Monday, 6 February 2012

In Deepest Darkest Derbyshire (or could be Cheshire)

I meant to mention this at at the time, but I spent a great few days in darkest Derbyshire (or possibly Cheshire; it was never entirely clear) on a writer's retreat, with the likes of George Mann and his brother Scott, Paul Magrs, Cav Scott, Mark Wright and several excellent, friendly and very industrious Black Library guys.  With my customary terror of the new, I half expected it to be horrible, full of people talking about tossers I didn't know getting seven figure publishing deals, and what a shit some editor I'd never heard of can be, but instead it was wonderfully restful and fun, from the moment Paul and I bagsied the warmest bedroom in the house, right at the very top of the winding, low beamed stairs all the way to saying goodbye to Mark in Manchester Piccadilly Station, seconds before I realised I'd missed my train!  I spent the days sitting cross-legged on one bed, with Paul using the other bed as a desk and tapped out an entire Zenith short story, which I'm quite pleased with, and a detailed breakdown of the first few chapters of My Great Novel.  An hour writing, then wander downstairs for a cuppa, always to find one of the guys or other had had the same idea and was therefore available for a natter, then back upstairs for another hour.  Knock off at tea time for big glasses of wine and pizza, and screeds of old telly and movies on George's big HD projector.  Sheer heaven.

It was great to get home though - that was the longest I've been away from J since we got married, after all, and I missed the family quite a bit.  It's great to get away and do something, especially in such fantastic company, but even Cam gave me a big cuddle when I got in (incidentally, I read Graham McCann's excellent biography of Terry-Thomas on the train home - highly recommended) and it always makes me happy to be sitting somewhere in the house, hearing the sound of my lot getting up to all sorts of shenanigans somewhere upstairs or down.

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