Thursday, 11 March 2010

stories, mountains and a lovely cream tea...

So, Monday was Northwest Voices at Words on the Water. A sunny drive up the M6 and along to Keswick. Quick hello to my lovely friend Geraldine who lives nearby, and then down to Theatre by the Lake.

This was my first reading in over six months. You may not remember, but I was a bit under the weather towards the end of last year and I had to cancel a couple of readings. But, this was an event I was keen to take part in. One, because I was asked to do it by Ra Page from Comma Press, who published my short story Lindy. Two, because I would be reading short fiction, and usually I'm asked to read poetry. Three, because Keswick is just so beautiful. Plus, other wonderful readers, some known and some not.

There was a lovely lunch put on for us, salmon and everything. I might have eaten a bit too much, that's me and a free lunch.

Then a whole afternoon of readings. My highlights were Jackie Hagan's poetry, which I always enjoy: crazy, lovely, gut-wrenching poems performed beautifully. After the poets (and a little walk down to the lake for me) was short fiction, me reading Lindy, and Zoe Lambert reading an brilliant excerpt from a short story about child soldiers. We were the dark section of the event, perhaps! We had a Q&A after our readings with some interesting questions from Ra and the small but friendly audience. Given that I haven't read for a good while, I thought it went well. Deadly silence as I was reading, a good hearty clap, and some interesting questions from people afterwards. Ra and Jim from Comma were bloody lovely about me and my story, so it was a good old boost to my confidence.

Then another break, cake and onto the novelists, as usual it was a pleasure to hear Jenn Ashworth read. This time a very funny love scene from A Kind of Intimacy, more questions, more cake and a big hearty discussion about 'Surviving as a Writer.' Phew... a long but brilliant and interesting day, with lots of informal chit chat, cups of tea, and all kinds of literary loveliness.



Then, double triple treat, I went to stay at Geraldine's for chat, gorgeous dinner, throwing sticks for Roydog, the best sleep I've had in ages, a morning walk up Lattrig with stunning views over the Lake District, an afternoon at a very posh spa where we sat outside in a hottub surrounded by fir trees, swam, relaxed, sauna'd, and finished it all off with the most delicious hot scones, clotted cream, jam and tea.

Sigh.

This is what holidays from work are all about....

3 comments:

green ink said...

I sighed reading this :) Good on you, great to hear you had a successful reading and a lovely break. I'm making scones on the weekend now :) x

Lychee said...

Sounds lovely. It has been a while since I checked in your blog and glad to see things seem to be going well for you.

Michelle said...

Sounds like you had an absolutely gorgeous time, Annie. Your photos are beautiful. I'm looking forward to reading some of Jackie Hagan's poetry x