Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Festival of The Middle-Aged

Well this took me back. At least I had an en suite shower, eggy but functioning. Back in the day it was the communal washroom, a corridor of fifteen or so lecture-hardened women legging it for the last dregs of hot water each and every morning. I never made it. I blamed my daily misfortune entirely at the door of the banana skins I'd smoked the night before. But when you're nineteen years old, tepid will do, and anyway, the hang overs were worth it.

And here I was again - de ja vu - a student for three days. Not stoned but brain addled from motherhood and middle-age. No tie-dye or kaftans but neutral woollens and lycra-stretch trousers. The comfort factor. For two nights, I replaced memory foam for bed springs circa '87. I. Felt. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. And did I mind? Absolutely, categorically no! You see, I was in attendance at The Writers Festival, an event I'd been looking forward to for months. It didn't disappoint. Wine. New friendships. Fine dining in the student refectory - the mango and brie filo parcels were heavenly, and of course, cake and biscuits - a writer's staple.

It was wonderful to spend a weekend in the company of other writers talking about, well, writing. But I wasn't fooled by the mini courses and workshops or the presence of agents and publishers disguising the real agenda of the Festival, that we were all participating in a giant meeting of WA (writers anonymous)....

'It's a drug, I can't control it, I've been doing it for years, sometimes in the open, brazenly, in libraries, in coffee shops, but mainly behind doors, when no one's watching, no one else understands, but you do, that's why I'm here, to come out, as an addict I mean, this is so hard..... my name is Older Mum, and I'm, I'm, a blogger/writer, writer/blogger. Don't shoot me.' 

The average age of the festival goer casually rested on forty five years young. Sedate. Relaxed. Apart from Pam that is, a silver haired, 70's+ party wagon. I loved hanging out with her. She missed out on the Saturday of the previous year, totally hungover, rollickingly drunk on red wine the night before. She told me - little miss innocent - that people kept plying her with booze. I raised a questioning brow.

Then there was Tor, my life saving anchor for the whole event. Isn't it lovely when you just click? And someone who was writing magical realism and another who'd spent five years writing her post second world war crime thriller and another who..... it went on and on. And when someone asked me about my novel I was left scratching my head, 'it's about a DJ who, er, loses her record box...' I really know how to rock a pitch (not).        

But as it turns out, I received very positive feedback on my writing from both an agent and a book doctor (big-up yourself Older Mum). And that's left me in a bit of quandary....

Now I'm ever so determined to finish the first draft of Four Gigs. End of the year is my goal. I'm in an uncomfortable situation where it's novel vs. blog. What do I do? All that consumes me is the next chapter and what my characters are doing. I've even caught myself talking like the main protagonist! This has left no head space for ideas for blog posts. It's completely full at the inn. And I have to participate in NaNoWriMo this November, it'll give me such a push....

....So I might have to blog a little less.

Please don't shoot me! 
     

56 comments:

  1. Glad you had a great time at the Festival. If you blog less, I will miss you, but I'll see you on the other side. :-) xx

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    1. It was brilliant! Only a little less with the blogging - there's still lots I want to write about on here too! :o). X.

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  2. It sounds amazing. Good luck, good luck and good luck! We will be here when you have more time for the blog again! ;)

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    1. It was a great weekend.... I'm hoping I have more time soon :o).

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  3. It sounds great - I envy you and your escape. I've done writing workshop days but never a full course. Would love to do an Arvon Foundation one - browse their courses but always a bit anxious I won't be good enough. Well done on the novel: I reckon you should go for it. Blogland will wait.What is NaNoWriMo? Is it that thing where you write so many words a day for a month? Might commit to get my memoir done. It has stalled since the start of the new term.

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    1. The weekend was great thank you. That's every writer's curse, 'am I good enough' - don't worry about that and just go for it - you'll learn so much, and yes, NaNoWriMo is novel writing month starting on 1st November.

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  4. Good times for you - definitely focus on the book, I know I would!
    And you know how hard that is for me to say ;) x

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    1. I'm on a roll now.... but I still plan to do a few posts on here too! I love this blog too much! :o). X

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  5. book,book,book.
    i am stuck between my blog and a script, mainly doing neither.

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    1. So that will be the book then eh? :o). Script. Script. Script. :o).

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  6. Get on with the book *did I just say that out loud* :) seriously, writing is your passion no matter where you do it, but the book is your labour of love xx

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    1. Yes you did! I heard you through the computer screen :o).... and it's certainly a labour of love! X

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  7. The joy of a blog is that it is your space to do what you want with, when you want to. You make the rules and I'd say the rule you should be making for yourself at the moment is 'focus on the book'. And hey, there's always microblogging - some of my favourite posts to read are the shorties that get straight to the point about one thing> Good luck whatever you decide xx

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    1. And I totally agree with you, and I Iike the idea of smaller, micro posts. Thank you lovely! X

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  8. Aw wow I'm so excited for you! You are too good a writer and deserve this so much. Go with the book, we will all be here waiting :) Totally agree with the above comment xxx ps huge thank you for the lovely comment on my blog!

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    1. Thank you very much.... I am going with the novel, but still plan on doing a few posts. My pleasure re. comment. X

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  9. Good luck!! Focus on the book so we can all read it! :)

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    1. I am going to, and so nice to know so many of you want to read it when it's done! :o)

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  10. So pleased (though not surprised) to hear you got plenty of positive feedback. Sounds like the perfect time to use all that lovely positive energy to push on and finish the first draft. Very exciting! May the words continue to flow xx

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    1. Thank you very much.... and that's what I'm doing now, pushing on with it, getting those words out... X

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  11. hurrah! I have been looking forward to find out how that went and glad it went well. you may yet inspire me to get off my butt...anyway can't wait for the book

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    1. It went really well, thank you. Will probably go back again next year. You might be waiting a while for the book. :o)

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  12. book! but will miss you :)

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    1. Right decision but I still plan to blog a little! :o)

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  13. I don't mind if you blog less because then I'll get to read the book sooner :-) xxx

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    1. That made me smile... hope to have the book finished at some point next year! X

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  14. So glad you enjoyed yourself. I can feel your smile. Your space. Do what you will. Your life, darling. We're still here - ish and blogging much less ourselves, some of us. xx

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    1. I did indeed, and I still have the smile - it was a great weekend. So far plugging away most days and getting there... X.

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  15. Well, a title like that dragged me right over for a look-see! And I am not disappointed! Great post. Loved catching up on your Writer's Festival, it sounds amazing and fun with lots of interesting, like-minded people.
    I'm not surprised that you gained their attention, your writing is brilliant!
    You're on a roll and you've got an attainable goal. Go for it, I say. realise your dream.
    There's only 3 months to go. Blog a simple post every now or then, if you can. Or not. Either way we'll still be here when you're ready to come back :-)

    Best of luck... I'm so excited for you!!

    xx Jazzy

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    1. Ha ha ha! Glad the title caught your eye. The Writer's Festival was great - I had such a good time, and so glad I received such positive feedback... that really gave me lots of motivation.

      And I still intend to publish a post here and there.

      (I'm excited too). X

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  16. Seize the day ( or should that be the page?). This is your time. Recent posts (#one week) show that when you do come back to the blog, your posts are no less popular. I think most of us are just happy when a post pops up from our fave blogger if they've been away awhile.

    Good luck - you can do it! x

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    1. I plan to lovely! And so far it's going well, plodding away each day.... I've found goal setting has really helped too. Thank you! X

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  17. Oh Sarah it does sound like you had a fabulous time and got loads out of it. Go for your goal, I don't think anyone will fall out with you for concentrating on your dream. You could always Blog without words for a while, just put on a few pictures, that way you can keep all your writing creative juices for your novel xx

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    1. It was a really great weekend, and an understatement to say I got loads out of it :o). So now I am concentrating on the novel - and it certainly feels like I am doing the right thing. And I do intend to post here and there! X

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  18. You have to finish Four Gigs because it will be brilliant, you are a superb writer. It sounds like you had a wonderful time - I quite like the idea of hooking up with the party wagon! Go forth and multiply lovely, you're doing great :)

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    1. I had a great time.... and I am very determined to get the book finished now, thank you. And thank you and thank you. :o)

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  19. Great post - I have been having a similar dilemma! Blogging was great to get me back into writing but I cannot keep up with everything so may have to brave it and blog less...as scary as it feels... Good luck and look forward to seeing a copy of Four Gigs in my local bookshop ;-)

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    1. Thank you..... I prefer to blog less, and, then, when I do, to write quality posts (but that's subjective eh?) . If it isn't on a book shelf it will be downloadable on Amazon. :o).

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  20. Love it, and your sense of humour too! Really wish I could have come to that festival too, it sounds great. Good luck with Four Gigs! xx

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    1. Thank you! The festival was great thank you... trying to plug away at it every day! X

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  21. No shooting going to be happening this end but I do miss your blogs :( You're doing the right thing though and you know it. Sounds like your festival was simply fabulous!

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    1. And I still intend to post here and there or I would really miss my blog too! The festival was great!

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  22. Good on you! I love your writing so will accept less blogging in return for yoy finishing Four Gigs ;-) xx

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    1. Thank you very much! I still intend to carry on the blog though! :o)

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  23. The festival sounds wonderful especially the way you tell it. Keep going with that book, we'll be here waiting when you can blog, when a little idea pops into your head. x

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    1. It was brilliant thank you! And I still intend to blog - it's just finding the time now! X

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  24. I won't shoot you, mostly as having read the snippet of four gigs you posted online, I cannot wait to read the rest! So I won't shoot you, but I will miss you! Are you blogfest ing? Be fab to see you again if so! :)

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    1. I will still post here and there! :o). And I will be at Blog fest, so I will see you there lovely! X.

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  25. Sounds wonderful as does your book. Keep plugging away, I've done nothing since Britmums on mine. I really must get motivated!

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    1. I've added a touch of discipline now.... trying to write 500 words a day when I can!

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  26. I loved the flashbacks to college/student days then giggled when I read mango & brie filo parcels! Such a contrast! I'm so pleased you had such a good time on your course, and that you met someone who you just clicked with. So pleased too that your writing was recognised as being excellent. I can't wait to read your book, and maybe the odd blog post here and there will give you the break from the novel you might need? xx

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    1. I am sure they don't serve the mango and brie filo parcels to the students! I had a great time thank you.... and I still plan to publish the odd blog post or five! X.

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  27. I so can't wait until Four Gigs is finished, it's very exciting indeed! Can you imagine you will have your very own book, well deserved too - you're one of my favourite writers on the interwebs :)

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    1. Neither can I! Ha ha ha ha :o) Well I do hope I have my very own book (one day). Thank you... that's a very kind thing to say. :o)

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  28. Novel wins over blog no contest. Get it done! Do you write a new novel during WriNoMoWhatsit? I am tempted to do it every year but always find an excuse. Maybe this year I'll give it a go. Good luck!

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    1. I am getting there... plodding away each day, and blogging less... and I will be joining in Nanowrimo in November too!

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