Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Conference, part 2

Current work: Venice book and waiting in for engineer
Listening to: Corelli (and drinking caffeinated coffee…)
Reading: once I’ve had some sleep. Going to have to close my eyes and pick at random as I have lots of good books to choose from…

Saturday, had breakfast in Starbucks with Nicola, Sarah and Natalie, then sorted out my Internet connection on the iPad before going to a really inspiring talk on managing your career by Kate Harrison.

Then it was time for tea, bacon sandwiches and fruit. Had a lovely chat with Tracey (and I'm so sorry for spilling tea over you and the iPad, Tracey!).

After that it was a session on 'things that go bump in the night' by Kim, Maddie and Anna from Mira (and I had quite a few lightbulb moments to put in my ideas file - no, this doesn't mean I'm writing YA but it was interesting and my ideas can be played with and work into... ha ha, if my poor editor is reading this, she's going to worry that I'm going to bang on about my Regency Doctor again. Did that on Friday, next pitch for it will probably be Christmas because I know the answer will still be no).

After lunch (a very nice buffet) there was a talk about what constitutes a page-turning book by Tessa, Sally and Carly from M&B - OK, so I've been writing for them for nearly 9 years now, but it's always useful to hear your publisher's views on the future of the genre and what readers want.

By this point I was flagging a bit - it was SO hot that my head had stopped functioning - and my partners in crime were feeling the same (even if Nicola and I are smiling broadly here).

So we agreed to go and have a wander round the painted hall. This is the exterior.

Inside, under the dome:

Inside, the hall itself - this is ALL paint, not sculpture:

After Trafalgar, Nelson's body lay in state there for three days. Of course, as he's a local boy and I have a soft spot for him, I had to seek out the commemorative stone.

Couldn't resist an arty shot. (But I was good. I took only one pic of the wedding that was going on outside, very unobtrusively, because it was a lightbulb moment.)

Trinity College of Music is next to the painted hall, and we heard some Rachmaninov being played beautifully as we walked past (and started walking REALLY slowly so we could enjoy the music). Then went back through Greenwich (via a shoe shop for Sarah, and an ice cream shop for - well, OK, yes, it was for me) and back to our courtyard for a cup of tea with Nicola and Sarah.

In the evening there was a barbecue, with music by Trinity College. Sat with the M&B eds (who are excellent company, if too glamorous for their own good) and had a great conversation about books and gorgeous men. Oh, and wine was consumed... (Thank you, Kim.)

Had a lovely time catching up with friends, including: Liz Fenwick (another one who's incredibly glamorous, and I LOVE the colour of her top)

Nina Harrington (and this time we actually got a pic together)

Roger Sanderson (and please ignore my chins - look at the lovely necklace I'm wearing instead. Murano glass starfish, bought in Venezia. Guess where that's going to turn up?)

Oh yes, food. I was too busy talking to take food of pics, this time round. The barbecued salmon was really nice, as was the chicken. And the salad. And I was a teensy bit naughty and had some noodle salad, but not that much on the carb front. Resisted the profiteroles and brownies, but watermelon is just perfect on a very hot night.

Anyway, walking back, we noticed how beautiful the sky was. Luckily my mates know that I can't resist sky pictures, so here we go - they can speak for themselves. The first is the Water Gate. And it had just started to cool down... and this has to be where one of my characters lives, right?

Found myself awake at 3am (combination of heat and being unused to sleeping without DH, sad middle-aged puppy that I am) so practised my talk in my head. Was dying for a cup of tea but didn't want to wake everyone on our corridor by being noisy in the kitchen. Finally managed to get back to sleep... and woke up four minutes before the alarm was due to go off. And as for Sunday... come back tomorrow :)


liz fenwick said...

Beautiful photos (me excepted)and makes me want to go back and do it all again NOW!!!

Oh, and I didn't get me hands on the iPad...

Your talk was fab and yes I should be writing right now but am jet lagged so will let myself off today!

Jenny Haddon said...

Kate, so evocative. And I love your night pictures. How I remember walking home under the dark trees with the tide sloshing about to the right of me and, yes, a faint whiff of fish and the sea.

It certainly got the old sub-conscious stirring . . .

Anonymous said...

Great photos as always Kate - and it WAS a totally amazing setting. like you, I adored the painted hall and the chapel.
The whole venue was stunning,AND we had a photo together! HURRAH for RNA Conferences!
BOBritish with the engineer and a better day. x

Kate Hardy said...

Liz, sorry I got one with your eyes closed! But you looked elegant and gorgeous, as always. (And we must remedy the iPad thing.)

Glad the talk was useful. Now go and get some rest, have lots of cool drinks, and be energised to work tomorrow!

Kate Hardy said...

Jenny - it was LOVELY to see you. And yes, walking home was inspirational on both nights. Look forward to see what your subconscious does with it :)

Kate Hardy said...

Nina - was great to see you. And my day did improve yesterday, thanks (meeting was VERY productive, and I decided to be bossy and book the review meeting. Sometimes being, um, an uber-planner means that things get accomplished rather than drifting, and this is an issue that's already been going on much too long.)

Nicola Cornick said...

Really enjoying your reports on the conference, Kate! It's making me feel all nostalgic and it was only a few days ago! One of the best ever, I think.