After a course free day on Tuesday it was back to work with a vengeance on Wednesday. For a change, I decided to try Comedy Sketches, a two part course run by Tony Kirwood. After all, laughter is the best medicine. There was good news and bad news. Writing sketches for radio is apparently the best way to break in which is great but the sketches I came up with were visual, so there’ snot much I can do with them right now. If anyone reading this wants a couple of very short sketches to film or whatever, get in touch.
From 11.15 to 12.15 it was back to Xanthe’s course on finding inspiration for novels. The focus for this session was learning to trust your instincts plus a guided imagery session where we were asked to meet, and draw, our inner critic. My inner critic has dogged me all my life, and not just with my writing. It’s been like living with an evil parrot sitting on my shoulder telling me I’m old fat unlovable useless and ugly. Why I’ve never strangled it, I don’t know. If it was a real parrot it would have gone back to the shop decades ago. Xanthe explained that getting rid of the critic altogether isn’t the best idea. Instead she gave us a way of managing it instead. When I want to be inspired or creative or to simply get on with writing, or living, I can either sit on the picture of the inner critic or lock it away in the fridge or a drawer. I can’t tell you how brilliant that idea felt. For me, it was worth the entire fee for the school.
I skipped The Write Hour as I felt I’d done enough useful work for one day. The Write Hour ran each day (except Tuesday). People could go to a choice of sessions led y a facilitator (poetry, memoir, storytelling or scriptwriting) and actually get to write something. I only managed one, run by the lovely Marion, and it was great.
That night we had a couple of speakers – David and Hilary Crystal who gave us a quick tour of the UK looking at the way the English language developed. It was a bit dry for me, probably because I’d had such a busy day and wasn’t in the mood for anything serious but it seemed to go down well with most people.
Then, at 9.30, the highlight of the week, or at least one of them, when the mini plays and sketches were performed. As always most of them were hilarious. My dear friend, Betty Moulder, a white badger this year, threw herself in the deep end with a part as a grieving widow spider.
The winner was a spoof about a legend surrounding the lake at Swanwick where a bundle of clothes are found and it’s thought a suicide has taken place. For me, the best part was definitely when Simon Hall appeared wearing a guitar and very little else.
Wednesday night is traditionally a time when any members of Leeds Writers Circle, attending Swanwick, share a bottle or two of champagne, courtesy of Dennis Clarkson. Last year, it became something of a battle to see which of us would be the last to give in and go to bed (me). Sadly, this year the party didn’t include me…
Of course, this being Swanwick, the fun wasn’t over. Lesley had organised a session of Scottish dancing. Despite some annoying technical troubles, a good time was had by all. I didn’t risk dancing. On Tuesday, I’d gone for a hike into town to get some cash for my dear friend Betty who, sensibly, didn’t fancy a long walk. Foolishly I went between classes and didn’t change my shoes. The result, blisters and a damaged foot.
Sorry about the photo but at least this was taken once it was on the mend!