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Pudding and Plotting

The Magic Pudding Fridge - it was awesome!!

The Magic Pudding Fridge – it was awesome!!

As a child, I didn’t ever get to watch the Magic Roundabout on TV (sob). But all that is now forgotten – because I have met the Magic Pudding Fridge.

It was awesome!! Just like something out of a fairy tale – which was appropriate given it was surrounded by writers.

Perhaps I should explain.

Last weekend I had the privilege of leading a writing retreat with my friend and fellow Choc Lit author – the always inspirational Alison May.

There were the two of us plus eleven other writers (that did not add up to an unlucky number around the table. No, not at all).

We gathered at the beautiful Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds, surrounded by glorious views, apple trees, pheasants and a deer (I was not witness to the deer – so have no photographic proof). We spent two very busy days talking about and working at our writing.

Our group in the bight and airy work room

Our group in the bight and airy work room

Writing retreats can take different forms – from solitary writing to long late night chats around a roaring fire (both of which we did at Farncombe).

This one involved Alison and I leading formal workshops, helping people develop their skills in plotting and character, point of view and even that most hated of jobs – writing a synopsis. I have to add that not all the good ideas came from the two of us. All writers, no matter what stage of their career, have something to share with other writers. Some golden nugget that others of us might have missed.

The beautiful surroundings were inspirational.

The beautiful surroundings were inspirational.

And such gatherings are all about support. About talking over the trials that sometimes only another writer can understand and appreciate.

I had an exhausting but wonderful weekend – and friendships forged there will stay with me.

Our workrooms and coffee area were in the Coach House - who couldn't feel creative in such a lovely place?

Our workrooms and coffee area were in the Coach House – who couldn’t feel creative in such a lovely place?

AND… I started writing my new book…

I bet you thought I had forgotten the MPF – not at all. The meals were in a lovely restaurant, recently refurbished with big windows looking over the estate. There was a good selection of food… and the best thing of all was that in the corner was a fridge… a plain everyday fridge. But whenever one of us opened the door, the fridge was full of luscious desserts. Different ones every day. And lots and lots of them. It never ran out.

Mealtimes would have been wonderful even without the MPF - for the views and the company alone.

Mealtimes would have been wonderful even without the MPF – for the views and the company alone.

Hence the name – the Magic Pudding Fridge. We are already talking about another similar weekend next year – I know it will be equally inspiring… and here’s hoping the MPF will still be sitting quietly in the corner of the restaurant giving its own special form of encouragement to our endeavours.

Its a good ting the Cotsworlds tend to be hilly - I had to walk off the great meals before I could settle down to write.

Even without the MPF – the meals were wonderful

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Writing retreats 2017 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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