On Facebook this week I saw a photo of the terrace at Casa Ana where we spent most of the sessions on our Literary Adventure. The scene looked familiar, but there was something wrong in the picture. It wasn’t us, the Alpujarra Seven. How can it be that a year has gone by? It got me thinking and reflecting. What’s changed in that year?

I know that two of the seven have published books. David Steele’s brilliant e-book “Observation on the Government of the Russian State of the that I reviewed here, and more recently Karol Griffiths has one just published about script editing (can’t wait to read it and learn!). The rest of us are more work-in-progress!

I know that the experience gave me a great dose of confidence, and a sense that when the time was right, I’d go back to TLC in help in getting my novel through the editing process. That still is my intention, but I’m some way off.

I came back from Spain knowing that my work was flawed, and the narrative arc needed a great deal of attention. I’ve worked hard on that, again and again! I’m still not convinced that the narrative voice is right, but at least I haven’t changed my mind in the last 15,000 words. I have 47,000 words of a first draft. I am so proud of this! As the words are accumulating, the story is taking off, and I am really enjoying the process of writing. My 1,000 words a day are now edging up to 1,500 and in the last couple of days 1,800. When I look back, the early days of writing the actual first draft were tricky, but now it is enjoyable. The characters are leading the way, and it is exciting.

I have another retreat lined up, and I want to go with 75,000 words, because the story will have peaked, or will be peaking, and I think that would allow me to gain more from the week. That’s the next milestone, about six weeks away. However, I absolutely believe that I would not be where I am without the experience, and support, from the Literary Adventure.