I arrived at Keystone in a rut. My work eddying and circling around a pothole I couldn’t get out of. I needed some inspiration. I was a little nervous to say goodbye to my family, but excited about the prospect of a few days alone, although I wasn’t sure whether I would spend most of the time staring at a blank computer screen, as I had been doing over the past few weeks.
Annie greeted me at the gate and showed me to the light, airy and comfy room that was to be home for the next few days. She immediately put me at ease, arranging a loose schedule, which I really appreciated as it left no anxious worrying about what time dinner would be, or when to get up for breakfast.
I had never been on a writing retreat before, and didn’t know what to expect, but what Annie has crafted from love and experience was exactly what I needed, a nurturing, peaceful, and stimulating environment to rediscover my writer self.
The room is perfectly sized for writing, relaxing, and pacing. The view is ideally positioned for distraction, and is a beautiful example of what makes the Forest of Dean so special. The food is delicious, home-cooked, plentiful and sourced from the local area; it doesn’t get any better than that. Annie and her husband are the perfect hosts- there when I needed them, and excellent company over dinner and a glass of wine, but never pushy, probing or overly attentive. I felt the support of a family with the space I needed to focus on writing.
What made the retreat so special for me was the feedback and support from Annie. Her comments were direct, insightful and relevant, and she immediately identified what I couldn’t see about my own writing. Through the supportive and relaxed atmosphere of the retreat I was able to move out of the rut I was in and take my writing to new places.
Thank you Annie, the retreat was exactly what I needed without me realizing it!
Suzy Fincham-Grey, San Diego