Thursday, 26 July 2012

Romantic Writers' Conference 2012

I had a fantastic time at the Romantic Novelists Association Conference 2012 in Penrith, Cumbria, absorbing myself in the atmosphere, meeting published an unpublished authors, attending various workshops, chatting about writing, meeting and making new friends. I'm a moderate wine drinker but I was amused at the copious amounts of wine being drunk. Apparently the 'kitchen parties', where members of the shared accommodation meet late at night, drink even more wine, are legendary. Say it almost in a whisper for to admit it would be met with looks of horror, but there were only three of us sharing a student house and we were all most circumspect. Suited me though. Perhaps it's my age.

The Conference is noted too for its display of shoes, the more exotic the better.  Lamentably, I can no longer wear high heels so in that respect I am a disgrace to the Association. Despite a nightmarish trip up to Penrith (necessitating three changes), I wouldn't have missed it for anything. I came away so inspired, encouraged and motivated, all fired up to get back to the writing. What happened? I came down with a nasty virus that has laid me low for the past two weeks.

Just to cheer myself up, I'm posting a pic of our table at the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening. The woman on the right of the picture is Marilyn Rodwell, a friend from the Birmingham Chapter of the RNA. Thanks for a great time, Marilyn. That's me in the middle.


Monday, 9 July 2012

D H Lawrence

Last week, our small book club (we only have five members!) went on our summer outing to the D H Lawrence Heritage Centre and Birthplace Museum in Eastwood, Nottingham. Despite all the rain we've had here in the UK this summer, last Thursday was a rare warm and occasionally sunny day so we were well blessed. Personally, I'm not that keen on D H Lawrence but it was interesting so see how a miner's son, born in relative poverty, became such an esteemed writer. Many of his books, such as 'Lady Chatterley's Lover,' were banned for being too obscene. Reading extracts from the book now, it all seems rather tame, but I remember the furore at the time the book went to trial under obscenity laws. The judge apparently asked the question, 'Would you want your wife to read this? Or your servants?' Even then in 1960, there weren't that many servants around! I wonder what that judge would make of the current best seller, 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'