I recently spent eight fabulous days in Ubud, Bali, immersed in playwriting, listening to other authors and experiencing the rich local culture.
I attended a five-day intensive Playwrights’ Retreat with talented and multi-award winning playwrights, Tanika Gupta and Lachlan Philpott. The daily workshops included a variety of writing and drama exercises, discussion of play scenes and critical feedback from the playwrights and the other three participants (Di, Sunara and Tee) about the plays we are working on.
It was also a privilege to go to the first day of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017, with inspiring talks by national treasures, Nh. Dini and Marina Mahathir; exploration of incredible journeys with Paula Constant, Per Andersson and Rob Henry; hilarious discussion of the pleasures of leisure with Robert Dessaix; and powerful performances by storytellers, Arielle Cottingham, Sholeh Wolpe and Brigitte Schar. I also gave a copy of Flying through Clouds to Rissa, a visiting writer and teacher from a village outside Jakarta.
I managed to squeeze in some sightseeing at the World Heritage Rice Terraces and Water Temple (Tirtha Empul) and spent hours browsing through the amazing artworks at Neka Art Museum and Puri Lukisan Museum. I stayed at the lovely Kajane Mua Villas and enjoyed delicious local dishes at several cafes and restaurants in Ubud. A sensational working holiday!