Why I knitted a year away


It is often said that moving house tops the list for the most stressful situations in life. I’ve recently experienced that truth; we were moving, to an interim home in the country, just as my husband came out of hospital.

We looked out to lush pastures, Alpacas, ponies, and Shetland cattle. A bucolic setting; good for my husband’s recovery, and mine. Until … my heart decided to change its rhythm; racing at intervals, making me swoon (lovely word) during my daily walks. Continue reading

The San Francisco Writing Workshop

San Fran Hill2 cropped

The rooms at the art centre were somewhat austere, although the atmosphere created by the facilitator Tom Jenks, was anything but. He was, I learned soon enough, passionate about literature, and the nature of writing, but more of that to come.

As outlined in the programme, mornings began with two participants being critiqued. Extracts were read in turn. Next, would be the feedback from the group, as these were the works we had close-read previously. Tom would also encourage us to speak about certain aspects of the work and later, bring his ideas into the discussion, which sometimes became heated; especially I remember, when it came to my work. Continue reading

An unexpected journey

Fort_Mason_Center_and_Downtown_San_FranciscoI just happened to see an advertisement in a literary magazine I subscribe to,  Narrative, where one of the editors was calling for applications to his forth-coming writing workshops in New York and San Francisco. ‘How exciting’ I thought, and then squashed that frivolity with the prosaic ‘don’t be stupid’.

But I kept thinking about those workshops.  I had travelled to many cities in many countries, but not San Francisco. I was restless, my future in limbo, and decided I had nothing to lose by submitting samples of my work: a requirement for selection. Only twelve participants would be chosen; it was highly unlikely I’d be one of them. I sent off two short stories anyway and tried to forget the whole thing.  Continue reading