I am now offering a critique and manuscript assessment service. For further details, please e mail me at

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Festivals - very little mud and non-portable toilets. They screw them to the floor, you know.

I am returned from the York Festival of Writing, where I helped with some workshops.  Well, I say helped, mostly I was in the background making faces and shuffling papers whilst trying to look official.  If anyone reading my words here has never been to a Writing Conference/Convention/Festival/Booze-up, then I can thoroughly recommend the experience.

Kate Allan and I (but for my input see above) held a Character master-class, where my clothes were lightly insulted, a bell went missing and many copies of Hello were sacrificed for the cause.  To find out why, then you'll have to sign up for the next one..

 All my woollens come pre-bobbled.  It saves time.

The Choc Lit girls (well, Lyn and Sue and Pia and I) did a bit of a talk about Choc Lit, although we didn't actually have any chocolate to give out, which was a shame since (see a previous blog) I am still in possession of a Christmas tin of Quality Street and those damned Ferreroroeoroer Rochers, so I could have helped out more than I did.  It turned out that Lyn had one smallish bar of chocolate, and we offered to let the assembled audience watch us eat it, but they declined.  Tony got his name check, in case you were wondering.

My Coming Soon Book.You know, in case you'd forgotten, or something.

Julie Cohen and I then gave a talk on Writing Romantic Comedy.  Well, Julie did.  I made jokes about Whooopee cushions, threatened to take off my clothes and generally carried on like a bit of a loon while Julie (bless her) carried the show.  She was still smiling by the end, and I still had all my clothes on, but it wasn't for want of trying. I thoroughly enjoyed myself during this one (which is usually a bad sign) and hope that someone lets me do it again, or at least lets me caper in the background while Julie talks.  Julie also did Her Joke, but I shall never speak of this again.  We also threatened to fight over sex, or at least funny sex, but were pulled apart at the last minute by kind people.

 This is Julie's latest. It's lovely.  She's lovely too... sigh. 

Of course, it wasn't all about me, however much I wish this were the case, there were many other workshops and mini-courses going on, lots of people being enlightened and agents looking hunted, and some buns.  Once I worked out how the Kit Kat machine operated there were also bits of biscuit everywhere, I made a Great Spanx Discovery, people were nice to me and I re-met some old friends, one of whom was forced to take part in the Flannel Relay, and if all this sounds completely bizarre....well, I guess you had to be there.

Next year, you will, won't you?  I'll keep my clothes on...

PS, the Spanx Discovery I made was that they had a split crotch.  Not, presumably, for sexual purposes because, after all, who's going to attempt sex when they are wearing knee to ribcage lycra? 

Oh.  Okay.  Some people might.  But not me.  It would be like having sex inside an inner tube.


Ranae Rose said...

This (and past blog entries) leaves me under the impression that a workshop with you would be a very interesting workshop indeed!

And I find your Spanx Discovery enlightening. Perhaps its so that the illusion of a trimmer figure can be carried into the bedroom instead of being discarded just when someone's about to get an up-close look at said figure.

Julie Cohen said...

I can vouch that the workshop with Jane was very interesting indeed! And you were excellent, Jane, and the whoopee cushions did have a serious point behind them. (That is not a double-entendre. Really.)

My joke was good, though! It was!

Jane Lovering said...

Thank you both for your faith in me (and my pants). Now I've just about recovered from the whole weekend (and the fact that it's taken me a week should tell you all you need to know about the Festival), I am looking forward to doing it all again! Except, possibly, the Spanx thing.