During the summer, I joined a collaborative short story project. The group was called ‘Hot Potato’ and it was co-ordinated by Artipeeps. Seven writers worked on the story, passing it to another writer each fortnight to take the story forward. Deborah Sheehy was appointed to illustrate the work and the final product is now available on the Artipeeps website. Click here to have a read. Another ‘Hot Potato’ project is scheduled to take place during March 2014, so if you’re interest, get in touch via @ArtiPeep.
I enjoyed a delightful lunch in Oxford this week with Carol McGrath and Sue Stephenson (click here and pop over to The Elstead Writers’ Group where Sue has posted fascinating real-time diary entries imaging a time when the lights went out). Our reservation was at the Ashmolean Dining Room, on the top floor of the museum with wonderful views over the Oxford skyline. Sue and I enjoyed a starter of Crispy pancetta, wild mushroom, watercress and balsamic mayonnaise. It was delicious with a lovely crackling crunch to the pancetta.
We chatted over our meal and ordered desserts and coffee. Unfortunately, I was too absorbed in eating my pannacotta, muscovado sugar poached pear that I forgot to take a photo.
Before catching the train home, I went with Carol to the Bodleian Library and registered for membership. When I go to Oxford in December (taking Jonathan for a college interview) I’ll be able to spend the day in the reading room. I am certainly looking forward to that.
The title of this post not only sums up how I’m feeling, but it is also the title of my new work in progress. As I continue writing the first draft of the novel with support from my supervisor Stephen Knight and other students on the MPhil at University of South Wales, I am amazed at how different the process is, when working alongside others facing similar challenges.
There are eight students on the course, two poets and six writing novels. We were asked to submit work for circulation this week and I will set aside time when it arrives to read through and comment on the submissions of others. The other big difference in writing for this course, is the research element. I’ve read so many splendid novels written from the viewpoint of a child that something of skill seems to have lodged within me. I’ve been making notes for the research and am beginning to understand why these novels are successful.
The small town of Mere, positioned at the western edge of Salisbury Plain, hosts a literary festival each year. It is organised by volunteers and includes a range of events for adults and children, those living nearby and visitors. The highlights for the seventeenth Mere Literary Festival include:
PAUL KERENSA – So a Comedian walks into a Church
The popular comedian discusses his recently published diary revealing the true and hilarious ‘Confessions of a Kneel-Down Stand-Up’.
Monday 14 October Grove Building 7.30pm. £5 in advance £6 on the door.
TARQUIN OLIVIER – So Who’s Your Mother?
What’s it like growing up the son of a great actor? More off-stage stories from his published memoir by the son of Laurence Olivier.
Tuesday 15 October Grove Building 7.30pm. £5 in advance £6 on the door.
CHRIS McCULLY – Poetry Masterclass
A must for all with poetry in their hearts as acclaimed poet, Chris McCully, analyses poems submitted by local writers
Wednesday 16 October, Grove Building 2.30pm. Retiring donations.
AN EVENING WITH DAMIEN LEWIS
One of Britain’s ‘20 Favourite Authors’, Damien Lewis has topped best-seller lists worldwide and has 29 books listed on ‘Good Reads’. He discusses his work including his latest book, ‘Zero Six Bravo’.
Friday 17 October, Grove Buildings 7.30pm. £5 in advance £6 on the door
CHILDREN’S EVENT with award-winning author GILLIAN CROSS
A free event at the library, tickets required
Saturday 18 October, 2.15pm
For the full programme, click here. Tickets available from Mere Library 01747 860546 or the Festival Organiser 01747 860475
If only I’d been bothered to bring in the duvet covers and sheets when I had the chance. Now they are dripping on the line, more wet than when they first came out of the machine. The sky is grey and lumpy and I need something to cheer me up. So, let me share with you the photos from a lovely day in Oxford last Friday, when my son finally decided to put in an application for a college place.