Saturday, 13 December 2008


Lots to catch up on.

First I read at Jo Horsman’s Sparks event, in Brighton, on Tuesday. I read Gas Gangrene (Here, on Eclectica), against a photographic backdrop supplied thanks to Chris Cooke whose work can be found at:
Thanks Chris! perfect.

Sparks is a great little event. Flash fiction, photography, great atmosphere, nice pub downstairs for nattering afterwards. New Sparks blog HERE

Then last night, I kicked off the launch of the Tales of the Decongested Second Anthology, at Foyles, Charing Cross Road. Fab event, wine flowing, and the book looks wonderful. Work by Toby Litt, moi and many others. I read my story… ahem: How Claude Romarin Lost the Buttocks of Celestine Bigorneaux. EXCERPT HERE
Mad, you say? True. How true. It is only Genius at work. I had several nice people saying the reading was good. (French accent, hammed up something dreadful… but I love that story so there!) Lovely quality book, inside n out.

Then I charged down Underground tunnels (I hate Tube journeys and am frightened of them. Was attacked once yonks ago, and the fear never quite…)

Shut up woman. Off to The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, near Russell Square Tube. The Salt Publishing Christmas bash. I arrived late of course. No stairs to the first floor room which was a real live Horse Hospital… so a ramp for the horses…and a short story in progress … dying parent.

Feeling suitably Christmassy (not, as hadn’t yet had drink), it was great to see Mr and Mrs Alex Keegan for three seconds, (he of the vast interview currently running on a blog near you.)…then had great time nattering with Elizabeth Baines, Jane Holland, Vincent de Souza, Jay Merrill, Isabel Dixon, Mr and Mrs Salt and the Saltettes. And loads of people I sort of recognise from the website… but didn’t know them. Am not much cop at introducing s elf.

I bought a squillion books. Or at least four.

The charming poet Mr Vincent de Souza came with me down the ghastly tube tunnels all the way back to Victoria. He is GREAT. Has plans for creative writing that include bikers… and readings, maybe, and all sorts.

Train to Gatwick. Drive the rest. Late. V tired. Wrote up workshop notes for today before bed at 1.00 am.

This morning….Second part of two part Brighton workshop for local writing association who has not yet paid me for the last two sessions I did for them, so I will not be advertising them again…. Or working for them again. I d asked for a cheque to be left. It wasn’t. Poo. Bah.

And there was a RTA on the A27. I got stuck for 30 minutes, while the police cleared what looked like a really nasty event. Rain. Wind. Old persons sort of car on its side. Smashed windows. Shopping bag and cardigan in the road.

Late at the workshop venue, and found to my joy, a note pushed through the door… phone number and ‘We’ve gone to Bills’. (Local superb coffee joint). And my writers had not given up on me despite pouring rain, and cold and wind. THAT is staying power!

We worked until 1.45… and had a great time. I think… a good strong group. I brought home two pieces of work intended for comps, read and took phone calls in the last hour from the writers, for final polishing.

Maybe I will write tonight. When I’m tired. I did get two poems started earlier. I need to do a screen off half hour when I’m well n truly knackered, I think.

(PS IF the writing association who has not paid me yet is listening... writers have bills to pay, just like you. I am out of pocket to the tune of tens of pounds, petrol, car parking, the sweat of my brow. Thinking. Paper. Printing. Plannning time. This is appalling disrespect.. seriously.)


Jac said...

The workshop was great, Vanessa - well worth waiting for! It is extremely heartening that there are writers like you who are so generous with their time and expertise. So thanks again.
And I hope that the 'local writing association' cough up forthwith!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi Jac

Thank you for your lovely message. Lots of good luck with the story. I am keeping fingers crossed!

It was lovely taking this worshop... I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions with you and the others.

Regarding the non-payment... lesson learned. It doesn't stop me looking back on these workshops with pleasure. It just spurs me on to do my own thing!

Sparks said...

thanks for the Sparks mention - it was cool to have you there...x