6.00pm. 4th November 2017 … I’m sitting at Southampton Airport digesting my day which all seems a bit of a blur.  I had very little sleep during the early hours of this morning as the excitement started building, bubbling up inside me in anticipation of what the day was going to bring.

WW Winchester

The Writers’ Workout at Winchester University, part of the 2017 Winchester Writers’ Festival, for me, started on the 3rd November when I stayed the night on campus, rekindling my student days.

Rekindling my student days

Despite my suspect knees, I traversed up and down Winchester University’s campus … getting to know my way around …

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo

… before spending the evening in the pub across the road.

The following morning, pumped, despite being deprived of sleep, I headed for the Writers’ Workout venue, the impressive St. Alphege Building, even in the drizzle.  Downhill all the way … wheee … lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo.

The impressive St. Alphege Building (left) venue of the Writers’ Workout

What followed was day of creative stimulation provided by:

Judith HeneghanStepping into Character.   Talk about a wake up call.  My first workout of the day and I got really stuck into this. Including taking a photograph of the portrait of the girl I wrote about during this session.

The portrait of the girl I wrote about in Judith Heneghan’s session

Isabel RogersSmall is Beautiful.  You know what?  That’s so true.  Edit, edit, edit … get rid of the a’s, the and’s, the the’s, the just’s, the that’s etc.

Stephen ThompsonStyling it – Narrative Voice. Tell it how you see it!

Lorna FergussonA Sense of Place. Have you read Lorna Fergusson’s The Chase?  I suggest you do if you want to learn about a sense of place … although The Chase is so much more than that.  I started reading it at the airport and had to be prised off the aircraft, book in hand, on arrival in Jersey.

Adrienne Dines Raising the Emotional Stakes.  There is so much to learn in terms of creating emotional conflict in your writing and there is nobody better to teach it than Adrienne.  

Adrienne the Brookham Belles
Nobody spins a yarn better than the effervescent Adrienne Dines.  Photo Credit:  Great Brookham Belles

I haven’t felt so exhilarated for quite some time. What a workout.  What a day.  It lived up to all expectations and more, I met some wonderful people as well.  Roll on 2018.

00.10 5th November 2017 … Just slumped into bed in a haze of creative complacency.  It’s been around 4 hours since I returned home and  I am replete.  Did I flex my creative writing muscles?  You bet I did.