Sunday 23 May 2010
( Scooby) Writing Retreat in Penderall College, outside Telford and I'm missing the peace and quiet and the total focus on writing.
Penderall College is a wonderful old manor house set in the middle of sheep grazing land and this is my third year running I've attended out Retreat. We have lovely single study bedrooms ( ensuite) and plenty of quiet places to sit, think, walk and write.
The wonderful Sue Hyams : in blue: organises the Retreat each year and makes sure we are all comfortable and well fed.
The high point of the meals for most of us is the fried bread at breakfast : our once a year treat!
I could feel my brain clearing out the winter snow and cold and settling down to focus on the work in hand.
It must have worked because I wrote three chapters on my novel, STUFFED, the third novel in my Haying Cycle, Meadowside Books, March 2011.
We also had a full programme of speakers, Lee Weatherly, Pippa Goodhart and Julia Churchill. An enormous input on writing, publishing and various other aspects of the industry, all in one weekend. We also had 1:1 meetings with one of the speakers to review our manuscripts.
This was excellent for me as I am at the first draft stage on my new novel.
Feedback from Lee : great start, just keep going!
We did some pretty serious drinking too.
Well everyone else did.
As I announced on the first evening, I'm a failed alcoholic and struggled to get through a bottle of cider. Still someone's got to do it and there were plenty of willing participants.
We had champagne on the Saturday night too : provided by Jon Mayhew : that's his profile in the pic.
Great book, brilliant plotting and lovely to read it over the weekend and discuss it with the author as I went along. I thoroughly recommend it.
This was a great weekend with a lovely bunch of people, creative, generous and tons of fun.
If you haven't joined SCBWI yet, maybe this blog will be your inspiration.
Roll on next year and all that lovely fried bread!