Sunday, May 21, 2017

Inspiring theatre

Back from a couple of days relaxing and enjoying in York - can one have a birthday *month* celebration?

One of the best things while there was attending this great Watermill Theatre production of Twelfth Night  at York Theatre Royal. The thing I love about creativity and creative people is the way that something so often repeated can be replayed again and again with a new twist, a new approach, a new setting and so becomes something new instead of the same old same old.

I suppose I'm very conscious of this because the sort of romances I write are so often dismissed as 'all the same' or - even worse - painting by numbers stories! The truth is that in the hands (and minds) of an inspired writer/director/actor, something you have seen/read/heard so often before can take on a whole new edge and emphasis and while telling the same story yet again can make it new and fresh and as a result parts of it ring sharper and have more impact than before. For example, I'd never have thought that a female Sir Toby Belch would work . . .

This production is reimagined in the 1920s where prohibition is rife and Europe is still reeling in the wake of war. With a great selection of energetic jazz music, and with an innovative approach to staging, the hugely talented cast created a fabulous and fresh version of a play I have seen so many times. So glad we saw it

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

VERY special weekend

Many many thanks to every kind person who sent me  fabulous birthday wishes.  I  was away in the countryside in Derbyshire enjoying a wonderful birthday weekend in a lovely cottage, with some very special friends. We shared so much fun and laughter, writing discussions, walks in the bluebell woods, fabulous food courtesy of Sallyann, a glass of prosecco or two - so much happiness and the joy of sharing friendship. The best birthday present (and there were a couple of wonderful gifts to unwrap too!!)

I've managed to get some photos to share - the lovely cottage and the bluebell wood - and a rather special cake! Once upon a time the fabulous organisers of Writers' Holiday let slip the WH nickname of Ms Whiplash for me on-air for a radio broadcast - and the nickname stuck. So now, Gerald P Hobbs
 - and Anne - I am coming prepared for this summer - July 24th-29th - can't wait!!  ;-)

Thank you to everyone who posted birthday wishes - and to

my lovely friends who shared a fabulous birthday weekend - and gave me this cake!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Special weekend

I'm not at all sure where time  has gone - but somehow it's almost the weekend and I've been so looking forward to this weekend.

 Can't think of any way better to celebrate a special day than to meet with special friends - people who care about you - and have a long weekend in a farm cottage in the countryside. I expect there will be a lot of laughter, great food and a really relaxing time . Just what I need to help me ignore getting older . ..

After I posted the great news about Rachael Thomas's brilliant success people have been enquiring about courses and I meant to post details of the ones coming up but time has just s-l-i- p-p-e-d away from me. And now I'm busy packing for that weekend - but I will post more details when I get back - or you can check out Writers' Holiday for the next summer course - Writing Romantic Fiction - if you can't wait. I will be in Derbyshire. . . 

Celebrating a student's success

    Years ago, I taught my very first Writing Romance course at Fishguard Writing Weekends with  Writers Holiday

    In that class was lovely Rachael Thomas who had a dream of becoming a writer of romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon. She was one of the hardest working people in pursuit of her dreams that I have ever met. She tried and submitted, got knocked back, tried again . . . Once she even thought about giving up - but she didn't. 

     What's that they say about... success being able to get up one more time than you've been knocked down - well, Rachael proved that. She never gave up on her dream. And now, today she is celebrating the publication of her 10th Romance - Di Marcello's Secret Son. That's definitely worth celebrating. Dreams really can come true - specially if you work as hard at them as Rachael!

    I'm so so pleased for you Rachael - and so proud of all you've achieved since you were in that very first class (though I miss having you as one of my student!)

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