clhollandwriter: (poppy)
It's become something of a tradition that I blog about Swanwick the week after I get back. Not only does it extend the Swanwick vibe by a week, but it also means I can enjoy my week without worrying about getting a blog post up every day - and that means I don't have to take my laptop.

As usual I arrived by train, and was surprised by how few people were waiting at Derby railway station. Normally we'd take over the frontage of two separate coffee shops (well we are writers), but this time we were all crammed around three tables. I found out afterwards that a lot less people booked to travel on the two coaches this year, but there had been a lot of arranging of lift shares on the Facebook group over the last few weeks, which probably had an impact. It's the first year we've had the facility to do it.

The conference centre was strangely quiet when we got there, with a lot of people in their rooms unpacking and more still to arrive. I went to my room - the same as last year, and it's a good job I didn't request that because I'd misremembered the number - and unpacked while dancing around to Absolute 80s on the radio. Then I went to sit on the lawn and wait for friends to arrive.

The evening speaker was James Moran, who's written for Spooks and Doctor Who, and also wrote the films Severance and Cockneys Vs Zombies. He told us about being inspired by a second-hand script book for Time Bandits, just how much rewriting goes into a screenplay, and also left us with the excellent quote "Every villain thinks they're the hero of their own story". He wrote the screenplay for Severance (which is very funny, by the way) while also working a full time job, and believes that if you really want to be a writer you'll make time for it.

After the speaker there was the opportunity to go to the "What are you writing now?" and "Alternative Fairy Tale"  icebreakers, but knowing how tiring the rest of the week can be, I opted for an early night instead.
clhollandwriter: (moon)
It occurs to me I haven't posted a lot lately, other than my weekly list of links I like. That's not because I haven't been writing, more because I've got out of the habit.

Lately I've been working on my proofreading course (another post on that another time) and - of course - my Tax Return. I'm working on a set of ten poems for the Attys (I think I mentioned it before - they all have to be in a different form) but it's difficult to blog about that without gving a lot away about what I'm doing, which isn't so great for a contest.

I've done the Flash Challenge over at Liberty Hall the last two weeks. Both times I wasn't sure I was going to get anything, but the gears started turning slowly and I got a story both times. I've got a couple of story ideas to work on as well, in different genres, it's just finding the time to fit them in around everything else!

I joined the local creative writing group, as I mentioned, and can't wait for the next session. The poetry and short story satellite groups both run this week, and I'm thinking about trying one of those. I don't think I can commit to both.

And that's where I'm at so far. How about the other writers out there?
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Yesterday evening, after a couple of years of dithering, I finally got my butt to the local writing group.

It was awesome.

The venue was great for a start, an odd little cafe that stayed open just for us. The counter was loaded with old-fashioned jars of sweets - sugar mice, chocolate animals, marzipan fruits. It was like something out of a story in itself. Sixteen people turned up, and seven of us were first-timers. We all crammed around a long table, with pots of tea, in a long narrow room with reclaimed beams in the plaster.

The group's been going for six years, part of the reason may be that they're super organised. There was an agenda to work through, including details of members' submissions and successes, readings, and a creative writing exercise. I got the beginning of a poem done, and intend to finish it.

I can't wait for next month's meeting. And there are satellite groups for novel writing, short stories, and poetry. I might give them a try.

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