It's been week of wall-to-wall parties, with several Leo birthdays - including mine - and other celebrations. Main activity with writerly connections was a walk with travel writer John Payne who will be joining our Coleridge Way 'inspirational creative trek' later this year. As a limbering-up for this project, John found us an utterly beautiful walk from Westwood Manor through woods and by field paths to the river by Farleigh Hungerford, a place I used as the setting for a key event in my first novel. We stopped for a swim - my first since the time that gave me the idea for Kirsty's story - then tea & cakes at the farm. Walking back with afternoon sun flushing the quaking grasses in swathes across butterfly-flitted meadows, seeing the sudden stacato elegance of a bounding deer, I think our 'creative trek' could indeed be inspirational.
And so we bop and stagger our way into August when the Frome Literary scene, unlike an Italian coastal campsite, goes all quiet. I commend you to your own scribings - try browsing these helpful thoughts, especially good if you've got writers' angst and inspirational quotes would be as likely to make you clap your hands as that if-you're-happy-and-you-know-it song.
Here's A. L. Kennedy's advice to a young person trying to become a writer: 'Don't. It won't make any difference because they'll do it anyway, but they really shouldn't.' DH Lawrence wrote when he felt spiteful because it was like having a good sneeze; John Mortimer laments that the shelf-life of a modern writer is 'somewhere between the milk and the yoghurt.'
And there's Asimov: 'I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.' - now that's not a jest, surely? Sounds like a fact to me.