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This is not a New Year's post; that will come later.

This is a writer dreaming about a project she has had in mind for several years now, a dream she wonders if she should try to make come true. You can help me fuel the fire by participating in an informal poll:

Say my husband and I bought a property in southern France, near the Pyrenees Mountains and we renovated it so that I could host retreats, workshops, etc for artists, writers, and people interested in learning French cuisine. If money were not an issue (obviously at this stage in the dream I have no concrete idea of how costly this would be*), would staying at such a place interest you?  What kind of services and experience would you be looking for?

ETA: To clarify, J and I aren't ready to hang up our traveling shoes just yet, so this is a project, if undertaken, that will NOT be ready in the immediate future.  We're probably looking at at least 5 years down the line--lots of time to squirrel away some savings. ;) 

And if you want to link to this and get your other writer friends to participate, I'd appreciate it.

* I would have to be able to pay the mortgage on the place and not run myself into debt with food, paying teachers, etc., but my goal with this scheme is not to make scads of money, rather it is to bring creative types to me. I want to be a part of inspiring others and to, in turn, be inspired. And, while I can host events for French speakers and get something out of art lessons, where the written word is concerned, I selfishly want to be able to hobnob with speakers of my native tongue.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, that sounds amazing!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
If money were no object, I would be in. Possibly annually. (Sadly, money is an object, so....)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
Well, you know I love the idea. I'd come if I could find pet sitters. :)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
I haven't been to France yet. *grin*

Just two things though:

1. Money is a bit of an object for me right now and will be for a bit to come.
2. OMG! France! Want to see it! What, I'm supposed to be concentrating? *squirrel! in Fraaaance!* I hear the weather is lovely and warm...
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
It sounds wonderful! I'd make visiting your retreat a vacation priority!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
But to answer your questions I think I'd be interested in a writer's workshop and learning French cuisine. There would have to be some kind of tour of the area though because I don't get to Europe much any more and would like to be able to see it some and not be stuck in somewhere for the duration of my visit.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, and what services and experience would I look for? What I envision is an opportunity to enjoy stimulating company and deep conversations interspersed with time for solitary reflection or writing or painting, all amid beautiful scenery.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
I'd love this, if my cash flow was amenable, and my life situation allowed it. Those are two large if's right now, but who knows where I'll be five years down the line.

So, yes, I think it's a splendid idea.

Happy New Year!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Duly echoed on my blogs/website.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
If money were no issue, I'd go annually, no doubt. And my little V would LOVE to come with me if such a place were open to kiddos on certain occasions, too!
Jan. 3rd, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
I've never been to Europe, but this would be very tempting, yes. Most particularly because I'd know somebody at the damned gathering! There are several annual gatherings of this sort of which I'm aware which might offer insight into what works and what doesn't; Viable Paradise and Blue Heaven (http://www.ccfinlay.com/pb/wp_848faaf7/wp_848faaf7.html) come immediately to mind. Judith Tarr (dancinghorse) runs short camps for writers at her Dancing Horse Farm.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
I think it sounds like a wonderful idea--with one caveat for you, and one for me.

The one for you is this: I get the feeling that it takes a lot of work to run the business of keeping guests in food, clean bed linens, etc.--and the more people who came, the more work that would be. You may have already thought of this, and you may have experience doing this sort of thing, in which case no worries, right? But I just worry about you feeling torn between wanting to write and having to organize the provision of meals and sleeping spaces for visitors.

The caveat for me--and this is just me, and not anyone else--is that although I'd LOVE-LOVE-LOVE to meet you and stay in France if money were no object (but it is...), I'm not much of a workshop person, I don't think? But I'd love to have a place to go and write and talk with other people about writing! Hypothetically speaking. Realistically speaking, there's no way I'd ever be able to do this: if we had the money for this, there are about six other things we've pledged to do first. But ***hypothetically*** I would adore the chance to meet you, to hang out in rural France, and to write.
Jan. 12th, 2012 02:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts.

I want to write another post to address things that people have brought up and go into more detail about the way I envisage things.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I will dream with you!

We really, really need to visit France. My husband is working on an elaborate tale set in France, and we really wish we could do on-site research. Hopefully the story will take root in the next year or two, but it is likely that we would not make it to France before then. However, we have developed a longing for it that absolutely must eventually be satisfied!

We would both love to spend time in a creative retreat. I envision something not too tightly scheduled, with fairly informal creative gatherings to share inspiration. A writers' discussion group, a nature walk led by the one and only YOU, then a lighthearted, crafty workshop to create something from bits gathered on the walk. Oh, let's do it now! ;)

Not to mention that I would be overjoyed to see you again! Oh, and of course, meet your loves.
Jan. 7th, 2012 08:09 am (UTC)
Moving around as we do, I can't promise anything, but any time you want to come to France, you have a place to stay if we happen to be in the country at that time! If ever your hubby has any questions that I might be able to answer concerning France, tell him to feel free to ask away. I know that nothing beats "being there," though, so I hope you guys can make it over soon.
Jan. 16th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
I would be interested, yes. :-)

Edited at 2012-01-16 08:11 pm (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
locals looking to meet Go Here dld.bz/chwZG
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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