

RELAX AND WRITE 2

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Just back from the latest Relax and Write Retreat – a combined yoga and writing retreat for women, that I run with Helena Pastor – my best writing buddy and dear friend.

With 12 participants ranging in age from 28 to 70, we did yoga and writing workshops, laughed and swam, feasted and sang. Together we shared our stories and lifted up each other’s hearts.

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For the full rundown and lots more photos see here

We had a fabulous time. Why don’t you come along and join us at the next one?

Lots of love

Edwina

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RELAX AND WRITE RETREAT filling fast!

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Spring into spring! Spoil yourself with a retreat to inspire and delight you.

Whether you’re a writer in need of relaxation and a good stretch, or a yoga practitioner yearning to write, this is the retreat for you.

Writing buddies, published authors and experienced creative writing teachers, Helena Pastor and Edwina Shaw have been holding their own private writing retreats at Evans Head since 2005 to relax and write and share their stories.

This year they’re opening up their retreat to other women who’d like to do the same.

Unwind with yoga and free your creative voice with lots of fun writing activities and workshops. All only a minutes’ walk from a glorious beach surrounded by national park where you can swim, walk, laze in the sun or meditate to your heart’s content.

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THE PROGRAM INCLUDES

FRIDAY

Arrival from 2 p.m.

5:30 p.m. Welcome nibbles and drinks, introductions

6 -7 p.m.  Introductory deep relaxation and writing exercise

7 p.m.      Dinner

SATURDAY

7 – 8:15 a.m.  Gentle morning yoga with Edwina

9:30 – 12:30   Memoir workshop with Helena

12:30 – 3          Lunch and free time to enjoy the beach (or have a nap!)

3 – 5:30           Writing the Body with Edwina.  What stories does your body have to tell?

7 p.m.              Dinner

SUNDAY

7 – 8:15 a.m.     Yoga with Edwina

9:30 – 12:30      Writing fiction using yoga techniques to quiet the inner critic with Edwina

12:30 – 2:30      Lunch and free time

2:30 – 4:30        Self Editing with Helena

4:30                   Feedback and farewells

COST

$400 for twin share with ensuite or $350 twin share with communal facilities

For more information and to book please contact Helena

helenapastor2@gmail.com

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Come along and join us. Only a few places left, so book now and avoid missing out!

You’ll have a wonderful time.

 

 

 

 

BACK ON THE HORSE THAT THREW ME

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The horse that threw me

 

I’ve been writing a long time now. In 2002 when my children were small, I first dedicated time each day to a creative writing practice and used to spend naptime typing in a fury to complete a novel.

Since then my beautiful babies have grown into young adults and I’ve written another five full length manuscripts, one of which has been published.

Not for want of trying.

Much as I try to convince myself that rejections hurt less over time, it’s a lie and I know it.

The elephant hide I’ve tried so hard to develop has worn as thin as an old cotton sheet in places, tearing at the slightest tug. I’ve tried to chuck it all in, get a normal job like other people. But that hasn’t exactly gone to plan either.

I want to write. I still want to write. It’s how I make sense of the world. How my brain works best, what I enjoy most, get most satisfaction from, what I’m best at.

And so today, I’m dragging out the last half-baked rewrite of “Dear Madman” and seeing what I can salvage. If I can figure out how to give it the voice and form it longs for.

I’m scared of that horse, it’s big and fiery-eyed and stomping its hoofs. But I’m getting back on, goddamn it! I’m going to cling to its mane as it bucks and twists; it won’t throw me again. I’m going to ride it, as fast as I can, as far as I can, wind in my hair

NEVER JUDGE A WRITER BY HER COVER!

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No limits!

The first participant I met at my Yoga/Writing course the other day, was a woman in a wheelchair. I wasn’t sure what Mary was capable of physically, but I knew that even if all she could do was some deep breathing, she’d benefit from the session. What I didn’t realize was how much Mary would teach me.

Mary has severe cerebral palsy, making all but the simplest movements very difficult. She had a support worker with her to help with her needs and to act as a scribe. Even with my experiences teaching in special schools years ago, I still had misconceptions about what Mary would be able to feel and interpret in her body.

I set an exercise where we physically embodied an emotion, then wrote about the sensations we’d experienced.  As the rest of the group scribbled furiously in their notebooks, Mary’s voice echoed in the background faster than her scribe could keep up.

As part of the activity students read their work aloud. Not knowing what to expect, but wanting to include her, I asked Mary to share her paragraph on fear.

What she had written blew us all away. She knew, better than any of us, how the muscles in her legs contracted ready to run, how her breath grew high and tight, how a sour taste rose in her throat and sat at the back of her tongue like a dead thing.

How wrong I had been! I’d assumed that because Mary was limited physically, that she would also have limited perceptions of her body. The opposite was true. When you need to consider every minute movement needed, which muscles to engage, even to  just take a sip of a drink, you know your body intimately.

Mary has a fierce intellect, a joyful heart and a never-say-die attitude that inspired us all. But more than that she is a passionate and talented writer I would have overlooked, simply because I stupidly made assumptions about what she was capable of based only on the way she looked.

Mary has forgiven me. As she wrote to me later, “The opportunity to challenge people’s misconceptions in a positive and supportive way is what I live for.”

Let Mary inspire you – despite all her challenges she’s self-published a memoir and is working on her next book!

No excuses now, are there?