These last few weeks I’m back in travelling mode. In April I kicked off with a visit to Dorchester to be with two of my writing pals, Gail Aldwin and Suzanne Goldring. Unfortunately, Carol McGrath, one of our foursome called the Vestas, couldn’t make it (she was on her own travels).
We’re all published writers covering a variety of genres and take these retreats seriously by being disciplined in progressing with our current work and stopping in the afternoons to read out our chapters and critique them. That’s probably the most valuable part of our working holiday and it didn’t disappoint as my goal was to write the very first chapter of my next novel. Result! However, it needs some strict restructuring and editing but it’s normal for this beginning stage.
Then in May my sister, Carole, and I went to Yorkshire on a steam train holiday with Inside Track. They are a small family business and pay attention to detail, besides having great characters for tour guides. My interest in trains of the 30s was sated by wandering round steam train sheds where you could watch mainly retired men at work restoring the carriages, trying out compartments in first and third class carriages at a super train museum (the third class was absolutely luxurious compared with our first class today) and speaking to all sorts of volunteers that knew everything there was to know about steam trains. Not only do I love them – and miss travelling on them as I used to when a child and teenager – but I write Second World War novels and my heroines are always boarding and alighting from trains, sometimes in highly dangerous situations.
I have a very personal interest in the details of the exterior and interior of a wartime train in that my two builder/craftsmen are building me a railway carriage in my garden. The minute they finish, two-thirds of it will become my office where I’ll be writing my next novels! The other third will be designed and fitted out like half a first-class compartment. (Note the authentic train door propped against the wall.) That’s where I’ll do my proofreading, dream up the next obstacle to throw at my heroine, and maybe even have a nap. I can’t wait. There will be updates!
My next travel on the agenda is to go with Carole to the States at the end of this month to visit her son, Adam, and his family in the South. Covid has prevented her from seeing them all during the last years so we intend to make up for lost time. They recently moved to Savannah in Georgia which has to be one of my favourite cities.
I think that’s it for now. Spring, weatherwise, has been a bit of a let-down, though the countryside looks beautiful and green. Summer is just around the corner when I’ll be back from the US ready to give you another update.
Happy reading and writing!