Sunday, 20 August 2017

Swanwick - a week of writing related indulges (Part 2)

I apologise that I don't have many pictures of my walk.
I've been unable to transfer them from my Tablet so far
and have only a couple taken on my old phone.
On the Tuesday of my week at Swanwick I had some time out. There were courses running including a procrastination free day, but I fancied a walk. The weather was superb and I set off after breakfast towards Butterley Railway (East Midlands), run mainly by volunteers. I went there last year but didn't look at the engine sheds. This time I did. It made a lovely morning out and the walk was wonderful. So much beautiful countryside around there and next time I hope to do more walking. There is a pathway you can follow along the track side which I'm keen to investigate.

On my return to Swanwick I had lunch and then headed up to where the labyrinth is and sat in the garden for a couple of hours undisturbed. No one seems to go up there much. Maybe it's the trudge up the hill people don't like. It's a great place to sit and read or write. In the evening there was an event, 'In conversation with....' Hosted by Simon Hall it was a chance to find out a little more about Sue Moorcroft (fiction writer) Jon Mayhew (writer of children's fiction) and  Steve Hartley (writer of children's fiction). Questions included 'where were you when you heard your first book had sold?' and 'whether being published had changed you.' One thing became evident writers never quite believe they have made it even when they have. Sue Moorcroft admitted she rang her agent the following day just to check she'd heard right. Lack of confidence seems to plague writers. As one person said 'you think someone will find you out.' A very enjoyable evening with lots of laughter.

I certainly seemed to be taking it easier this year as on Wednesday the only course I did (apart from the third session of Writing Popular Fiction) was in the afternoon with Hazel Prior, who not only writes but is a harpist (see website). With only an hour we skipped through some of the essentials looking at the order of editing - structure, beginnings and voice. All useful stuff.

Then came the last full day and my last Writing Popular Fiction session followed by a brilliant short course in Murder Investigation. I don't write crime/murder but I am fascinated by it and try to get to as many of these courses as possible. Our tutor Stuart Gibbon is an ex police officer and he ran through how an investigation runs from who attends, initial steps, the Golden Hour Principle,  Post Mortem and things like the Murder Investigation Team (Ranks), what the police need to know and how they go about it, various authorities they have to acquire, forensic evidence, the detention clock and custody procedures. Wow! a lot of information and I was scribbling away like mad. A wonderful informative course.

The last evening was a chance get-together in the hall, time for thanks and some fun - a few songs (popular songs with the lyrics changed to something suitably writerly) including S Club 7's Reach for the Stars. In the morning those not departing to the station by coach came and waved us off. All over for another year.

I didn't think I was that tired this time but yesterday I spent the day dozing and it took me a while to get going this morning. I even forgot to check on Paragraph Planet yesterday to see my latest flash fiction published there! It may take me a little longer to return to normal (or normal for me). If you have never been to Swanwick, I'd highly recommend it. You'll be with others who are passionate about writing. That alone is wonderful because writing is a lonely task and for a week it stops me boring my non-writing friends about what I'm doing!

A couple of photos taken on the walk

The view from my window at 6.30am on the morning I left to go home

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