Saturday, August 1, 2009

After Caerleon ...

... comes the explanation.

So, my last posting was a picture of a woman, with the question "Do You Know This Woman and Why Is She Looking At My Blog?"

Well, the woman in question is Anita Loughrey and she was running an After Tea session at Caerleon this year about how to use Facebook, My Space and how to blog. This took place in the Book Room, because it has a large screen which drops down from the ceiling, onto which a computer screen image is projected. Imagine something about 12 feet wide by about 9 foot tall and you get the picture!

Now Anita made the mistake of happening to mention to me that she might visit my blog during her demonstration to show her audience (nearly 40 in total) what a good blog looks like. (Anita has taste, you note). So I decided that if Anita was going to use my blog, then I ought to post something suitable to be viewed on such a big screen!

When Anita clicked on the link to bring up my blog, the audience all laughed, but Anita, being the true professional that she is, merely continued. Actually, it took her ten minutes to realise what I'd done, but thankfully she saw the funny side.

Her talk was really useful in explaining some of the different things you can do with blogging and linking posts with a Facebook account. The time was also used to set up a blog for short story writer, Lynne Hackles. You can view Lynne's blog here ... well you can when Lynne actually posts something on it. (Come on Lynne!)

Katie Fforde gave an excellent talk one evening about writing romances and was very humorous, and her advice for all writers was to put a bum on a chair and to keep writing.

The literary agent, Teresa Chris, told us all about publishing in today's climate, and said that the writers who succeed are the 'real writers' - the ones who actually sit down and do some writing.

I gave a talk on how to be a positively productive writer, where I suggested that the more you write, the more chances of success you have, so get out that pen and notebook and start writing. Zoe Sharp gave an insight and humorous talk about writing crime fiction, and suggested to anyone interested in writing in this genre to read as much as they can, but also to stop that flashing cursor on the screen from blinking idly by hitting some keys on the keyboard and getting it moving.

Hmmm .... can you spot a trend here with the advice being given?

Caerleon isn't just about writing, workshopping and lectures, there is some fun to be had. The last night ends with two 40 minute performances by the Cwmbach Male Choir , after which they retire to the bar in order to re-lubricate their vocal chords. Everyone else piles into the bar and the singing continues. Click here for the YouTube video.

This year's Caerleon was rather a special one because it was the 25th. Anne and Gerry work tirelessly to produce a truly enjoyable event. We couldn't let the anniversary pass without marking it in some way, so we managed to embarrass them both suitably well during the last night's singing. You can see the presentation on YouTube by clicking here.

So, if you get the opportunity to mix with writers, make sure you get involved. You never know what you may learn.

And yes, I'll be at Caerleon in 2010 - I've been booked to run another set of workshops!