My Writer’s Retreat

For 3 weeks I was in exile, in a self-imposed writer’s retreat. I had the first 2 chapters of my book due to agents at the beginning of March and so I sequestered myself to ensure I met the deadline.

Now as far as self-imprisonment goes, Phuket ain’t a bad place. I chose a guest house that was particularly quiet on a cove called Cape Panwa on the southeast tip of the Thai island. And there I sat day after day writing my heart out.

I had a very spacious apartment and I would alternate between the sunny balcony in the morning and the living room in the early afternoon when the sun got too harsh. In the late afternoon, about 4:00, I would wander down to the beach and read or listen to music for a while, lounging in a beach chaise until the sun set.

Afterwards I would meander back up to the pool and swim laps for about an hour. Each night I would finish off my swim by floating on my back and staring at the stars. *So spectacular!*

On the third night of my routine, a glass of fresh orange juice was set at the end of my swim lane. My new French friend Dominique, would leave it for me like a sneaky Santa, placing it at the edge of the pool every night afterwards.

When I finished the first chapter, Dominique took me to celebrate. We sauntered down the beach to one of the seaside restaurants and feasted on lobster and cold beers. A definite treat and fabulous way to celebrate completing my first chapter — Thanks Dominique!

As a sheltered cove, Cape Panwa attracted independent sailors, who would moor their sailboats in the Cape and row to shore at night to eat together and hang out. A couple of them had guitars and they would settle themselves in the sand, singing late into the night.

Their repertoire was huge. But then again, they had a lot of time on the open seas to practice. They seemed to favor good ‘ole 70s rock tunes. How could we not sing along?!

I only spent a little more than one week at my Cape Panwa retreat, before moving on to the west side of the island, but I’ll always remember it as an ideal place for night-time swims, lounging on the beach, drinking beer with friends, and writing my stories.

No doubt my sandy retreat gave me the space to relax and think. Fingers crossed I was able to draw some literary inspiration from my perfect Cape Panwa surroundings!

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 and is filed under Home.

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