Yup, the Festival kicks off tomorrow, so I'm about to vanish into the real world for seven days or so. I can't even start to do my picks: I won't, sadly, get to see a lot of this stuff, actually, because I'll be running around backstage (and driving authors back and forth, and helping at the box office, and doing school visits.)
But you can see Amanda Earl's picks here: and the Apt 613 highlights list is here.
My last evening before the Festival, though, was spent entirely satisfactorily: although I did work right up till the Creative Writing Play Date at 8:00, I made myself a promise I was going to stop working in time to go to the Play Date. Which I did.
It's an odd thing that sometimes when you're stressed out, the writing can flow much more easily. I've had days at the Play Date where I felt like I was forcing myself to write. But this evening, I not only slipped right into writing mode, but I got that lovely sensation, which I rarely get, that I was surprising myself. The exercise started with us writing three words - a room, a family event like a wedding or birth or funeral or some other large occasion, and an emotion. Then Sean talked a bit about descriptive writing, setting, and mood, emphasizing those aspects in what we were going to write, and then we all traded pieces of paper randomly. (I particularly like the tendency for Play Date exercises to randomize the prompts that way: keeps me from falling into writing ruts when I'm being handed something I wasn't expecting to have to write about, and so don't have any 'motor programs' built up for.) And what I ended up writing had a couple of those moments where ideas popped into the story that I hadn't been expecting. Usually I take a long time to actually get to the story and this evening there was none of that.
So, that's the secret then? I can really get into writing when I ought to be doing something else? That makes some kind of sense, actually.