I didn’t use I Remember exercises at York this year, but in that style here are a few quick memories from this weekend’s Festival of Writing in York:
I remember sirens from Australia, cooks in Paris, immigrants from Uganda.
I remember mothers: Sicilian and surrogate and Geordie and grieving.
I remember killers from Yorkshire (and Merseyside, and Edinburgh, and France, and Wales, and Northumberland, and Yorkshire again).
I remember YA dystopian novels.
I remember an ADULT dystopian novel.
I remember saying I’d love to read a blockbuster novel about Polish-British immigrants.
I remember an agent getting excited about badgers.
I remember having a Norma Desmond moment.
I remember Facing the Fear, and the Fuck-It Draft.
I remember being woken at 4am by a scream. Was it (a) a murderous clown, or (b) a goose?
The following night, I remember wondering whether (c) that scream had in fact come from the room next to mine …
I remember hearing about an unimaginative agent.
I remember a writer who was far too polite to say who this was.
I remember politeness being rewarded: an encouraging encounter with an imaginative publisher.
I remember it takes all sorts, and if at first, and never take the first answer.
I remember Ruby winning the best first chapter contest with a brilliant pitch that was too good not to win.
I remember first meeting Ruby in 2012.
I remember persistence.
I remember Deborah talking about being big in Japan (and sixteen other territories).
I remember someone nobbling me for saying that Sauron is a crap antagonist (Gollum is a brilliant one, honest).
I remember Tor saying the most amazing thing about being published is connecting with readers. ‘Every time someone reads my characters, they become more real.’
I remember Harry coming to sit at our table at the gala dinner,
I remember Harry starting to tell a story about publishing, and turning to a delegate sitting next to him.
I remember Harry saying to that delegate, ‘Do you know Antonia Hodgson?’
I remember that delegate saying, ‘Yes, she’s my sister.’
I remember meeting many old friends and making many new.
I remember the train back, filling in Shelley’s morphological grid, peering into the rain.
I remember coming home to a beautiful new bathroom. I couldn’t forget that.
And here is another post with links and other resources mentioned in workshops and during book doctor sessions.