I never cease to be astounded by the magic of women coming together on these retreats. This last retreat up at Koojarewon Youth Camp in Highfields near Toowoomba was no different. Women from their twenties to their late seventies bonded together, laughed, wrote, stretched relaxed, shared stories and supported each other with such kindness it really did feel like magic.
For the first time we had a doggy on camp, a lovely medical alert dog who sat in on all sessions and was a sweet fluffy presence.
We started as usual with bubbles and nibblies, getting to know each other as writers and as women. So many different stories and we hadn’t even started writing.
Once we did, stories poured from people, with laughter and tears and wonder. Beautiful stories from the heart. We focused in on memoir and life writing and how to make a compelling narrative from the memories of an entire lifetime. The situation and the story, the facts and the meaning we’ve found in those facts with the benefit of hindsight. Because for many of us, the reason we write is to make sense of life, to create meaning for ourselves from the seemingly random events that make us who we are.
We did a lot of writing and learning so it was fabulous to have our talented masseuse (and writer) Jani providing excellent massages to relieve those sore spots. Lots of very relaxed women floating around after their treatments.
On Saturday night, the effervescent Jacqui Carr, retired exotic dancer and writer, once more taught us how to strut our stuff with some pretty hilarious, rather than sexy results! We had a lot of fun J Gillian helped us all calm down with some songs around the fire pit and then we hit the sack. Only to be woken at 2:30 in the morning with an alarm and all the lights going on. An electrical storm had taken down a power pole and cut power to the district so all the back up lighting went on and couldn’t be turned off. We managed to get back to sleep though and allowed ourselves a bit of a sleep in.
Yoga on Sunday and party tricks left us deeply relaxed and ready to set some writing goals and discuss publication pathways. We were lucky enough to have a few independently published authors in the group, Terese Eglington, Virginia Miranda and Sallyanne Peters who could fill us all in on the process of dealing with different scenarios. I’m always happy to use the combined wisdom of the group. Everyone has something valuable to contribute.
We got so carried away doing our traditional collages that we went overtime, but it was all worth it to see the beautiful creations that hopefully will help our dreams to come true.
Here’s our hall of fame!
May all our dreams come true!
Wonderful women, bright and beautiful days among the big trees, everything so lush and green. Great food. Big smiles and happy hearts connecting.
I love these retreats and the magic of creative women coming together. Together we can do anything!
I’ll leave you with a quote I found for my collage:
“Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.”
Take care and keep smiling. Write like a fury and I’ll see you on retreat one day soon!
Lots of love