Do you want to know where I was at the weekend? Stuck behind my desk? Writing until the letters turned into funny shapes that floated off out the window? No, I decided to give my word machine a rest and take in something else. I went down to Aix-en-Provence, just for a taste of some of the reasons why I moved here. Mmmmmm. I couldn't help but take a few photos. (Click on the shots to see a larger version).
We ate crêpes. We drank wine and cider. We saw an excellent play by some young theatre students. We sang into the night in a charming house in an old village. It means I wasn't writing. But I think these distractions can be good sometimes, like a much-needed dose of the outside world, the real word ... away from fictional characters we create, who become so demanding.
I've also been busy with the Shameless Lions Writing Circle, which has had an excellent response. Are there really more than 100 messages on that blog post that launched the whole thing? It's been a real pleasure to set this up; now I have to think about the contest for the five best lions and best poems/prose pieces. 42 out of 48 lions have so far been adopted. It's amazing to reach a "full house". I am so thrilled. I'm sorry that I haven't had much time recently to get around and read other blogs, but things should get quieter when the writing circle is full.
Also, I can't believe that I've actually been squeezing in other things over the past few weeks: I went to virtually every session of a week-long book festival; I had a friend visit from NZ; I've just finished a 3500-word short story for the Bridport Prize; and I've also just finished two poems for the same contest. Are you entering?
I do wonder about the worth of taking part in writing contests that charge entry fees, especially the ones that attract a global flood of amazing writing. It is good as an exercise in discipline, I suppose, and I've really enjoyed creating a new world. (I found the idea for the short story while looking around for a name for my lion). If my work gets nowhere in the contest - how many thousands of entries are received? - at least I can share it at some stage here on my blog. I can't put it up just yet because Bridport entries have to be "virgins": never before published, not even on the web!