Sunday, 6 July 2014

London Short Story Festival and a finished object!

I have a finished object - my first one for a few months. It's a hat knitted from Classy Dream in Colour in the Prince William colourway on 5.5 mm circular needles. It's a pattern I keep going back to as I know it fits me and the pattern has stitch counts for DK, Aran and chunky. I downloaded it a couple of years ago to knit hats for the Mungo's homeless charity. I'm not sure if it's available now.

I was very pleased with this yarn. It's so soft and I knitted the hat with an extra five centimetres of stocking stitch before the shaping for the crown to make it hang down in a slouchy style. I love it and couldn't wait to pick it up each night after work. I think I have to pick projects which are either crochet based or stocking stitch based for a while. I'm completing them faster.

Since going to the London Short Story Festival two weeks ago I have been subscribing to literary magazines and buying books like a true bibliophile. I felt like I got a lot of superb quality books in the past two months since Arvon.

The festival itself was amazing. It was a small festival with about 50-80 people around at Waterstones Piccadilly. It took over two floors with writing workshops in the basement and talks and readings over another floor. The highlight of the festival for me was definitely the Jackie Kay reading on Friday night. She was absolutely amazing and if you ever get a chance to see her please leap off your chair enthusiastically as she really was entertaining.

I wrote two pieces of flash fiction in a notebook in the basement. I showed the second one to Vanessa Gebbie who was very helpful with plenty of constructive criticism and encouragement. I came away feeling really inspired until I got to Paddington station and ended up arriving home at 11.40pm when I had planned to get home before 9pm. All the trains had been cancelled due to a signalling failure just outside Reading. Be careful if you travel between the South West and Paddington as there seem to be a lot of fails at the moment.

But what a festival and a buzz being around amazing writers for hours. I've written a poem and two flashes since the festival. I think the poem is slightly above my usual standard of poetry (i.e not completely crap) and one of the flashes is lovely and fits well with another one I wrote which came runner-up in a competition.

I will start reviewing books again next week - I had a lovely delivery from Search Press earlier this week and I can't wait to show you them!

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