Notes from a writing retreat guest

Michelle Town, one of our guests at The Writing Retreat in November 2015, has written this account of her week, which we are delighted to share.

So, once again, I was back at Rosemerryn. Once again, the house welcomed me with an all-enveloping warmth. Once again, I was surrounded by people that I didn’t know very well, but, once again, I knew we had a love of the written word in common.

What did I want to achieve from the Retreat? I’ve always been able to tell a tale, like bards of old, but I’ve never learnt how to do it properly. I knew that Kath and Jane were the ones I needed.

To me, ‘Structure’ was an anathema. An obscure concept that I was sure my tiny mind couldn’t get to grips with. It only took a workshop on the film ‘Jaws’ for me to begin to understand. You had to be there to get the joke but, believe me, we’re going to need a bigger boat!

I really enjoyed meeting Emily Barr, the guest writer, who facilitated one of the workshops. She challenged us to write as short a story as possible, known as flash fiction, and to help us start, gave each of us a random object. I was given a railcard and this was my response:

She picked up the railcard and read the name with interest. She liked to put a name to a face. It made it more fun – more personal even. Putting the card in her pocket, that’s when she noticed the spot on the toe of her shoe. Damn, she thought, that’ll stain. Blood’s a bugger to get out of suede.

Make of that what you will.

The Writing Retreat has helped me realise that maybe I do have a smidgen of talent and I hope to build on all that I have learnt. Next step? Look out Penguin, here I come!

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