Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Swanwick writers summer school was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!
Swanwick (I came back on Friday) was WONDERFUL.
If you couldn’t get there this year, do see if you can make it in 2014. It’s worth every penny. So the food isn’t brilliant. The atmosphere, the setting, the friendship, that’s what’s important. Free places can be won in competitions publicised by Writers News/Writing Magazine (October issue I think), so do have a go – there are three categories - poetry, short story, short story for children. The theme will be announced then too.
Last year, I was in a bad place, plus I was teaching on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. It was too much. This time I ran a short course on women’s magazine fiction and a workshop on short story competitions. By Monday evening, my teaching role was finished. That meant I had energy left over to take part in Write camera Action. My tiny playlet came nowhere which wasn’t surprising as my leading man turned out to be a prima donna who wanted to change nearly ALL of his lines. How we didn’t come to blows, I have no idea, BUT it was a good experience and not nearly as scary as I’d expected. I learned a lot too.
I confess that once that evening was over, I felt like partying and drank rather a lot (champagne on Wednesday, courtesy of the Chairman of Leeds Writers – Dennis Clarkson who is now on the Swanwick committee and rose wine on the last night). I probably overdid it a bit so if I did or said anything daft, please forgive me.
Almost all the books I took with me sold which was great and also annoying (I should have taken more!).
I was lucky enough to get a lift, there and back, from a lovely man called Dan. Compared to my ex, he drives likes an angel. It was great to arrive feeling relaxed!
Quite a few people weren’t there this year, for health and financial reasons. I missed Mary most of all. We met last year when I was deeply depressed and she helped me with her warmth and wicked sense of humour. I hope she recovers from her op and that she’s back next year. The same applies to Lol, Valerie, Ann and Peter, and John from Watford. Come back, I miss you!
I spent a lot of time catching up with old friends, two who stand out are Rae from Milton Keynes, and Stella Whitelaw.
I made some b#new friends too - Beryl, Tiggy, Sue, veronica et al. Swanwick is such an oasis, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that it’s over for another year.
I came home to very bad news.
My friend Jack who has been running the cryptic crossword class for several years, died on the Wednesday I was away. He’d been in hospital for an operation to repair a wound that hadn’t healed (long story, not that nice so I’ll gloss over it). The last I’d heard he’d had the operation and was doing well. What went wrong, I have no idea. I expect I’ll find out more at the funeral but there’s no date for that as yet. Losing Jack hit me hard. It brought me back down to earth with a terrible bump. It’s making me realise, even more clearly than before, that it’s what we do NOW that counts. We can never know what tomorrow may bring.