RELAX AND WRITE IN PARADISE!

Things-to-Do-Magnetic-Island

Escape the winter blues! Come and join us at the next Relax and Write Retreat on MAGNETIC ISLAND! Yes!! JUNE 21 – 23 2019

Just off the coast of Townsville in tropical far north Queensland we’re practically guaranteed sunshine and warmth and turquoise waters, just like these.

I’ve stayed on Magnetic Island – or Maggie as the locals call her – a few times over the past few years. It’s a magical place with giant boulders, pine trees, coral reef to explore and glorious unspoilt beaches.

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That’s not me in the picture by the way : )

We’ll be staying in air-conditioned comfort at Amaroo on Mandalay – a whole lot comfier than the dorms we’ve been used to! Air-conditioned twin share or a room to yourself, balconies and kitchenettes, beautiful tropical gardens and even a magnesium swimming pool and a bar!

Not that you’ll need your kitchenettes much, as all meals except lunches are catered for, including a fabulous Saturday night Indian feast by the beach.

Most exciting of all, my fabulous Creative Dance teacher, the lovely Lalita Lakshmi, is joining us for the morning yoga and movement classes and a special dance session on the beach on Saturday night!LALITA PHOTO la swirly

Four writing workshops are included, covering all the basics of creative writing, whether you want to write fiction, memoir, poetry or for the screen or stage. So be ready to get stuck into your stories. Let me help you get them out of your head and onto the page.

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Brian at Amaroo has offered retreaters fantastic rates on extra nights, so extend your stay and relax into writing after all the workshops.

Enjoy the sun and the beaches and the company of all the wonderful new friends you’ll make on retreat.

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Treat yourself to this weekend away in the sun to write and swim and rediscover your creativity and sense of joy.

All this fun and learning for only $550 pp twin share or $660 for a room of your own!

Or if you pay before May 31st 2019

Just click here to pay $520 twin share (just email me to let me know who your’e sharing with)

Or $630 for a room of your own.

Find more information at the Facebook event page.

Or get in touch with me for all the details and to book.

Don’t miss out! Places ares strictly limited to only 15 participants and they’re filling up fast.

We always have a wonderful time. Hope to see you there!

lots of love,

Edwina xx

amaroo5

Put yourself in this picture! : D

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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

 

 

 

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.

mermaids swimming

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

koinonia beach camp 2

RETREAT COMPLETE :)

beach

I’m back! And what a wonderful retreat it was. Above is a photo of the beautiful beach where I wandered and thought about my characters, and other things, every morning and evening. Ah, it was heavenly!

So – here’s a rundown:

2 weeks

1 writer

1 cabin in the woods by the sea

cabin

26 swims

2 tubs of zinc cream

40 000 new freckles

2 beaches

1 waterhole

waterhole

 

10 kangaroos

I special kangaroo friend

kangaroo friend

1 possum

I Wanda the Wonga pigeon

100s of other beautiful birds

2 massages

5 new human friends

100 shells

shells

and

1 fully completed screenplay manuscript!!!

writing space

Yes, I worked hard and got it done. 125 pages – hopefully not all crap!

It’s now being read by my fabulous mentor Stephen Lance.

Thank you Screen QLD!!

It all equals one very happy writer 🙂

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Wishing you all 2 weeks retreat of your own.

Lots of love, Ed xx

 

THE MAGIC OF HEDGEBROOK

Hedgebrook cottage

Hedgebrook cottage


I’ve just submitted my fourth application for a residency at Hedgebrook a women only writing community near Seattle. Ever since my friend Michelle Dicinoski was awarded a retreat there, I’ve yearned to follow in her footsteps and sit in one of these delightful cottages, watching hummingbirds flit by as I write. SIGH.

Hedgebrook offers more than a place of retreat though. It is an opportunity, a place full of nurturing wisdom to protect me as I delve deep into the darkest places of the mind for my books. But more than that, Hedgebrook calls to me because of the opportunity to connect with other women writing their own way towards change, women from all over the world who hope to make a difference, in whatever way we can. Each different. Each valuable. Hedgebrook is unique in the world in offering this kind of tribe. I long to be a part of it.

Click on the link to take a virtual tour – mind the drool on your keyboard! HEDGEBROOK VIRTUAL TOUR

Applications are open till next Wednesday if you want to give it a go.

THE MAGIC OF VARUNA

Varuna the Writers' House from the front

Varuna the Writers’ House from the front

I’ve just returned from a magical two weeks at Varuna the National Writers’house in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. For over twenty years, writers from Australia and around the world have been coming to Varuna to retreat and write. All made possible by Mick Dark’s generous donation of the house and grounds where his parents, environmentalists and writers Eric and Eleanor Dark, lived and worked.

After applying for Varuna’s many programmes for over eight years, I finally scored a 2nd book fellowship. I’d been waiting a long time to get there so my first day was spent in the blissful haze of a waking dream achieved.

Eleanor's Studio

Eleanor’s Studio

I was lucky enough to have been allocated Eleanor’s studio as my work-space and it worked a treat. A framed poem by Eleanor said it all in the first few lines.
“This is the excursion, interlude, respite
From the house, from the broom and the soapsuds
Foaming in the copper…” (extract from poem by Elanor Dark)

I arrived thinking I was going to be writing a memoir, and left two weeks later with the complete first draft of a novel, Dear Madman. My first morning in the house, I woke up with the madman’s voice strong in my mind and with a clear vision of how the book wanted to be. THANK YOU ELEANOR!

I was inspired to keep writing on by the following photograph of Eleanor with her massive manuscript for Storm of Time that looked down on me from the wall of the studio.

Eleanor Dark with Storm of Time manuscript

Eleanor Dark with Storm of Time manuscript

And also by this, which I found in one of the drawers under the bookshelves. It is a tradition at Varuna for writers who use the studio to leave a piece of writing behind.

You are NOT here to
sleepreaddrinkfornicatepontificate
(strike out inapplicable)
The whip crack! to your tower or
dungeon desk now. I command you.

There was no name attached. Would love to know who wrote it.

Inside the studio

Inside the studio

Whatever it was, a combination of all things, I averaged over 5000 words a day! It’s amazing how much time and head-space was opened up with all household demands removed. Joan took care of the cleaning and shopping and dear Sheila cooked up wonderful meals every evening.

Sheila and Jansis

Sheila and Jansis

Jansis, the director, Vera and Brian in the office took care of all the admin, keeping and protecting the space for us. Which brings me to the lovely writers I shared this experience with – The Francothropes – so called because of a mutual disdain for poor old deluded James Franco. It was a delight to go for a thinking break and stroll around the gardens and to look up to see everyone beavering away at their desks. A community of writers all working hard. LOVED IT!

It wasn’t all hard work however, every evening we sat down to one of Sheila’s beautiful meals and glasses of wine and talked and laughed and did readings and ceremonial burnings in the fireplace of Fifty Shades of Grey, until we even sickened ourselves. I cannot thank Sarah Schmidt, Vahdia Berborovic, Brett Dionysius and Jo Chipperfield enough for the pleasure of their company. If they’d stayed one more week we’d have had a musical up and running. Yes, all singing, all dancing – and bird watching too.

The Francothropes

The Francothropes

Ghosts? Did anyone say ghosts? Let’s just say a few “incidents” were reported, the clearing of throats, a pressure on the bed. And this turned up in my photos –

In the maid's garden

In the maid’s garden

It really was a magnificent time and I’m so relieved to have been able to come away with an entire first draft to rework over the year. Varuna has a special magic, so enter, apply, donate and go!

Inspired by our resident poet Brett, I even wrote my own poem about it.

VARUNA

There is magic in the walls here.
Not just Eleanor and the Dark’s great gift.
Not only the clouds floating past the window,
And a fire in the grate in the middle of summer.
Not the dance and call of the cockatoos,
Or the ghost gums,
and ripe plums in the garden.

It’s in the air,
The sweat of every writer who has ever sat at this desk
And poured words onto the page.
Writing like furies, building worlds,
Singing songs, telling tales, crying, laughing,
Healing ancient pain.
“Write!” they say. “Just write.”

Eleanor Dark

Eleanor Dark

THANK YOU VARUNA!