On the cusp of my week long writing road trip, today’s question is: Where would you go for the perfect writing retreat?
My answer is probably predictable for those who know me – I would go to Rome.
Last week’s question When crafting a new story – what works best for you, laptop, fountain pen, dictation, or longhand? certainly hit a note with many of you, although the answers went to my Facebook author page. However, here they are:
List a few phobias you have. When and how did you discover you had these?
My ‘phobia’s’ are rather bizarre to say the least. Firstly, as a child I had a recurring nightmare, which was so vivid I would wake with terrible stomach and back pain. The source was a rhino’s horn penetrating my body! In the dream I was at a fancy ‘garden’ party with marquees, waiters, lavish tables, musicians – the works. I was still young and attended with my parents. The setting was Africa on the boundary of the wilderness. (I was born in South Africa).
A rhino thundered towards the garden party scattering the guests in all directions, it also pierced through me as it exited the scene. I could feel the horn through my body and the jarring as the animal ran across the savanna. I could hear screams behind me as the guests realized my predicament. This is the moment I would wake up.
Many, many years later, when my daughter, a born animal whisper wanted to visit the rhino house at Longleat Safari Park, UK, I tried to get her to go on her own. Up to that point I couldn’t even look at a rhino photo images on the TV. She was insistent I went with her to stroke the animal. As we entered the rhino house my fear grew. My daughter went up to the rhino, who was leaning against the massive metal bars and patted it’s hide. She held my hand as I did the same. It’s hide is incredibly solid and rough and I was amazed at how it felt. This encounter lessened my childhood fear in a way I did not think possible. I can look at rhino’s now but still find I turn away when the images are of a charging bull rhino.
My second ‘phobia’ became apparent once I became a mother. The feelings of love and protection were (and are) so intense that I worry about my children’s safety and well-being. Even now when they are adult’s, I still worry about them (I am often teased because of it but the ‘cord’ is never cut – as we mother’s know only too well). Again I had recurring nightmares of this situation, which in a dreamscape is perfectly reasonable, of course. Bearing in mind at the time I was living in England and the situation was far from possible, the dreams were all too real to me.
Once again the dreams were vivid and I had the sensation of the bitter cold. Upon waking I would be shivering. The dream situated me with my two small children on a mountain side where an avalanche roared down towards us. I grabbed a child under each arm and ran to a rocky outcrop, where I held them tight under the overhang. As tonnes of snow poured over us I clung as tightly as I could to ensure each child was not ripped from my grasp.
Once the torrent ceased, we were buried in a capsule of snow and ice with a small pocket of space around us. As time passed, we became colder and colder and I understood I had to find a way to keep my children warm. (Now remember this is a dream and anything is possible in a dream!) I had the children put their feet and hands on my torso and that worked for a while but I could feel my extremities heat lessening. So the best way to keep the children warm was to put them ‘inside’ me where it was very warm. I cut my torso open and made the children crawl inside.
This is the moment I would wake up.
So now you have a glimpse at my psyche – how about you share too?
We are taking advantage of another long weekend and traveling west to Wildwood, then stopping over in Drayton Valley. Then an early start to take in the sights via the Brazeau Dam, Lodgepole, Yoho National Park, Kicking Horse Pass, Abraham Lake, Crescent Falls and onto Golden in British Columbia.
We were not so lucky this trip with wildlife – only spotted a herd of elk, a couple of deer, and several wild turkeys as well as a few osprey nests with chicks and one bald eagle – but the scenery is absolutely speculator. Alpine like valleys bordered with massive mountains and pine covered foothills.Stops at some wonderful places like Crescent Falls as I love water!
Sunday’s trip was to Radium Hot Springs and through to Invermere, a lake side town with a large arts and culture presence.
As I am scheduling this on Sunday night, I have no idea which route our trip home will take but as always there will be plenty of stops for photographs and to drink in the beauty around us. Possibly toward Banff but who knows as long as we are on the road enjoying the splendor, who cares?
I will also be escaping to the mountains for three days with my dear friend, Linda – to write, explore and enjoy the wilderness and to meet up with the coordinator of the Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts. This facility will officially open in July, it is a wonderful center.
Other events on the list are two concerts – one at Spark Gallery with Sarah Smith and the other a classical concert with the Wye String Ensemble.
So all in all a wonderful week of arts, culture and writing – perfect if I don’t say so myself.