A writing retreat adventure

6 years ago I walked away from a loveless marriage and re-created my life.

I wrote my memoir last year as I was guided to by the universe and then I realised why.

It was sometimes so painful and difficult and other times I had out loud laughs about my crazy life before getting married, but all through the process it was cathartic. It was not an ordinary life lived as I have had prophetic and past life dreams since a young age, the common thread being my husband following me (or me following him) through lifetimes….and let me tell you – some of it was not pretty.

BUT this is not the story I need to tell now.


The message is clear….I have to let go of who I was to become whom I am now meant to be.

Writing my memoir made me sit down every weekend to write and it rekindled my passion for the

written word. At school I regularly had my essays read out in class and I loved writing each and everyone. We would be given a topic or a picture and it was the easiest thing in the world for me to put pen to paper – yes we did that in those days – and let my imagination free. I must have known the pathway I needed to take first because I promised myself then that I would write a book at 60. I clearly had other things to do before this.

I read in the Women and Home magazine about a writing retreat in Cape Town and my heart went ping. At that time I was still busy with a life coaching course and my memoir, but it stayed in the back of my mind, percolating away until the time was right. When I was ready I Googled Writing Retreats SA and was drawn to Sarah Bullen’s website, The Writing Room. There was a retreat in Cape Town (which I love) but no, there was also a Greek Island one and that’s when my heart, panted like a dog eager for a ball, saying, “That one! That one!”

At first I panicked, thinking that I’d just got myself out of debt and…Eeeek!… could I spend so much

and get right back and deeper into debt. But my pesky heart kept whining at me just like my dog Ella, a fluffy black and white collie cross jack russell, does when she desperately needs her ball thrown.

That was towards the end of last year, but I left it, reluctant to deal with the money issue.

Come January 2018 and my heart started on me again, “We need an adventure you Hermit! Where is that risk taking adventure bunny from long ago, who scuba dived, skydived and traveled overseas with no end plan!” Well the point was that it was a long time ago and B.M. (before marriage).

Happily my heart won and I went on my adventure of a lifetime. As the plane left Athens at 4am and we flew over the Greek islands which looked like odd sea creatures wallowing in the deep blue of the Aegean sea, I knew I had made the right decision. I had been persuaded, first by oracle cards I kept drawing with a picture of a hot air balloon and a girl holding a suitcase racing to get on it and then by two very practical friends who did not seem in the least perturbed by the amount of moola I was parting with. On the day I was due to leave, I remembered to turn my calendar to June and laughed at what I saw painted on it……yes….a hot air balloon and pics of the world. Not only did my creative juices flow and flow and the island of Lesvos and the town of our retreat,

Eressos, deliver on its promise of beauty, but Sarah and Kate Emmerson gave an amazing retreat full of information, surprises, laughter and some tears. The others on the retreat were wonderful in their warmth and sharing of themselves and their writing. We had talks from some authors on what it takes to become one and even a story teller who kept us enthralled and I felt like a kid again in my pj’s listening to a wonderful bedtime story. We had a historical tour by a Greek lady who was

fiercely passionate about the island’s history and Sappho, the Greek poet and musician who had

lived in in Lesvos around 630 BC and I’m sure she became a muse for us (Sappho -not the

historian…although she did inspire us as well).

I had gone to Lesvos with just the first 2 paragraphs and an idea for a novel and came away 8 days later with an entire plot and an ending to my book! I was fitter (we walked – a lot!), tanned and feeling blissful. I spent 2 more days in the town of Molyvos, glad not to be going straight home, where I carried on writing and being a tourist exploring the quaint town and still majestic castle ruin on the top of the hill. I left Molyvos with another book idea that had to wait until this one was finished.

Sarah and Kate’s generosity kept giving and we were supported after the retreat as well. My novel

flowed and flowed and all my coaching doors that I had started to open before my trip shut firmly as I was steered determinedly by my heart to write this book. The first draft was ready in just a few

months, just in time to do a Pitch to Publish course with them which has been valuable as gold (as

was everything else they have done). Synchronicity rocks!! Thank you Heart. I can trust you again.

I have just sent my novel off to the first publisher and I was so excited. Not so much that they will

publish it, but that I just did it. With a lot of help from friend’s and the writing group and of course I

could not have done it without the info, feedback, support and encouragement of those two

amazing ladies.

If you are an aspiring writer – I HIGHLY recommend their courses. Thank you Sarah and Kate!

I know in my heart that I was meant to write this novel and I know that it WILL be published. It’s just

a matter of time. In the meantime, I have my second book that has been knocking on my head for a while now, impatient to write itself.

All I have to do is get to it.

My muse is strong and my heart is happy.

#TheWritingRoom #KateEmmerson #WritingRetreat #Travel #Selfdiscovery

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