Oh gawd. In my writing life, I am at that terrible pitching stage when you know that people are reading your new manuscript but you don’t yet know what they think of it.
And so I am distracting myself in the only sensible way I know . May I introduce you, ladies and gentlemen and boys and girls, to my first…..(pause for dramatic effect) sourdough starter.
Yup. I have finally gone and done it. Whizzed up some flour and water, with a little guidance from the lovely Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
I have popped the starter in a glass jar and given it a warm and cosy spot in the kitchen. I have given it some very special tlc. I have fed it daily.
And now I am being rewarded with lots of lovely bubbles, which is apparently precisely what we want.
Just a few more days, according to my bread guru Hugh, and I will be ready to bake with it.
Never mind that my elder son – currently home from uni – apparently “hates” sour dough bread. Never mind that the Husband keeps eyeing the jar as if it is some Frankenstein experiment.
I am a happy lady. More sweet than sour, you might say.
Here’s hoping the new pitching bubbles along just as nicely.
Had a bit of a Victor Meldrew moment this week. (Script-wise not in sentiment, that is.)
Me: “I don’t believe it.”
“I don’t believe it!”
“Er; You’ve said that….”
In my hand a brown envelope containing not a bill, not a tax form, not a pack of complex paperwork relevant to recent family traumas ( very sadly we get a lot of those) but a wonderful, delicious and completely unexpected surprise.
“We got the Arts Council Grant!”
*dances around room very, very unlike Victor Meldrew much to the amusement of the Husband*
Oh lovely blog followers, I cannot tell you how happy I am.
Last year I piloted a new Creative Writing Workshop for aspiring short story writers. Having had dozens of short stories published over the last decade, I wanted to share all that I had learned along the way. I get a bit soap boxy about short stories as regular readers will know. Whether you are writing commercial stories for the magazine market as I do regularly or stunning vignettes a la Paul Lasdun ( a favourite contemporary short story writer of mine), I consider them the most wonderful platform for both inspiration and experimentation.
As I tell all my students, there are so many superb opportunities. Competitions to enter such as The Bridport Prize and The National Short Story Award. And even if publication or competitions are not your motivation – there is the tremendous sense of achievement along with inevitable growth as a writer.
Anyway; I’m wittering. Sorry.
The fact is the new workshop went down a storm and me, being me, I got a bit ambitious. Why not try to take this same workshop on a tour, I thought? To reach more people? Help grow their confidence? And hang on a minute, Teresa. Why not line it up alongside my other soap box….helping to promote libraries which we all know are having such a very tricky time in this difficult financial landscape. Yes. Why not try to make this a Writers’ Workshop tour of libraries and to ensure fairness and open accessibility, find a way to make the workshop places FREE.
I put my thinking cap on. I did some research. I decided that with my TV and writing profile, I just might stand a chance for a small grant from Arts Council England to make all this happen. And so to my delight, the brown envelope arrived, confirming a "YES" – which means we can offer 100 FREE places at 10 workshops across Devon during September and October 2014.
We are just working out the final timetable at the moment. As soon as that’s agreed, I will post how aspiring writers can apply for a place.
And the lovely little PS is it just might be possible to do the same for libraries in Cornwall for 2015. Crossed fingers…and watch this space.
For now – here are the details on the Devon library tour .
Thank you, thank you - Arts council England. A distinct hop and a skip in my step today.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.