Thursday, 25 August 2011

Last day at Swanwick


First a note to the person who asked for more info about the Accessing Creativity session, could you email me at then I can give you my phone number. It will be easier to explain that way.

Now for Thursday. Another packed day as usual. I was so worn out, I skipped breakfast in favour of an extra hour in bed.
At 9.30 it was time for part one of yet another short course, this time on Heroes And Villains. This was skilfully run by Roz Southey who obviously had plenty of teaching experience. The course was a good mix of discussion, exercises, and teaching. It emphasised the fact that to be real, good guys need faults and bad guys need virtues, otherwise they become cardboard cut outs.
It was then time to collect my unsold books from the book room. Amazingly, there were only 2 left, plus some copies of Diamonds and Pearls (the short story collection put together by Elaine Everest for a breast cancer charity).
After tea, it was the final part of the specialist course on Crime Writing. I went in early so that I could get some photos of Simon and ask him to sign one of his books for me.
In that last session, he spent quite a lot of time talking about misleading the reader, which is vital when writing crime. To prove how easy that can be, he went ahead and misled the class. Again, I won’t reveal his tricks as he may want to use them again. I have honestly never known a teacher to be so popular with his class. It was with great reluctance and sadness that we parted.
Lunch was followed by part two of heroes and villains, then after tea, it was time for the AGM. I expected a dry rather boring dull affair but the outgoing Chairman, Xanthe Wells, had other ideas. It was over in under an hour. Interestingly, there were 4 committee places up for grabs, but there were 7 candidates. That mean they had to stand up in front of everyone and do a sales pitch, then we all had to vote for the 4 we wanted. It just goes to show that Swanwick is a special place. There can’t be many organisations where they have TOO MANY people wanting to be on the committee.
At 6, it was time for the Dregs Party where people bring left over booze and nibbles, lay it out on tables and people tuck in. After that there was more food at dinner.
That evening, Kate Moss, of Labyrinth fame, was due to speak, but thanks to flooding and hold ups, she had to turn back. I wasn’t that bothered as I’d never read her books, but other people must have been very disappointed. She did send a message to say that she’d make it up to everyone next year, maybe even staying over at Swanwick which would be great.
With no speaker, I wondered what the committee would do. I needn’t have worried. They improvised. Joyce, the wonderfully funny and warm Chairman in waiting told daft jokes, somebody repeated their comic turn from Buskers Night and then Xanthe took the stage as Victoria Wood, performing two of her brilliant monologues. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t have known it wasn’t Victoria Wood. She was amazing!
The evening ended with songs round the piano. Sadly they weren’t my cup of tea as they seemed to date mainly from the 1930s so with my new found friend, Valerie, I drifted off to the disco. I would have stayed to the end but I needed to get up early for breakfast the next day. I didn’t want to miss the chance to say goodbye to people.
All I could think of as I climbed into bed was that Swanwick was almost over and I didn’t want it to end.

1 comment:

  1. It all sounds wonderful, Linda. If only I could pluck up the nerve to go to these things. But I don't like workshops, as I can't think quick enough to write something on a given subject in a short space of time.