What’s a retreat?

There are many definitions for the word including what armed forces may do when overwhelmed. It is also the act of withdrawing into safety, privacy or seclusion. As a noun it can also be a place of refuge, seclusion or privacy; or a period of meditation; or an asylum for the insane. For those of us attending “Go and Write! Kingsbrae Spring 2021” it is possibly a wee bit of each of them.

For one week we have chosen to withdraw from our everyday lives, take up residence at KIRA (Kingsbrae International Residence for the Arts and Amphitheatre), and focus solely on our writing under the guidance of author and professor, Gerard Collins.

The facilities are lovely and set in the town of Saint Andrews, NB. Our residence is a gorgeous house nestled at the edge of the Kingsbrae Gardens, surrounded by immaculately kept lawns and gardens. We each have a private bedroom and bathroom and safety protocols are in place regarding Covid restrictions such as wearing masks when outside our rooms and when social distancing of 6′ + isn’t possible. Supplies of hand sanitizer are everywhere along with signs reminding us to make use of them.

A quick Pano of my room

Each participant also has the use of an individual, private studio space in which to think, plan, write, meditate or whatever else one needs to do.

My studio for the week!

Our schedule is flexible. Each of us has (or will) meet privately with Gerard twice during the week to discuss our current writing projects and any stumbling blocks or assistance we might need. In addition, there are two group workshop sessions during the week – held outside, weather permitting, or in the spacious living room. We are a small group so even indoors it is possible to spread out safely.

The View from My Studio

It has been a wonderful experience so far – and we’re only winding down day two at this point.

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