Thursday, 27 August 2009

Penny Legg and Express FM's Rob Richardson

I received an email this morning from Rob Richardson, who runs the WriteInvite site and who has interviewed several writers on his currently off air, but hopefully soon back on air again, radio show, WriteOn, on Express FM. Rob and I have been in email contact for some time and I have been to Rosie's Wine Bar in Southsea for one of his evenings for writers, where work is read to the audience, whose members then vote for their favourite writer. The winner gets a cash prize. Rob was also recently a guest at my group for writers, Writing Buddies, at Borders bookshop in Southampton.

Anyway, Rob emailed me to tell me that the radio show, which he has invited me to be a guest on, has been taken off air for a month by the radio station. This is a real shame. Over time Rob has interviewed many writers, from locals to household names, and listeners have gained an insight into what makes a writer tick. I hope that this is only a temporary situation and that the show will come back again, soon. If anyone at Express FM reads this blog, please consider bringing Rob and his writers back. There are few such programmes, where individual wordsmiths can talk about their life and work.

Rob is hopeful and wants me to come and be interviewed. 'I instinctively know you will be a wonderful guest with all your experience in so many areas that are writing related,' he says. Now that is nice of him. He goes on to say, 'You've got a great motor on you,' and hastens to explain before I take offence to this. 'This is a compliment, I promise. You know what it means in terms of get-up-and-go, but might be more suitably applied to a premiership footballer!' Now I have never heard the expression, but I quite like the analogy!

Only time will tell whether WriteOn will be brought back to radio. If Express FM do not want the show, perhaps another radio station will? This is pure speculation on my part and not something that I have discussed with Rob. I do think though, that writers and radio is a natural association and one that is both useful and interesting, both for the writer concerned and the listener.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Penny Legg's Writing Buddies

At the last Writing Buddies meeting in Borders in Southampton, I was surprised to hear that the coffee and chat sessions have become a motivating force for the production of words. Writers are now being motivated to write because they know that a Writing Buddies meeting is coming up and they want to be able to tell the rest of the group about the writing they are currently working on. Writing Buddies are also getting fresh ideas from each other. I had not foreseen this when I started the group.

Readers of this blog will know that I set up the group in response to a need I had perceived for writers to get together and talk about what matters to them in the world of writing. It gave them a forum for discussing problems with plotting, characterisation and such like, to talk about markets and book selling, trends, successes, even the demise of the semi-colon! Anything in fact that affected them as writers. Over time we have tried to advise one writer on the problems he has had with time lines in his novel and commiserated with him when he recently announced that, after 120,000 words, he had abandoned the project. We have talked about writing courses and pooled knowledge of the good and the bad. We have always talked about the ongoing projects that we are working on. As we have a goodly sprinkle of novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, short story writers, diarists and children's writers it is good to hear of the multitude of work that we undertake. That we are now sparking ideas and motivating each other to produce work, is great to hear.

The next meeting of Writing Buddies is on Friday 28th August at 2pm. If you fancy dropping in for a cuppa and a chat, you will be very welcome.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Penny Legg - a busy life!

Crumbs, it has been some time since I last blogged. Shows I have been busy.

I heard recently that I had been successful in my proposal to write a fourth book. Southampton Past and Present will be published at the end of 2010 by The History Press. This will be an interesting project as it will involve taking archive photographs and recreating them in colour in a modern day Southampton. The contrasts will be interesting, I think.

I have been asked if I would like to tutor non-fiction writing for the Writers Bureau. As readers of this blog and my website will know, I launched a writing consultancy some weeks ago. Tutoring for a major distance learning college will be an interesting challenge, which I am looking forward to taking on.

I will be off to Cornwall soon to follow up stories in that part of the world. I grew up visiting the West Country and love it. Recently I have not been in a position to go there as often as I would have liked as I was abroad, and so to be working there for a short while will be a pleasure. I hope that Martin's dairy is still in Looe. They have, in my humble opinion, the best Cornish ice cream in the world and their clotted cream, well...... You know where I will be heading for part of the time I am in the county.

I also learnt that I had passed my latest Open University course. The Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing consists of two courses, both undergraduate level and very interesting. I took the first course in the current academic year and heard on Friday that I had a good pass, so I am pleased.

In the meantime, Writing Buddies is coming on leaps and bounds. We had a dozen writers last Friday and several new faces, which was great.

On the home front, have you ever played on a Nintendo Wii? I hadn't until yesterday when my husband and I were staying the weekend with my brother, who has just bought one. He has the Wii Fit too, which I have to say is brilliant! It told me, after I had fed in all the preliminary information, done some exercises and been scanned by the machine, that my body is that of a woman 13 years younger than my actual age! How great is that? Women everywhere, you must buy one of these machines. They are the best ego boost you will ever have!

Ok all for now. I am off to write some more folklore...