I just spent a week away in one of our favourite places, in a cottage in the hills not far from the Gold Coast in Queensland.
The location is in a valley, at the bottom of which is a small creek. There is nothing but farming land in every direction, and it’s a place where you can luxuriate in the silence, when not being interrupted by the sounds of wildlife and farm animals.
The serenity is simply amazing.
You can use it as a base because everything you could want is no more than two hours in any direction, but for us, there is no reason to leave the cottage. We come for relaxation and to wind completely down, away from everything.
The good news is there’s no TV, and the internet and phone coverage are terrible at best, which means you need to find alternate ways of relaxing.
I can’t tell you how good it is not to be addicted to TV news, not to have the internet calling you via social media, and not have the phone ring once in four days. After you get past that first day of withdrawal symptoms are nearly as bad as coming down off drugs.
This time I had a mission, to take the time to finish off one of my books. The Enchanted Horse, a story I’ve been promising my grandchildren I’d finish for the last five years.
There just never seems to be time at home with all the distractions, you know those trappings of modern life, the phone, the internet, TV.
And, the good news is I managed to review, collate and generally structure the 700 odd pages I’d already written, and comprehensively outline the last few remaining chapters so I can finally finish the first draft.
The other job that became apparent about one-third of the way through, was that the story is too big for one book, and now it is three, each instalment about 300 pages long, and it gave me the opportunity to write bridging chapters, a sort of the story so far, which will also serve as synopsis I can send to prospective publishers.
All in all, huge progress was made.
Pity I could stay for a month. I have so much that needs doing without distraction