Up a set of rugged stone steps, the doors of the castle opened and we entered. Iâ€™d been awed by its structure, by its historical significance, and its position in the Catalonia countryside. Now I was nervous. So much could go wrong in the next half hour. We had criteria regarding comfort, workspaces, relaxation areas, kitchens, and modern plumbing. After all, sixteen people living for three weeks in a drafty castle with tiny rooms and narrow hallways could end up being memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Plus, we wanted a private lounge for Ann Leckie, Tobias Buckell, Sarah Pinsker, and Cat Rambo, along with intimate indoor and outdoor spaces for students to read, chat, and think. Could the reality inside this 10th century castle possibly meet our needs? Our lifelong dream of writing in a castle depended on it.
With a mind set on problem-solving, I passed through my first ever castle doors and found myself in a spacious semi-furnished room with a storage area off to one side. My list covered a lot of rooms, a check for onsite supplies, and other areas requiring scrutiny. The entrance room wasnâ€™t on the list, but it had a good air about it and my nerves dropped to a manageable level. With that, I grew confident that this experience was about to get awesome.