Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Writers Retreat

The month of October is, in my opinion, the best time of year, light is always superb with mist hugging the mountains, woodland colours all beginning to change to the golds reds and browns of Autumn.
An inspiring time to welcome our writers to our first Writing Retreat!

Thrilled to work, for the first time with my dear friend, Edana Minghella, who led the retreat and the lovely, Vincent O'Connell who took the Master Class.
My daughter, Emily also helped with the entertaining and prepared the aperitivi.

Edana Minghella is a writer and jazz singer who comes from an Anglo-Italian family, steeped in creativity. Her brother, the late Anthony Minghella, was an Oscar-winning film director (The English Patient), writer, and opera producer. Her other brother, Dominic, is a writer and TV producer who created the British TV series 'Doc Martin' and BBC One's 'Robin Hood'.

Edana co-wrote several episodes of 'Doc Martin' with Dominic, and is an experienced writer of fiction as well as influential and award-winning articles, papers and reports, a stage play and a short film. She is currently working on a two-hander radio play. She has studied creative writing and drama over a number of years. She has a regular yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice, helping to support the relationship between body, mind, creativity and the natural world. Edana is a qualified teacher of adults and has a background in mental health practice.

Vincent is a Bafta- and Television Society- award winning writer and director. He has written prolifically for TV, film and stage and is a passionate teacher of film making and creative writing. His directing work includes the short film Skin (written by Sarah Kane) which was shortlisted for a Golden Bear.

Emily ~

Our four interesting ladies arrived with great enthusiasm.

They bonded with Luna, Teddy and Ruby~

Evenings were spent over dinner and a glass of wine or two and a variety of subjects were debated.

Something rather special about sharing food...

 I loved nipping down to our village to source local produce ready to prepare our lunch and dinner. 

The sun shone, it was warm enough, hot at times to wear tee shirts!

Pumpkin soup.....

One of our spectacular views...

The ever changing light and colour feeds the soul~

"Edana is a great facilitator – generous, gentle, mindful and experienced".

Edana also happens to be a terrific jazz singer, one of her many talents, so we were also spoilt with her wonderful voice. 

Quite unexpectedly, our neighbour Mauro turned up with a pumpkin with my name scratched on it and beautiful bunch of Sunflowers!
I think perhaps he had seen our ladies arriving and curiosity got the better of him!

"The work on identifying the essence of the screenplay and the 
hotseating threw up some interesting ideas, and Vincent is an engaging 

The magical experience of witnessing a beautiful full moon~

A trip to Monterosso, part of the beautiful Cinque Terre, offered our writers the chance to see something of this stunning area.

Nothing like a brisk walk by the sea.

A little retail therapy!

 Sampling a delicious lunch at one of the local family run restaurants.

Time to sit and draw~

Something to nibble at with tea in the afternoon.

Friday, our last evening, we celebrated Lizi's birthday and had a farewell party!


Edana and I had a joyous week working together and indeed with Vince, who was sadly unable to stay for the party due to his previous commitment with the London Film Festival.

Lizi loved her birthday present!

Dinner by candle light, under the stars !

Champagne and dancing!

Our first writing retreat was a huge success, amazing how everyone really bonded, new friendships were made and our group left with a sense of new inspiration excited to return to their corners of the world and do what they loVe best.......write. 

Our Spring Writing Retreat is being held at Settimo Cielo from, 25th April~2nd May 2015
We hope you will join our intimate group
Please email Karen
All enquiries welcome. 

"If you're looking to expand your mind, to step away from the day to day grind, you couldn't think of a better place to do so. Nestling in the Italian hills of Monte Vignale, Settimo Cielo offers creative retreats, which include photography, writing and art. A bit like that well known supermarket brand (!) this isn't just any retreat, this is a place where the host and her family throw open the door to their home, hearts and minds. You leave feeling you've made new friends for life."
Tracey Jefferies~

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