June 2023: A Writing Retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey

Four of us went on a writing retreat last weekend. Annette Bower, Jana Richards and Alison Lohans and I packed up some writing gear and spent the weekend at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. My first writing retreat since 2019.

Gosh, it was lovely to get away and focus entirely on writing! The companionship was excellent, too. The abbey is basically in the country, outside of the (very) small town of Muenster and close to the larger town of Humboldt.

The accommodations are simple. We stayed in St. Scholastica, a former nuns’ residence, not the main college building. No air conditioning. Common washrooms. We ate in the cafeteria. Simple food found on many a prairie table. No distractions. We met for meals and in the evening in the common room. It was delightful.

And, I got a lot done. Now it’s back to reality. We’re doing things like cleaning out our garage and basement. There’s a big disposal bin on our driveway and we are getting things done! We might fit in a game of golf or a barbecue, too.

Until next time…

It’s the long weekend here in Canada! What’s everyone else doing?

Recharging With A Spring Writing Retreat

Everyone needs to recharge their batteries, including me. An emotional reset and to rejuvenation of my writing routine was required. What better way to indulge in a little self-care and be productive at the same time then a writing retreat? My first one! And what better time to have it then spring and channel it’s spirit of renewal.

My writing group had been talking about a retreat for awhile and we finally made it happen. We found a place close by for the day-only attenders that supplied meals and snacks and it was affordable. The trifecta of retreat perfection. Enter the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre¬†situated in the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley.

I was there to write, or rather revise. And revise I did. After three days worth of solid effort I felt I’d accomplished what I had set out to do which was to make some headway on my work-in-progress and jumpstart my lagging routine.

The accommodations were basic but we each had our own room with our own bathroom – so win. So what if I hadn’t slept in a twin bed in, like, forever. It was cozy and the place was impeccably clean – very important. The rooms were small but some of our group were clearly comfortable with the setup and chose to write in their rooms, some with the door open and some with theirs closed. Since we were the only group in a space able to accommodate approximately fifty, I chose to write in the huge common area, complete with big comfy chairs and a wall of windows. Also, it was close to the snacks. In went my headphones, on went my music and I got busy.

The away time was also something of a personal retreat for me. There was no television, so that temptation was easy to avoid. I also made a pledge to avoid social media. Who needs to scroll through their Facebook newsfeed when you have twelve lovely ladies to share stories with? What else did I do?

I went for walks along many of the mowed trails. One of which led to this meditation labyrinth. The idea being you wound your way to the center leaving your worries and stresses behind you. There was also a sun circle and other short hikes to take

Of course, I read a book! This was my first time reading Annabeth Albert but it won’t be my last. Can’t wait to dig into her new one in this series this weekend. It was the prefect way to unwind at the end each night.¬†

I may even have taken a short nap one afternoon! I’m certainly looking forward to repeating the experience. Perhaps in the fall! It’s safe to say the retreat was enjoyed by all and everyone expressed interest in doing it again.

I would love to hear whether you’ve been on any sort of retreat or taken some personnel time? Perhaps you want to share what your favourite at-home escape is?