Writing Aerobics: Moniack Mhor Crime Writers’ Course 2016

Is it really a year since I was tentatively arriving for my first crime writers’ course?  A year since I met an astonishing group of writers, two of whom have gone on to be finalists in the Bloody Scotland short story competition and one who’s now chairing Highland Literary Salon?  I’ve met people writing historic crime, precedural drama, and others, like me, touching the darkness with psychological suspense.
I’m excited beyond measure.  I have a book to finish first drafting.  I need to read the last re-writes on ‘Sleight of Hand’ which has been in the proving drawer, and check I’m happy before it goes on vacation to its potential publisher.  (Then the real fine tuning can be done.)
I’ve got blogs to write.  A part of me wants to pinch myself still.  This is the life I chose very soon after last year’s course.  I think friends and family thought I was nuts, but I am fascinated by all I do.  It won’t make me rich but it is incredibly fulfilling.  Especially combined with work as a fine artist.
The choice enabled me to write ‘Sleight of Hand’ and be well on with ‘Duty of Care’.  I am truly one of the fortunate ones.  I get to play with imaginary friends.
There aren’t many jobs where you can utilise transferable skills and ‘master’ new ones in the name of research.  Just now I’m learning about permaculture.  A character in the book after ‘Duty of Care’ would put the Centre for Alternative Technology to shame.  I’m trying to capture her name too.  Ideas gratefully received.  It remains elusive but I know she hides the fact fruit teas make her gag.
So, today I head back to the classroom.  If I learn half as much as I did last year it will be worth its weight in gold in terms of creative energy and connecting with others with a desire to write.
So the blueberries, camera, water bottle, exercise book, laptop and pens are all packed.  I am taking my favourite mug (my equivalent of the kitchen sink.).  I have slippers and ear plugs.  Now all I need is inspiration.  That will come when the glorious surroundings at Moniack Mhor embrace me once more. 
Wish me luck. 




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