Wednesday 22 February 2012

Group 2012 and a breadstick experiment

I've got a bit of a confession to make. I've been attending a writing class for the last two months. I didn't post about the first meet because it was all very new (and quite scary) and I wasn't sure I had the nerve to go back (I still don't really think of myself as a 'proper writer', which may be part of the problem). This time I had dutch courage (in the form of a single malt before I set out) so let me introduce you Group 2012.

Set up as a joint venture between Blackwells, the Oxford Editors and Hersilia Press the group aims to support its members by inviting published authors to give talks and advice and supporting work in progress by offering feedback and advice. The first session was a mixed meet and greet where the aims were put in place. The second meeting we had the quite wonderful James Attlee talking about his latest book Nocturne: A Journey in Search of Moonlight (and offering copies up for a very reasonable price, alas I didn't go via the cashpoint on the way but I will be buying a copy of Nocturne for my dad's birthday & a copy for myself if my bookcases can bear any extra strain). The talk itself was fascinating, James describing how he had followed stories and images of the moon through time and cultures ending up with a kind of distilled essence from which the book flowed.
We had the opportunity to quiz him after he had finished and I asked about his top tips for writing when you have a job as well (as he does, good man). He told me that you have to train your brain into the habit. He had written lots of stuff on the train to and from work in what would have usually been dead time & he now knew this was writing time so it was easy to stick to.
 Certainly food for thought as my rewrites don't seem to be going anywhere quickly at the moment. The rest of the meet was given over to socialising and attempting a critique with something already published as real critiques are due to be happening at the next meet (my friend Ali will also be talking about his newish book the man who rained, which I ranted about on here already) so lots to look forward to there. You can follow the progress of the group on their blog here (I believe there is an official post being written about the Feb meet at some point).
The second bit of this blog title refers to a connected but quite different part of the event. We had been told to bring a bottle and treats to share. I decided as I'm in a bit of a bread phase to take some homemade breadsticks. I made them in 3 flavours Parmesan, salt and chili. They turned out wonderfully (the Parmesan and salt being particularly good).
I then discovered (to my horror) that the meet was not on the Monday as I had it in my diary but on the Wed. Homemade breadsticks do not keep (and these indeed went v.mushy) and even the chickens refused to eat them, so I ended up taking these.

Honestly the best laid plans...

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