Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Week of Writing in Tuscany

It's hard to believe that this time last week I was in Pisa, about to join a fabulous group of women for a course on writing romantic fiction with Sharon Kendrick. The group consisted of two ladies from New Zealand who were just starting a tour of Europe, one from South Africa who currently lives in Madrid, one from Lithuania who is now living in the UK, one from Canada, and five of us from the UK. We we all brought together by a desire to write romance and we had a brilliant time.

Before joining the group I spent a day in Pisa, a city that captured my imagination when I was very small. I have always dreamed of visiting it and going up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. These photos show it from the plane and the view of the old city wall from the top of the tower.

I also visited the Cathedral and the Baptistery, both magnificent,
but the detail inside the Cathedral is amazing.

The streets of Pisa are full of stalls selling all kinds of souvenir gifts, from models of the tower, t-shirts and hats, to leather handbags. Everywhere you go in the streets around the tower, people are possing for photographs that look as if they are holding up the tower.

On Saturday, we all met at the airport and were taken to The Watermill, Posara. A truly wonderfully quiet place to spend a week. The weather was a bit wet, but we didn't let it dampen our enthusiasm to have fun getting to know one another and enjoying the first of many delicious meals.

Each morning at seven the church bells would ring, and then again each hour. This is the church of Posara and a view of the main street through the village. It's just so peaceful and quiet.

The group soon got down to the serious matter of writing, as we worked through plotting a book with Sharon. First deciding together who the hero and heroine were and getting to know them as well as possible before working our way bit by bit through their story. As we did this we uncovered all sorts of pitfalls and problems, which should help us in our own writing.

On Wednesday, we all had a day off from writing and travelled by
train through magnificent countryside to Lucca. There we all had lunch then set off to explore and shop. This photo is a view of Lucca from the Torre Guinigi and then the tower from the street. It is famous for having a tree growing on the top!

This is Sharon and I in the Piazza Antifteatro, a vast oval piazza, where we enjoyed a coffee.

On the last day we went to a wonderful restaurant surrounded by mountains, this photo shows the clouds around them, but the sun soon broke through.
It was a wonderful holiday, so good I've booked to go again!

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Back and Catching Up

I returned from Italy on Saturday to find that spring is well and truly here. The leaves are much greener and the sun is shinning.

In the hedgerows flowers are out and my favourite, bluebells are now splashing their colour everywhere.

The cows have gone out after the long winter months and they like nothing more than to lie in the sun.

I'm still frantically trying to catch up with household chores and farm paperwork, so once this is done I'll be back to tell you all about the week I spent in Italy, at the Watermill with a wonderful group of women on Sharon Kendrick's course.

I'll leave you with a photo which captures all I love about spring, the new green, bluebells and the cows enjoying the sun. What do you like most about spring?

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Travelling - I hope!

This is where I hope to be by tomorrow if flights are leaving UK as normal. I'm off to Tuscany for a course on writing romance with Sharon Kendrick.
I've been before and took this photo then of the leaning tower early in the morning before all the tourists were out.
All being well, I'll be back soon with plenty of photographs.