Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Missing Swanwick

It’s been more than a week since I came back from the wonder that is Swanwick (http://www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk/). I miss it so much. For me, it’s being with people all the time that’s so amazing (plus the fact that I have a nice room to retreat to when things get too much). The real world is so much harder. I hate not having anyone to talk to. Phoen calls are fine, but they really aren’t the same. Neither is facebook, or twitter… 
The evenings are the worst. There’s only so much work a person can do. If I carry on too late, I can’t sleep and there’s b***** all on TV.
What I really really really want is a nice relaxing holiday. Swanwick was great but it was hardly relaxing because I was teaching. Next year, I’m not running any courses or workshops. Then I can take part in other people’s courses!
On Friday I’m off to Coventry for the NAWG Festival of Writing at Warwick University. I’m looking forward to it. The classes are much smaller so there’s a totally different feel to Swanwick where you can have fifty people in a group. One of my writing heroes, Simon Brett, who I met when I first started writing fiction, will be there so I hope to get the chance to chat to him. I can’t attend his class because, you’ve guessed it, it clashes with one I’m teaching.
I’m currently typing up some stories. I waited until I had a few so that I could work on more than one at a time. I hope to get them all onto the computer before I leave for NAWG so that when I come back, I should be able to edit and improve them. I’m a firm believer in letting stories mature in the mind. After a few days all kinds of different ways to take the story, develop the characters and so on can occur.
I emailed an agent yesterday too about the next books I want to write . They’re non-fiction, aimed at writers.  I can get them published easily enough, either via Byker Books, or Filament who published my Treasury of Ideas, but I’d love to find a bigger publisher as I think they deserve it.
If anyone knows any agents who might consider this kind of project, I’d be delighted if you give them my details. My email address is kinghenryfan@yahho.co.uk

I’ve got into a bit of a stew about the crossword class.
I stupidly assumed they weren’t going to meet as Jack who led the group has died but I found out yesterday that they met last Thursday as normal. Nobody told me even though I’d called into the office as well as phoning, asking to be kept up to date. I’d said I was willing to take over rather than let the group fade away. Now I don’t know what to do or think. In  a way it would be nice to clear the decks so that I can start a whole new raft of activities.  Living in Leeds, there are plenty of opportunities. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I’m thinking of going back to Heydays ( classes on all kinds of subjects including singing, art and creative writing held at West Yorkshire Playhouse and open to anyone over 55) on Wednesdays when the new term starts. If I spend the whole day there, it will break the week up nicely.

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