KOOJAREWON!

koojarewon view

Yesterday I drove up the range to Koojarewon, the site of the forthcoming retreat and this is the glorious view that awaited me at the top. Koojarewon is an Indigenous word meaning “top of the range” – it was an important waypoint on the local people’s way to a scared celebration site nearby.

The camp is in a beautiful spot – that’s a picture of the view! It has 16 acres of old growth trees and while I was there the only sound was birdsong and leaves rustling. An owl hoo-hooted throughout my visit, so calming.

 

I met Jodie and Dallan, the lovely workers there, who are super excited to be hosting writers and yogis and are preparing vegetarian feasts for us to enjoy. Behind me in this shot is the fire pit for Saturday night’s festivities. Jodie has promised us marshmallows! YAY!

The dorms are actually quite pleasant. And, as we have the run of the entire campsite, we can spread out through them, making little private rooms for ourselves with a few sarongs strung up here and there. The  communal bathrooms were inside and lovely and clean with plenty of sinks and showers.

There are also a couple of private rooms with ensuites – but only a couple. If you have health issues or a terrible snore do let me know and we’ll see if one of them has your name on it! Koojarewon me

What I liked best, apart from the trees, the fire pit,  and the view, was the cosy sitting room with couches, beanbags and a kettle – just perfect for settling in to do some quiet writing of your own. Jodie also told me about a wonderful place to visit for sunset drinks with a magnificent view of the Western Plains.

It took me about an hour and a half to drive up from Brisbane. My Sat Nav lady sent me through Murphy’s Creek which was actually gorgeous – much more pleasant than the highway. I felt like I was driving back in time 🙂

Or if you’d like to ask me anything email me HERE

Spoil yourself with a weekend of writing and gentle yoga and relaxation in the mountains. We all need a little time out now and then. Come and roast some marshmallows with me 🙂

marshmallows

 

 

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New Review!

RW3 group shot goodie

New review just in from the fabulous Jenni Mulligan – she’s the one in the fancy chequered flares!

Last year I subconsciously made a commitment to attend a Relax and Write Retreat having seen a few enticing event invitations and images float through my Facebook feed.

When the Evans Head event notice popped up I decided to go for it even though it involved a complicated calendar reshuffle. This effort was rewarded a thousand-fold.
Edwina’s blog post covers the details and structure of the retreat, so I’ll just summarise my highlights.

I loved the daily yoga and meditation sessions, was at the edge of my seat during the fascinating, emotional and hilarious writing sessions, was in awe listening to the writing of my fellow retreaters, partied at Saturday’s Open Mike Night and felt so pampered having a wonderful dinner cooked for me each evening. As a bonus, the retreat was located across the road from the beautiful Evans Head beach… so was able to have early morning and sunset walks.

I feel confident saying that the long weekend will be in the top 2 of my annual 10 Great Things I Did This Year… and I’ve had a bloody amazing year.

My thanks to Edwina and Helena for not only sharing their experience, industry insights and talent with us, but also for creating a safe and loving space and time for creativity, open heartedness and laughter. Suffice to say, Relax and Write Retreat at Evans Head 2019 is already in my calendar.

Jenni Mulligan.

Thanks so much Jenni! See you next year 🙂 xx

Next retreat is in the mountains near Toowoomba. See here for more details.

Come along and join the fun!

RELAX AND WRITE IN THE MOUNTAINS!

Come and join me in the mountains!

Edwina Shaw

Dateless LOGO NO KOINONIA

RELAX AND WRITE YOUR WAY TO WELLNESS!

I’m excited to announce the next Relax and Write Retreat – this time in the mountains west of Brisbane – from Friday 5th October to Sunday 7th October 2018.

As part of the Unleash the Beast, Writing and Wellness Symposium, I’m holding a special retreat in a beautiful mountain-top location, for women to relax with gentle yoga and meditation, and get writing with inspiring creative workshops.

The lovely people at Koojarewon Retreat, in Highfields – 12 kms north of Toowoomba, are turning the entire place over to us, and they’re providing all the meals, so it should be truly relaxing, even if the accommodation is pretty basic.

It’s dorm style but we have plenty of room to spread out through the dorms to claim a patch for privacy. And, best of all, the bathrooms are inside, so there’s no traipsing out to…

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WEAR THAT BRINY CROWN

A new poem from one of our chief mermaids and poet laureate, Nina Woodrow. And a fabulous blog post from new mermaid Nicola Wardley with some of her beautiful writing. Helena and I are always amazed by the fabulous writing that is created on camp.

RW3 group shot goodie

WEAR THAT BRINY CROWN
mermaid testimonies
start small
tiny grits
like celery seeds
mermaid testimonies
start tentative
they come in fits
grow slender tendrils translucent
in the coloured light
rooted deep in fecund matter
mermaid testimonies
start in a wild place
breathe slowly
take some time
give them rare grace
gentle air space
and mermaid memories
gather force become
effervescent and if you
are not still enough
not awake enough
not brave enough
you might not feel
the disturbance
you might not sense
the current change
you might be numb
too slow to succumb
to this stream of life
this trouble
this strife
this oddly fierce
dark humour
(mermaid testimony
blindness in fact
afflicts many)
mermaids know though
that home grown
trauma syndrome
blooming through generations
has no other
antidote
what other answer
is there?
what else dilutes
the granular poison
of ancient brutality and grief
like this testimony?
what else dissolves
alchemically evolves
exposes this dark matter
to the light
sets the celery seeds
a-germinating
like mermaid tears
like mermaid songs
like mermaid laughter?
so ahoy there
sea faring folk
landlubbers
and story grubbers
the tides have turned
there is a new game
its time to heed the siren call
let mermaid testimony
take its place in the
hall of fame
and mermaids
take your time
say the things
that need to be said
shed all the tears
that need to be shed
sing your fearsome songs
and wear that briny crown.

AND here’s a link to our new mermaid Nicola’s take on the retreat.

https://www.nicolawardley.com/blog/ever-wondered-what-happens-on-a-writing-retreat

 

THE MAGIC OF MERMAID CAMP

 

early morning beach STAR

Relax and Write 3 at Camp Koinonia in Evans Head finished up yesterday. Helena and I are always amazed by the wonderful women who come along and how quickly the magic of Koinonia and the sea and writing and yoga starts to make itself very evident.

cheers!

Within twenty-four hours, or even less, secrets we swore we’d never tell are shared and held and then let go. Old wounds are uncovered and start to heal. We realise very quickly that all of us have stories that need to be told, alongside those we want to tell. But it is the kindness and upholding of each other which is most precious. With this sharing of secrets a deep bond is forged and we transform from the ordinary creatures we are in our everyday lives as teachers and accountants and mothers and business women and writers and workers into mermaids and scribes.

workshop helena STAR

We did a tremendous amount of writing with workshops on writing your way into a story, writing the body, dialogue and more, and had heaps of fun along the way – laughing and singing and swimming and feasting and dancing.

 

circle om

Katrina taught us all the Samba on Saturday night and with Jenni did a performance that made us all gasp! Maria became our photographer and took most of the beautiful shots I include here.

 

 

Carol and Helen and Angela did a fantastic job getting our delicious dinners ready. I loved Helena’s macerated cumquat and almond cake. YUM! That and Nina’s dhal were my food highlights.

 


Josie’s enthusiasm made us all feel good. Jude’s bawdy jokes made us laugh. Helen-Ellie scored a new name and a place in our hearts and Loma humbled us all with her tale of recovery. Nicola wowed us all with the book she’d made herself. Everyone shared hints and tips and made leading the groups easy.

RW3 group shot goodie

It was sunny but the swims were still cold. I saw a shooting star and had my heart opened again and again by the wisdom and compassion of the women who came along.

 

Special thanks go to Craig and Marie of Camp Koinonia for hosting us all with such generosity. All the years Helena and I have been coming to Koinonia we never knew it’s meaning, but we do now.

The lovely Kathy provided this translation and the beautiful shot below.

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“In spite of fragmentation, which is an evil from which we need to be healed, there has resulted a kind of rich bestowal of grace which is meant to embellish the koinonia.”

Koinonia is a transliterated form of the Greek word, κοινωνία, which means communion, joint participation; the share which one has in anything, participation, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution.

YES! That’s the magic of mermaid camp – union – like yoga – a community of women sharing as equals. Each of us feeling valued and embraced.

Come along and join us at the next one!

Lots of love, Edwina and Helena xx

LOVE Log STAR