Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I don't know how I got the idea October would be a quiet month. Tuesday's the first meeting since our Kendal jaunt for the "Live Literature" consortium (Q: Is "Spoken Word Performance" a better term? Discuss.) Jo Dereza summarises feedback: overwhelmingly positive. So there'll be another Lit Up showcase in 2008, goodee. We talk about poetry performance programming, how to develop audiences, and the diversity of interests in the southwest -well we are, as Colin Brown points out, bigger than Portugal.
I'm relieved when I emerge from Arts Southwest's Exeter office to find the torrential rain has eased and a penitant sun is busy prettifying the field views as I drive across country for an evening visit with one of my mentees. Elspeth Penny lives in an old farm house just below the iron age fort of Cadbury Castle, and despite a new baby still finds the energy and enthusiasm for her writing, though time is more difficult. She breastfeeds Arthur while we discuss character development. I'm impressed.
Thursday, and my friend Jane Bailey from Cheltenham has come to Frome Library to talk about her books 'Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven' and 'Mad Joy', and her writing life, in the Library to an intent & appreciative audience. She's candid about the need to be brusque with memories. "Why shackle yourself to truth? Fiction has far more possibilities of being dangerous and passionate. Have fun with it."
And an equally enjoyable evening: Sarah Duncan's launch party, at Bath Waterstones, for her new novel 'Nice Girls Do". She treats us to a reading from the opening - the opening line, in fact: "Sex". Here's Sarah with her proud publisher, and my friends Alison Clink and Katie Fforde finding writerly things in common - ie the fact I've asked them to pose for me!

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