August 12, 2011

Dreaming of a Writer's Retreat

My friend bought this as a gift to herself for her sixtieth birthday. It’s a fully restored 1946 Rascal travel trailer. She plans to join a group of vintage-trailer groupies who travel caravan-style to some of America's best campgrounds.

When I saw the Rascal, I thought: WRITER’S RETREAT! How cool would it be to haul this 12-foot writing hut to, say, Walden Pond (as it existed in Thoreau’s time, of course; writers don't need 21st Century tourists hanging around). I could sit in the Rascal, soak up the peaceful surroundings, and write to my heart’s content.

I fall asleep, almost every night, imagining the perfect place to write. I've always dreamed of having my very own writer’s retreat somewhere in a secluded woods overlooking a quiet, inland lake. No people. No sounds other than the gentle breeze rustling through the trees, tiny waves lapping the shore, birds singing, maybe an occasional grunt or howl from a wild animal, just to keep things interesting.

The other day, I got serious about turning my dream into reality. I Googled “writer’s retreats,” and I saw these. The web page said that I could order one and have it built in my garden (that is, if my garden were big enough for a retreat).

Here's the description for this one:

This wonderful garden retreat draws inspiration from the modest summerhouse in George Bernard Shaw's garden. This tiny, converted shed was where he created many of his masterpieces, including the Oscar winning screenplay for "Pygmalion" and the play "St Joan", for which he was to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

And this one:

The refurbished tool shed at the bottom of Virginia Woolf's garden forms the inspiration for the Reading Room. Despite living in privileged surroundings it was this distinctive outbuilding that was to provide her with the ideal place in which to write, think and relax.

If George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf could have their own little retreats, then why can't I? (That's a rhetorical question if you're thinking of leaving a comment.)

I needed to know more. The web site offered an online brochure, so I clicked on its link (you can, too, by clicking here). I discovered that the manufacturer is in the UK, and the prices were listed only in pounds. I liked that. I don’t do “pounds.” Unless you consider my weight, I’m sure that I don't have enough pounds to splurge on one of these retreats, let alone have it shipped across the ocean and built in my backyard. So, I left that web site and decided to keep hanging onto my dream. Who knows? Maybe when my friend isn't caravanning around the country, she'll let me write in her Rascal.

What do you dream about
when you hear the words “writer’s retreat?”

Click here to see how this woman turned her Airstream trailer into a studio.


Diane Marie Shaw said...

Writer's retreat, yes I would be in heaven to have one. I wouldn't mind a small shed with electricity and water, if possible. A great desk, comfortable chair, bookshelves and maybe a sofa to stretch out on. It would have a beachy theme, lots of blue and white.
The mini trailer would be awesome, having a mobile retreat would be a bonus.
Dreams, dreams may they someday become reality.

quietspirit said...

I'd settle for a camper in my backyard. Last summer, I thought about going to our church grounds and using the shelter house. A church in our denomination has a wooded park setting on the far west side of our city-I just thought of that. Hmmm, I might check with the church secretary, a friend who works in a nonprofit ministry with me. Thanks for the idea.