It’s my turn first because I look after this blog.
We all arrived at Trigonos on Saturday, ready to start critiquing on Sunday. We are fifteen. We’ve all sent in our pieces for critique in advance and now, on Tuesday, we’re suddenly halfway through the workload. I’m not quite sure how that happened.
We have a tradition of taking phrases from critiques out of context–because we can.
“I’m left alone in a dark room with three women, two of whom are naked, two of whom are dead, and I don’t know why.” – Dave Gullen
“You don’t stop in the middle of a battle to editorialise. ‘Oh, I remember when–‘ THWACK!” – Juliet McKenna.
“I think the Zealots got a bit too zeloty.” Anthony Francis.
“If you’re going to give the women male names, I’d like you to call Phillips Petunia.” – Liz Williams
We’ve passed the half way point and it’s another spectacular week with the Milford crew. One of the things I find most interesting about the experience is getting the first hand reports and commentary from readers who’ve something very different than the piece the author intended, and we’ve had a bit of that. And it just reminds me, when we read, we bring with ourselves the whole of our previous experience, and authors bring with them their entire experience, and it’s always a fascinating mix.
It’s wonderful getting to know people, some of whose names I’ve heard before and some of whom I look forward to reading more from in years to come. And my reading list between now and the end of the year has many new names on it, both those I’m working with this week and also the people they’re suggesting as the people I really really should read. All most excellent.
Milford is currently defaulting to Welsh Standard Rain: heavy and nocturnal. It’s great to lie awake at night, as if one were on the prow of a great ship, listening to the gale roaring in the trees but one also starts calculating the height of trees + wind direction + distance to the house… some us ventured out this morning to the usual walk at Rhyd Ddu through the forest, which was not possible on this occasion as there were fir trees down across the path. More weather expected for this evening with the advent of the season’s second named storms. We’re staying in! We have books and we have wine.
Ah, the company of writers. Dinner conversation involved an exchange of martial arts anecdotes, followed by Narrowly Avoided Death By Road Traffic anecdotes, and now, comfortably ensconced in the library with wine, we are onto Weird, Poisonous and Otherwise Scary Animals We Have Met. I have now discovered the existence of many many really unpleasant things that David Attenborough never told me about. (Seriously if you want to invent weird creatures, just look at what we’ve already got on this planet). Wales is comparatively unscary in this respect, apart from apparently they have ticks that drop on you from trees. Yick. I am having a great time.