Writing Retreat in Northumberland
I’ve just returned from a lovely writing retreat with friends in Northumberland; such a wonderful way to start the new year. I can’t say enough how incredible retreats are for the writing process. Not only does work flow easier, but being out in the country and away from the stress of news, Internet, families, etc, can restore enthusiasm, love, and perspective for a project.
We stayed at an incredible place called The Pele Tower, in the adorable village of Whittingham, which is only a 15 minute drive from Alnwick. The tower itself was built in the 13th century, later owned by the Ravensworths and restored by Lady Ravensworth in the 1800s and is very grand indeed.
This time my main focus was on Garden Book, the YA Fantasy I have been working on-and-off for the last year. It has a very messy first draft (which I am trying to accept is simply part of my process), is not at all readable or book-shaped, but I completed a very respectable 10k words. I also worked a bit on my sci-fi project with Laura Lam, adding an additional 2k words that are very editable, good words.
Not all time was spent working; we spent a few lovely afternoons in Alnwick to visit the famous Barter Books, and went to the village of Craster and strolled along the coast to see the lovely Dunstanburgh Castle. Nights were spent drinking whisky and writing by the fire and making pancakes and cullen skink. Lovely!
The Pele Tower
Alnwick and Barter Books
Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle
Other Items of Note
In my 2016 Roundup Post, I mentioned my husband and I had adopted a beautiful black kitty named Jet just before Christmas. It’s always been my intent to have at least two cats, and wanted to get another before Jet became too territorial of our home. So on the way back from retreat, I picked up this beautiful little girl:
Her name is Ember. We love her, and she’s ours. <3