Looking Back on Caerleon…

Well, that sounds like I’ve been going for years doesn’t it?! Unfortunately I haven’t – this was only my second time there and now the Caerleon Writers’ Holidays are over 😦 But not to worry, they haven’t disappeared all together, just moved to Fishguard in Pembrokeshire.

As you’ll have seen from my last post, I was super-excited about Caerleon this year and thankfully it did not disappoint. Yet again, I was transported to a lovely, literary ‘bubble’ where I could eat, live and breath writing.

Did I achieve the goals I set for myself before I left (see previous post), well aside from the food and drink bit, not really! I still over-did the talks and workshops, still became utterly knackered, and only got a small amount of my own writing done, but you know what, I’m glad I crammed it all in – I haven’t signed up for Fishguard and who knows when a chance like this will come around again. (Having said that, I may try Swanwick next year…)

It was lovely to go with my friend, Sian, and I think (and hope) she enjoyed herself too. We also met some other fab people and generally had a very enjoyable time. My courses were ‘Writing for Children’ with the very talented Anita Loughrey and ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’ with the uncannily brilliant and very funny Carol Fenlon (I’ll never think of Sponge Bob Square Pants in quite the same way after the hilarious poetry evening on Thursday night…) Both courses were informative, inspiring and gave me a lot to think about. Mystery and Imagination proved an excellent resource for my short story writing. Carol showed us how we can weave the uncanny into our writing to add intrigue, suspense, discomfort and even humour into our tales. Writing for Children got me all fired up for a new project (which I’m going to stay pretty quiet about on here, unless something actually comes of it… I can always dream!).

The After-Tea sessions were great as well. I went to see Trisha Ashley, Paula Williams and Sheila Rance – all were very generous with their tips and inspiration. I was even lucky enough to have some time to chat with Trisha and Sheila, which was brilliant and very much appreciated 🙂

Actually, having thought about it, I did manage to acheive another one of my aims. I got out into Caerleon and saw a bit more than just the inside of the pubs there (though of course I joined the pub crawl on Monday night too – shhh!). Sian and I went to the amphitheatre and the Roman Baths – here’s a photo of inside the baths, complete with a Roman swimmer and everything 😉

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So all in all, a fab week – thank you, Anne and Gerry for giving me the opportunity to go and making me feel so at home – see you in Fishguard one year (I will certainly make it at some point!)

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