Perspicacity and Puddings! What Julie thought of her retreat

I am a medical doctor living in Canada. Ten years ago I started writing a novel. I have attended a dozen writing retreats/workshops since then, but my week with Annie McKie was definitely the most creative and productive experience of them all.

Annie’s perspicacity in addressing my writing problems was spot on and she gave me the space and encouragement I needed to develop my craft. I was starting to lose heart after all these years, but Annie seemed to think my novel was worth developing and  because she is a successful writer herself, I believed her.

I had the luxury of devoting most of the day to writing, and then in the evening when I wanted company I would sit down to dinner with Annie and her family. Annie is a fabulous cook. Her leek and stilton pie is delicious and every night she produced a different mouth-watering dessert.

My room overlooked a beautiful valley in the Forest of Dean. It was chilly in March, but I had my own pot bellied stove to keep me warm. When I wasn’t writing or eating Annie’s glorious cooking I could bundle up and wander through the ancient Forest and gain inspiration.

Annie’s care and humour blew new life onto the embers inside of me. Since that week, I feel a renewed glow of enthusiasm for my novel. And even though I am home two months now, and facing all the issues of life in the world, I have kept the habit of writing every day, and can see myself finishing the book over the next couple of months.

            I have other writing projects in mind and am looking forwards to returning to Annie’s abode next year to work on them.

Thank you Annie!

Julie Strong MB ChB BA (Classics)

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