Sunday, 24 March 2013

Revisiting Fowey (Again)

Arriving in Fowey feels like coming home. I went back with my aunt last week, just for a night and a short break and it was wonderful.

It's always reassuring to see that everything is still the same, and it is all so familiar it is wonderful to be there again. I find that it is such an inspiring place and I alwys come away again feeling revived, and that I want to go straight back. I never want to leave. I want to live somewhere like that and just write books all the time (*dreaming*). That would be magical. Sigh. Maybe one day.

We were lucky enough to enjoy sunshine on the Wednesday and were able to run around on the beach playing catch and wander through the town, seeing all the familiar sights.

We visited Bookends and the lovely Ann and David and I got a copy of 'Daphne du Maurier and her sisters' by Jane Dunn, which is fascinating to read and I'm really enjoying it. Great to read something new on du Maurier!

We were staying in The Fowey hotel, which is a wonderful hotel, that doesn't seem to have changed much over the years! Was great to be reading the Jane Dunn book there and come across a mention from Angela du Maurier about staying at the hotel! Fantastic.

The next day was raining, so relieved we had had the sunshine of the day before, we holed up in Pinky Murphy's for a lot of the day and wrote weird poems and drank strawberry smoothies.

As always, I was very sad to have to leave Fowey, but am hoping to go back very soon. Really want to go to the Literary festival - it used to be the du Maurier festival, but it is now the Fowey Festival of Music and Words. REALLY want to go. It's finding somewhere to stay though. Maybe I can persuade some friends to go too... *hint*

Here's some more pictures from the stay:

Now, there's only a few days left of term and I will be home in under a week. It's gone alarmingly quickly! Scary really.

And I'm impatiently waiting for my copy of Requiem by Lauren Oliver to turn up.... hmph.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

We Like March

I can't believe where this term is going! It only seems like yesterday that I sat down to write that blog post about meeting JK Rowling, but it is already a week ago! It's crazy.

Things have been busy. I only have two seminars left (!) this academic year, which is mad and I'm sad to see this module come to an end. I'm looking forward to having May (once I've done the assigment for this module) onwards to work on my WIPs though, and being able to focus on getting lots done. I've learnt so much this year, I'm so glad I've done this course (another year to go! Whoop).

In writing news, I've been busy editing and working on various things. I've put George aside for now (have done so many edits on that story!), and am working on the other one I've been editing and revising recently.

I worked with some kids this week, on a creative writing course, that was based around Spring, and the tutor got them to learn this poem by Emily Dickinson:

We like March, his shoes are purple,
He is new and high;
Makes he mud for dog and peddler,
Makes he forest dry;
Knows the adder's tongue his coming,
And begets her spot.
Stands the sun so close and mighty
That our minds are hot.
News is he of all the others;
Bold it were to die
With the blue-birds buccaneering
On his British sky.
I adore it! Except, when I read it now, I read it in a way that is like kids reciting a poem! I really need to go read some more Emily Dickinson.

What else? I'm off to Fowey tomorrow for a semi - spontaneous trip with my aunt (yippeeeeeeeee) - favourite place ever and I'm SO VERY excited! Such an inspiring, wonderful amazing place! So excited!

Monday, 11 March 2013

J.K. Rowling Live

On Friday night I was lucky enough to see J.K. Rowling speak at the Bath Lit Festival. Seeing Jo live and actually getting the chance to meet her fulfilled one of my dreams. Jo is one of my heroes and biggest inspirations, and her words have been a huge comfort to me over the years. Harry Potter has helped me through some difficult times and has always been there for me to reread.

So, the talk itself was fascinating and brilliant. It was so wonderful to hear her speak, particularly as she so rarely makes public appearances. She talked about everything from The Casual Vacancy to Harry Potter to growing up to being a writer. I noted some things down because I didn't want to forget them, particularly some of the things she said about writing.

One of the first things she was asked to talk about was the adolescent characters in The Casual Vacancy, which if you've read it, are the characters that she is clearly drawn towards writing. She agreed with this and said that she was so fed up of seeing what her kids were watching and seeing a 'romancised adolsence' on TV. She wants to portray the pain and loneliness that teenagers feel, and not sugarcoat it. She also said something along the lines that being a teenager is a lonely time, and even the most extroverted teenagers are lonely and thinking inwardly about themselves as they try to figure out who they are.

When asked about whether the enforced loneliness of writing was difficult for her, she replied that 'I crave it'. I know this feeling so well that I was delighted to hear her say it! She also said that having to balance children and a family life, she is particularly good at switching her writing brain on and off, and scribbling things down when she needs to. I find my writing is often a bit like that, and so it was interesting to learn how she works! I love finding out how other writers work. She was asked several other questions about writing and advice for young writers.

About The Casual Vacancy she said that she had never set out to write a book 'like that', but the idea was one that had grabbed her and she knew she had to write it.

As for what she's working on now, she said that she's working on another children's novel (squeeeeeee!), which is probably for younger children.

And finally, about Potter and the potential of another book, she said well, probably not (she was asked about the possibilities of a Maurder prequel, and after a loud cheer for it, laughed a bit and said she didnt' like prequels much).

An amazing night, which is already a blur to me but I feel very privileged to have met one of my heroes and that she has signed my book! I can't remember much of that interaction, except I managed to blurt something out to her and that was it. An amazing moment. I have so much to thank Jo for. A totally inspirational evening.

Still hasn't really sunk in. I mean I met JK ROWLING! EEEEEEEEEEK!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

More Spring Musings

A sort of poem I wrote this morning when I saw it was actually sunny today:

Blue skies appear over a grey horizon,
Is Spring really here at last?
The world is waking up again,
The smell of Spring is in the air
And the anticipation of brighter days
Hangs around the corner
As I walk with a spring in my step.

Birthday Fun!

Spring is definitely in the air today! Whoop!

This weekend was crazy busy, as was to be expected, but it all went very well. If you follow me on twitter, you probably saw my happy tweets about the annual MethAng musical, and I apologise for that! This year it was actually on my birthday (usually it's just in the lead up) but it was a great day as I got to spend it all with my friends, and they bought my birthday cake and lots of lovely presents and it was a great day. Old friends came back to see the musical too, so it was good fun. I had much smaller roles this year so didn't have all that rehearsing to do, and so I took lots of photos!

The play went really well - I knocked over a piece of scenery as I went on stage (in my defence, we never usually have so much scenery...) and a couple of people fell over, but otherwise it went well and we raised an amazing amount of money for a local charity.

Afterwards, we had the usual after party to celebrate and it was awesome.

So it was a good weekend. And now spring is coming! Yay!

And this Friday I'm going to a little event at the Bath Book festival with a certain JK Rowling... eeeeek.

Anyway, today I have to finish editing an essay and a story in for tomorrow. Then I can get on with some editing again! Yay!

Friday, 1 March 2013

An Ode to Spring

Spring is round the corner and I couldn't have been more delighted. Spring, closely followed by Summer is my favourite time of year. I hate winter. I hate being cold and ill and the early dark nights and everything looking so dead. The beginning of March definitely hails the beginning of Spring and brighter times (maybe it's always helped that it's my birthday on the 2nd.... ahh, I'm getting old!!).

I just love Spring though. I love that the days begin to get longer, that it's light past five o'clock and light first thing in the morning. I love that it begins to get warmer. I love that new life begins. I love all the spring flowers. Daffodils and primroses and bluebells. They are my favourite flowers ever. Maybe it's something to do with having grown up in the countryside and on a farm, but I love the time of year when they all appear. I love walking through bluebell woods, with a carpet of bluebells.

Here's some lovely pictures for you, from a few years ago (I think.. the album on my computer just says 'Spring at home'): 

See! That's why I love it so much <3 Dreaming of walking through bluebell woods now....

And then spring leads onto wonderful summer, which is full of swimming, and tshirts and bare feet and long long lazy days and sitting outside reading and writing and watching Wimbledon and bbqs and fresh veg and fruit from the garden and STRAWBERRIES and TOMATOES and beautiful days (and we're in England so rainy days but still). SEE. IT'S AMAZING. I really am a country girl at heart aren't I?!

I think this is probably why I set most of my stories in the summer. Because to me it's a happy time, full of lazy lovely days and fun times and its warm and lovely and just splendid. I rarely write anything set in the winter. Weird really.

Bring on the Spring!

Pinch, Punch, First of the month to you all!