Sunday 15th September – p.m.
The first full day of critiquing went well. Four stories were up for crit. Mine first, then stories from Tiffani Angus, Powder Thompson, and Sam Tovey. No one ran away screaming, ‘But you don’t understand my genius!’ No one burst into tears, and everyone kept to time. That’s a win!
We got some good out-of-context quotes, too:
“This story is Brothers Grimm meets Deliverance.” – Jacey Bedford
“There are possibilities for government snooping. Boris would bloody love this.” – Russell Smith
“I think you’re going to call a penis a tallywhacker and just get on with it.” – Powder Thompson
“A strong man is useful for moving furniture, but you wouldn’t want one to run the country.” – Kari Sperring
Today has, I think, gone well: we try to start off the first day with 2 critiques for people who know the ropes, followed by 2 critiques for the new people. Today has been very positive with some outstanding contributions from the group. Otherwise, it’s been raining…but we are in Wales. Perfect weather for sitting in an old house and reading all morning. And it is roast lamb for dinner tonight. We’re currently sitting in the library for a pre-prandial drink.
Had a really good day. Caught up with all the critiques, which meant I actually had time to write something new! No grandchildren knocking on my door, wanting a story (not a bad thing), but love writing in this beautiful place. It’s just the right sort of calm atmosphere. The afternoon (2pm-6pm) was our first, official, critiquing session. That went really well – great atmosphere, very professional and constructive. Tired now, though. Especially after the wonderful dinner we’ve just had. Sitting in the library, in front of a real log-fire, just the perfect way to end the day!
First round of critiquing today; my first experience of the Milford method, and, as I was one of the critees, something of a trial by fire. A very nice fire, mind. Plenty of laughs (featuring more genitally-oriented jokes than I would have expected), many incisive comments, and an overwhelmingly positive and friendly atmosphere. I’m looking forward to more of the same tomorrow! Still got some reading that I really ought to be doing, but it’s hard to leave the warmth of the library and head back to my room. (Plus there’s port here, so…)
A fine way to spend a Sunday, and after a really quite anxious run up to my first critiquing chamber in *some* years now, I really did settle relatively quickly. Enjoyed the time – I may change my tune when it’s my turn in the den tomorrow but for now, have figured out a morning post-breakfast visit to the magnificent lake, enjoyed an incredible Sunday roast and am now having a fine time winding down by a window from where I can hear the river, close to a real fire crackling away, with a glass of port to hand. How very civilised.