A Weekend in Pitlochry
Last weekend ShortbreadStories hit Pitlochry for the Winter Words Festival, and we had an amazing time. We got to chatting to such interesting people; we talked with publishers and booksellers, event organisers and journalists, and authors and their followers. And, hopefully, we’ve converted a few to the world that is ShortbreadStories.
But what was nicest about the Festival was something off the schedule of events. As we arrived on Saturday morning, and planned to stay for the Sunday, the ShortbreadStories team was in need of accommodation, and a lovely ex-student of mine offered her home to us for the night. Ann lives in a beautifully refurbished cottage on the outskirts of a hamlet near Pitlochry, and we couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming host.
We arrived after a day at the festival, and Ann greeted us with a G&T, a bowl of soup, some bread and cheese, and (best of all) a night of talking about writing. That evening we sat by the fire talking about characters and language. She talked about her writing routine and we talked about editing and our own projects. Before we knew it the clock told us it was far into the evening.
That night as I retired to bed, snuggled up all cosy, I couldn’t help but think about how the best nights are rarely planned. There was no doubt in my mind that an evening chatting to Ann would be good, and I had been looking forward to getting caught up with her. But, it was an evening that surpassed expectations.
The next day at the Festival, Fiona and I talked to even more ShortbreadStories converts, as well as several of you who popped along to see us. It was another great day of conversation, and looking back it is now easy to see how that entire weekend is representative of ShortbreadStories.
ShortbreadStories is a community, with more than a shared interest. Yes, we are all lovers of fiction – the short story in particular – but, even more so, Shortbreaders are listeners. We read each others work and comment. We listen to audio stories and talk on forums. Fiona gets regular emails from particular Shortbreaders, and several of us who have met in person continue to chat outside of the ShortbreadStories website. In fact, every time I log in as a member, I feel like the site is handing me a G&T by the fire, and telling me to put my feet up while we all have a good old blether.
Unfortunately, ShortbreadStories can’t make it to Winter Words this weekend (3-5 February) due to scheduling conflicts, but there is no doubt in my mind that the conversations we started last weekend in Pitlochry will continue here on the site.