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  • JL Nash

Writing Retreat

I know it’s not quantity but quality that’s desirable. Having said that, I am pleased with my output.


Rewrite of a short story (2nd draft)

21 poems (first draft)

2 flash fictions (first draft)

Did workshops on Editing for Novels & Short Stories, Structure of Flash Fiction and I began every day with writing exercises. A great week was had.



Sleep, peace, ocean and some animal visitors sufficed. There was no heatwave, just a hard breeze coming in over the west coast of Scotland into Prestwick. Ever since I spent a week on Murphy’s Island in The Marshall Islands producing much of what eventually went into my second Poetry Book, Eden’s Other Daughter, I dedicate specific time every year to produce a clutch of first drafts which sit fermenting until they’re ready for work and consumption. (Except for the one I wrote for my Air B&B hosts).


What’s being on retreat like? Introspection can lead in so many directions. Unbridled I am brave for a week and hold tight onto whatever reins I imagine should be there. I hate myself for every scratch I make upon the paper (I handwrite nearly everything first). I hate how it looks and sounds but I know in time, I will be surprised I wrote it. I may not even recognise the words but they greet me and magic happens. I am ready to pick up my saddle soap, fill the bucket with hot water and start cleaning and polishing until well, they are never finished but they are ready.


You’re asking me to give you something of the week’s to read? Bugger off, first drafts are not necessarily anything to do with the finished product. BUT HERE’S A SUNSET from the first day.




One week left of my ten week series of adventures. Soon it will be home again, home again, jiggedy jig. I miss my tropical coastal home. Through my travels I have never been far from water. From bridges over streams to the cut of the North Atlantic Ocean up on Orkney, I am bound to it all. I’m hoping it doesn't make me a fishwife but more of a little selkie.


I am ready to come home with a Celtic dragon and Pictic Kelpie (horse) dangling around my neck. In these recent weeks I have reconnected with my tribe and walked the footsteps of my ancestors. During this final week I will examine my many treasures to weigh and send them home. Before I leave, I will gather once more with my people, laugh and smile, making me ready to fly into the arms of my squirly husband.


As for the blog, I’ll keep writing..


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