It never crosses my mind that people won’t trust me. But in the age of the Internet, I suppose, I should expect that. I am working on getting a group of writers together to do a retreat in a castle in Ireland next year—cheaply.

And it looks like I can make this happen.

I have posted the idea in several places, with several groups of which I am a part, other have posted in places on my behalf (well, they may have had selfish reasons too, like they too want to go). On one site, someone asked if I was going to collect all of the money, or if the funds could be sent directly to the castle proprietor. The proprietor wants only one payment.

And then I thought about it. Why would these people, many of whom I know only through the Internet, send me money? Why would they trust me? I have successfully arranged vacation/residency/retreat housing in the past for groups ranging from two to twenty people. But these folks don’t know that.

It’s not like I do it for a living, it’s just something I’m good at. I like organizing things, making arrangements. I’m good at it.

I replied, without thinking about it, of course, I would be collecting the money. I hit send. And then thought, oh, would I be comfortable with that? So, I am looking for other venues. I have a list, and must contact them all.

But I don’t know how many people are going yet, so I don’t know how big a venue I need. I have found castles that sleep eight people that can be had for as little as $271 for seven days. I need to start a spreadsheet.

Start sending emails.

Confirm numbers of travelers.

Set up a blog/website so those interested in going have a place to see where we’re at with the plan.

Renew my passport.

And it’s going to be a writers’ retreat (although I think there will be two folks going who are not writers), so there’ll be books to read, pages to write and share, community to build.

And what about sightseeing? Are folks interested in that? And what do they want to see?

Although my favorite part of the country is the west (Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, and Galway), I would be content anywhere that is not urban. Which is most of Ireland. And I don’t want to leave the Republic.

I am trying to find a way to make this a successful venture for everyone who is interested in going.

Castles currently being considered (I will do a write up on each one, working out sleeping space, attractions, and cost and post them on my website.):

Ballyhannon, Quin County Clare

Ballyporty, County Clare

Bansha Castle, Tipperary.

Lisheen Castle, Tipperary

Ballycumber, County Offlay

Ballynahinch Old Manor House, Galway

Springfield Castle, County Limerick

Fanningstown, County Limerick

Ross Castle, Killarney

Ballybur, County Kilkenny

Other choices include “Irish” houses made of stone, or thatched cottages…

I’m happy with any of them, but I need more than maybes to work with. The trip is going to take about a year to plan.

In one of the three groups, I keep hearing the word “trust” and yet, I haven’t seen that. At some point, you have to make that leap. You have to say, this is something I want bad enough to make that leap for…

Do it, let’s get this show on the road! If you’re interested in going to Ireland, please let me know. I will do what I can to arrange for individual payments.