Monday, November 18, 2013

Wild women rave in winter




I had a marvellous time in Plymouth, despite arriving in a winter squall that had me and Catherine McNamara ducking for cover in one of Plymouth's many sociable pubs (we were reliably informed that The Dolphin is the place to be). Although the picture doesn't show it, we were like a pair of drowned rats, although Catherine managed to look gamine and beautiful whilst dripping wet!


But the weather did not put a dampener on our participation in the Plymouth Literary Festival and it was with sunny smiles, nerves and excitement that we pottered up through the centre of town to Plymouth University.
 
And Catherine's reading entranced me so much that I totally forgot to take photos! You'll just have to take my word for it that the readings went well and were enjoyed by everyone in the lovely audience. It was my first public reading and I couldn't have had a kinder reception - thanks, Plymouth! Thanks also to Tom Vowler and Anthony Caleshu for making me feel so welcome and at ease (a little too at ease, perhaps!) and thanks, too, to Jamie Edgecombe and all who shared a delightful celebratory meal.
I did remember my camera when I went for a dander around the sea front, however, and I found evidence of Plymouth's rich history from every vista.
 From the wealth of Empire...
...to walls of defence...
 ...from above the sea....
 ...the sea itself....
 ...beneath the sea....
...in praise....
 ...and protest....
 ...nature...
 ...and man made...
...everywhere, signs of an outlook...
...of island life...
 ...and aspirations...
...in memory....
 ...respectfully...
 ...and irreverently...
 ...in honour...
 ...bold....
 ...devout...
...remembered...
....and those that cannot be forgotten....
...a combative history....
 ...marked with pride....
...fierce vision....
...and curiosity....
...to the fruits of Lords and Ladies. In short, a fitting location to read a story about colonialism and a taste of being English.




If you'd like to read my Short Fiction competition winning story, "While Women Rage in Winter", you can buy it via the University of Plymouth's website - it would mean a lot to me, but, crucially, it would keep this endangered and important journal alive.

14 comments:

chillcat said...

Thanks Rae for the wonderful company in Plymouth - and for helping with my reading nerves. Your story is wonderful and you read beautifully - though I was also too absorbed to even think of taking a photo. I think this issue of Short Fiction is a feast of words and images and hopefully copies will be bought. Thanks again Rae, and I think Plymouth was good to us too! Xxcat

Rachel Fenton said...

You're a sweetheart, Cat! xxx

Lori said...

Sounds like a great time. I bet you were a wild success over there! I wish I were in the audience. But hey, I am waiting for the next one, which hopefully will be better recorded (with some video also).

Rachel Fenton said...

I wish you could have been there, too, Lori! I'll try not to get swept up in the next one (hopefully, there'll be a next one!) and get it on film! xxx

Dominic Rivron said...

What a great thing to happen. And I liked the photos of Plymouth, too. I expected HMS Trenchant to be a bit bigger.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Dominic - There were lots of ship sculptures all along the wall, I photographed them all. I would have liked to have presented them together like a game of battleships, but my IT skills aren't up to such snazzy graphics!

jamezchang said...

Welcome back, Rae! Congratulations on the Short Fiction award, and so glad you got a chance to experience that. Awesome pics! Want to know about Shanghai too :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Jamez! Good to be back. Shanghai was awesome - will post pics very soon!

Donna Hosie said...

We are sooooooo proud of you! CONGRATULATIONS.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

It all looks ab fab, Rae. So cool you met Cat!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Donna! xx

Rachel Fenton said...

Cat is such good company, Nuala - I had a wonderful time and she helped me get over my reading nerves!

valeriesirr said...

You got there! Delighted to hear it. Sounds like you had a fab time too. Well deserved:)

Rachel Fenton said...

I did have a fab time, Valerie! Thank you! xx