I’ve recently returned from a week in a writing retreat, the Circle of Missé in France. Having a full time job means I only get to write in the evenings, or on days off, but spending a week in Missé meant I got to live as a fulltime writer, if only for a short time.
The owners, Wayne and Aaron take wonderful care of their guests, arranging fantastic meals and ensuring we’re all well fed and watered and have as relaxing an atmosphere imaginable to concentrate on our work, it’s a truly magical place.
It’s wonderful to spend time with other writers too; on my time there we had myself, two from the UK (one bringing along her husband who assisted enthusiastically in the kitchen), one from Canada and one from Luxembourg. Each of us working on different projects at different stages of development, but it was great to all share ideas and hear each other read at the end of the week.
Far from isolating ourselves in our rooms, slaving over our keyboards, we would spend each evening together chatting over the delicious dinners, we had a book club night on the first Monday (none of us liked the book, which was a relief), and a movie night. I’d only ever seen Some Like It Hot in pieces before, never all the way through in one go, so another reason to celebrate my week in Missé. We also visited a local château, the Château d’Oirion, which was donated to the state and is now an art gallery (and without realising it at the time my visit there has given me the kernel of an idea for a novel, so something to keep working on).
Needless to say I shall return. Before going my friend, the writer June Caldwell had told me that when I went there once I would never want to go to any other retreat, and I know what she means. At this point I’m just waiting to book a week there again next year.