Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Being busy

This week will be an interesting mixture - hair cut - cats 'booster' injections. So that'll be a small fortune spent in half an hour!

 Then today I put on the PA hat again when the other writer in the house becomes a TV personality - he's doing a TV interview for a programme on Inside Wormwood Scrubs. 

I think my job will mainly consist of making sure that the cats don't interfere in the interview! Ruby is always very keen to get involved with anything new and interesting.

Right now I'm tidying and dusting so that the house looks respectable (sort of) for SP Wade's TV interview. Just wish I knew which room they would prefer to use! Oh well, at least it means things look rather better than usual! From 3pm I will be trying to keep the cats quiet - and not daring to move much myself!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Next Writing Course/Retreat Planned

I've been asked about any other courses that are coming up this year. Some details are still under discussion but there is a Relax and Write weekend in Cirencester coming up soon with Lois Maddox. Bookings are already in but there are still some available spaces on the courses if you're interested.
It's a sort of a Crime and Passion weekend - I will be running a Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction Retreat - this is a weekend where you can get a critique of your work and advice on how to progress - also the time and relaxation to get on with your writing without interruptions or demands of home.This retreat is designed for people who have already started work on a novel and who want time to focus on that - and not have to worry about anything else. It’s an ideal course to get your writing moving ahead. There are a limited number of places on this Retreat, so it is essential you book early, in order to send your work in advance for comment and arrange a one-to-one.

And the Crime bit? Well that's the other half of the writing partnership with Stephen Wade Getting Away With Murder -
Write That Crime Story
Crime writer Stephen Wade introduces the skills involved in writing crime, covering both factual and fictional genres. The course will include advice on planning, developing ideas, knowing the market, research, and characterisation. There will also be short workshop exercises.
The next 'Relax & Write' Weekend Courses are at
The Royal Agricultural University
6-8 April 2018
Contact Malaga Workshops

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Blink and you'll miss it

Well, don't say I didn't warn you! I put this up on my blog:
Re the Advanced Romance Writing Course weekend - that's back again in February 2019 with Writers Holiday I saw lots of my students booking ahead to ensure a place on this popular course next year - so if you're interested, register that fact now! I'm told there are 'a few' places left but as I've talked with two people who wanted to book a place in 2019 - those don't look like they're going to hang around!
So true! I heard from Gerald P Hobbs today that in fact 12 of this year's students have already booked their places on next year's (2019) Advanced Romance Writing Course. 12. There was a time when the numbers of this course were officially limited to 12 - then another person asked if they could please have a place - and another . . Seeing as I had 15 in the class this year and didn't die (just) perhaps I'll go with a limit of 15 places again in 2019.
The trouble is that this course really has to have some prior learning on a basic romance writing course - like the one I used to run in the summer at Writers Holiday but now, sadly, that event no longer runs. Hmm . . .
I can't really take students with no foundation knowledge of genre fiction writing . . . I think I'll need to have a chat with Lois Maddox about turning the autumn course with Relax and Write into a preparatory weekend to cover the foundation work for the Fishguard Weekend. That could work!
Leave it with me - and Lois.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Mother's Day twice over

Facebook threw a  memory up at me as I logged on today. It didn't surprise me - how could I forget that today is my mother's birthday? But it's an interesting coincidence that this post appears just after I get back from teaching the Advanced Romance Writing Course at Fishguard, when one of the topics that I mentioned was the fact that for some reason the explanation of why a hero behaves as he does, the mistakes he makes, his cynicism about the heroine - and women in general - is so often laid at the door of his mother - who was unfaithful to his father - or some such. I find that a little bit (OK a lot) irritating. Is one woman's behaviour when he was a child enough to turn a grown man - and we do hope that our heroes are 'grown ups' - into cynics about women in general?

 I do hope that mature adults (male or female) would see that one person's behaviour doesn't mean that *every* other woman is like that. And yet I do find that mothers do get a bad press these days in romances these days - sort of like the wicked stepmother without the 'step' bit. So it was interesting to find this post I wrote on the subject back in 2015.

Anyway - I could never forget my mother. We only get one mother and I'd give the world to be able to celebrate her birthday with her - and I think she'd have loved to know about that Romance Writing Course in Fishguard. This makes it a poignant week, with Mather's Day coming up next weekend. I hope you who are mothers and those whose mother is still alive manage to share some special time together for Mothering Sunday. It might not always be possible

Friday, March 02, 2018

There and back again

Finally catching up with things after a long and lovely weekend in  Fishguard,  teaching the Advance Romance  Writing Course,  getting to see and talk with fellow  tutors and students  - established and new ones. 
This year everyone seems to have been even more enthusiastic and involved  than  usual - and there had been really enthusiastic groups  in the past.   We didn't want to leave, we were enjoying ourselves so much,  but  the weekend seemed to pass in  a flash and  before we knew it we were packing the car ready to travel home.  And that was when life got interesting . . .

This country has a strange climate. Spent a wonderful wonderful weekend in Fishguard in bright sunshine then set off home in sunshine and blue skies. Halfway home we got stuck in a raging blizzard which was not fun but eventually we made it home safely . . . to find none of the threatened snow here at all!
Overnight this changed and we are now snow-bound in deep deep snow and whirling winds! Oh well,I have cases to unpack, books to sort out, course teaching papers  to file away . . . and the presents . . . .

Every year I try to point out to my students that I have as much fun teaching them as I hope they have in doing the course with me - add in a stay at the Fishguard Bay Hotel - and the fabulous company of the Fishguard 'Family' -   Gerry  and Anne Hobbs, Alison  Chisholm,  Simon Whaley.  Della  Galton  and Susan Alison . . . and everyone else. So there is no need to do anything else. But every year they ignore me and I came home with this lovely bundle of 'excess baggage'! Thank you all for your kindness and warmth - and specially for your company over a great weekend.

  And it's  a lovely reminder of  a fabulous weekend in Wales while  I  try to catch up with everything, write revisions, send out critiques and letters.   And it's  so sad that it will be  next Febraury (2019) before we're back in Fishguard again.

Oh well,  it's warmer and safer inside right now, when my garden looks like  this  with the birds queing at the door for extra mealworms and  seedcake to get them through the freeze.

Keep warm and safe everyone!

PS Re the Advanced Romance Writing Course weekend - that's back again in February  2019 with Writers Holiday   I saw  lots of my students   booking ahead to ensure a place on  this popular course next year  - so if you're interested, register that fact now!   I'm  told there are 'a few' places left but as I've talked with two people who wanted to book  a place in 2019  -  those don't look like  they're going to hang around!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Just got back from Harrogate ( PA duties for the other writer in the family ) but before that spent Thursday night absolutely entranced and mind-blown watching Paapa Essiedu in the tour of RSC's Hamlet in Hull.

 3 hours of totally absorbing magnificent magic. The big soliloquies were presented as real thoughts not - this is the moment when I do the 'to be or not to be' speech. Brilliant. DH and I are still talking about it. If you get a chance to see this production - grab it. I already want to see it again.

The next couple of days will be spent finalising the details of the Writers' Holiday Advance Romance Writing Course for Fishguard  next weekend. 

Can't wait to be back in Wales and reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Started planning my next course - Advanced Romance Writing at Fishguard Writing Weekend with
Writer's Holiday. Also collected some of the 'treats' that are needed to help inspire and sustain the writers on this course.

An interesting fact - whenever I go to get the chocolate (for inspiration!) the local supermarket has set up a lovely discount price on it. Do you think they keep an eye on my blog/facebook page? 'If it's February she'll be coming in for supplies for Writers' Holiday.' So maybe they have a note in their diary - April means she'll need supplies for Relax & Write' Weekend Coursesx .
The  Writer's Holiday course is absolutely over-full right now - but as they say 'Other courses are available.'

The next  one will be a Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction Retreat at  Royal Agricultural University  in Cirencester - dates   6th - 8th April.

If you'd rather just have a library talk - with Valentine's Day coming up I have one of those too -  The ABC of Love in Doncaster library on February 14th

I'm sharing this with another author, Lynda Stacey  - from 11am to 12.30 in the Central Library Doncaster

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