Kimberley Lovato is an award-winning food and travel writer. She received the Gourmand International Cookbook Award and the Cordon d'Or International Culinary Academy Award, for her book, "Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves. Her essays and articles have appeared in various print and online media in the US, Europe, and Australia including: National Geographic Traveler, AFAR, Delta Sky Magazine, American Way, Virgin Australia, Easy Jet Traveller, travelandleisure.com, lonelyplanet.com, bbc.com, and more. She is a member of the Bay Area Travel Writers Association, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. You can learn more about Kimberley on her website at Website: http://www.kimberleylovato.com/
Did the retreat meet your expectations?
Yes, and exceeded them.
What was the most unexpected part of your stay?
I was surprised how nice and comfortable the cottage was, as well as how much I enjoyed and thrived in total solitude.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat? The uninterrupted expanse of time I had just to write. Normally I can't go an hour without a phone call, meetings, husband or daughter coming into my office, or must-do errands forcing me to leave. Also, at home, procrastination techniques, like rearranging the spice cabinet, are always tempting me. During this week, all I had to do was write. It probably the most productive week I've ever had.
Did the vineyard setting inspire you and/or your writing?
Yes, definitely. Gorgeous.
What did you work on during the retreat?
I started a narrative story I've been thinking about for some time; worked on some pitches for a few magazine outlets; finished up some other smaller projects that had looming deadlines.
You can’t write 24 hours a day! What other activities did you do during the retreat—any napping, hiking, or exploring the local area?
I walked the paths around the cottage each morning and did some driving around the Russian River Valley. I also took a couple of coffee breaks and visited some of the small towns like Guerneville, Forestville and Sebastopol, and of course ate dinner at some of the great restaurants nearby---a nice reward after a day of hard work.
Any tips or advice you think might be helpful for future residency applicants?
I'd just say enjoy the work time, but take a break now and then and enjoy the surroundings too.
Any other comments or impressions about the retreat you wish to convey? Thanks for the opportunity to participate in Writing Between the Vines, I hope I can come back another time.