Tuesday, 1 July 2014

She Who Dares Writes: Paddling downstream

She Who Dares Writes: Paddling downstream: Summer brings a chaos of work like the swarm of black winged damselflies that danced about our boats this weekend. Time to take a break, pa...

Paddling downstream


Summer brings a chaos of work like the swarm of black winged damselflies that danced about our boats this weekend. Time to take a break, paddle Sudbury to the sea, well, halfway for me - Sudbury Quay to a campsite by Nayland. The river Stour flows like molten glass over shallow shale and luminous green weeds, it cuts through bamboo in jungle mimicry, widens below rope swings and winds between overgrown banks. A true Wind in The Willows river. The tranquility makes the aching arms worthwhile, the company and camaraderie of the She Who Dares girls cancels out weekday stress and strain.
It was a wonderful weekend, meandering along the water, wrapped in the warmth of a June day. The leaden sky above finally broke and laced us with cold rain at one point and the waterproofs were unpacked for a short time. Reaching the campsite it was warm enough to swim in the Stour as children hung on a rope swing above.
I was heaved out, pants full of mud, grateful that we stayed in Carters Corner Bed and Breakfast, with comfy beds, hot showers and a feast of breakfast. The others feasted on pots of chilli cooked over the campfire and toasted marshmallows on the embers before completing their journey the next day, while I went home to sleep.

Thank you girls

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

She Who Dares Writes: Dolly mixtures or Allsorts

She Who Dares Writes: Dolly mixtures or Allsorts: What a mixed bag the last few months have been. I miss the literary circles and study in London, this time last year I was preparing my dis...

Dolly mixtures or Allsorts


What a mixed bag the last few months have been. I miss the literary circles and study in London, this time last year I was preparing my dissertation. On re-reading it, I'm not sure who wrote it, how quickly intellectual capability fades. This year's Creative Writing MA students will be getting their final pieces ready to submit - good luck all! There is life after the MA, it's just a little quieter and takes more determination to write.

I've edited and re-edited the first 50 pages of my YA novel - Girl In The Box - a coming of age story set in Blackpool, a slice of Northern Fantastic Realism. Tanks to my ex-tutor, the talented Julia Bell, for the tagline! It's ready to send out, so I'm lining up targets, off it goes into the wide blue yonder to the screens and desktops of literary agents and publishing folk. I hope it makes a little dent on someone's daily slush pile.

While I re-edit the rest of the novel, trying to catch characters who disappeared half way through, re-order sentences and correct incredible typo's, I have to keep on with other projects. A couple of short stories, a book for my parents golden wedding anniversary and juggling my father's memoirs into the semblance of a new story.

Meanwhile .... The day job calls and I'm looking for storytellers who will run sample workshops with school and train up our people at Hatfield Forest for when we make our own story circle. Let me know if you know of anyone.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

She Who Dares Writes: Poem! First draft of a little poem I'm writing abo...

She Who Dares Writes: Poem! First draft of a little poem I'm writing abo...: Poem! First draft of a little poem I'm writing about where I work, all to do with Spirit of Place There is a special place of ancient ...
Poem! First draft of a little poem I'm writing about where I work, all to do with Spirit of Place

There is a special place of ancient trees and space
A place of hoep field
Of oak and ash and maple
Where trees whisper century secrets to a placid lake
Where children play in branches held by hands of Hornbeam
Run down rides of wide green and hide in copses
Build dens and gather for family picnics.
Of chasing dogs, quiet deer, leaping squirrels and stoic sheep
Of people who have heart and passion
Who crave space and time to breathe
This place is ours
This place is yours
Our forest
Our Hatfield

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

She Who Dares Writes: A return to the river

She Who Dares Writes: A return to the river: Back to form, writing an article for Canoe monthly about She Who Dares: She who Dares are an inimitable group of like minded women who mee...