Posted by: SandraDeeble
August 27, 2012
Having just returned from a deliciously indulgent and hugely practical week at The John Osborne Arvon Centre in Shropshire, I have been thinking about how to keep the Arvon spirit alive as I ease myself back into the real world. Here is my list of top ten tips:
1. Make a pudding every evening. Enjoy leftover pudding for breakfast. Embrace all comfort food.
2. Look for a beginning, a middle, and the end in pretty much everything. Keep your eyes and ears – and heart – open. This approach will help.
3. Drop names. Chekhov. Rachmaninov. Chichikov. Basil Fawlty. Aristotle. Bill Nighy. Shakespeare. Matt Damon. Smile as you remember brushing your teeth in a bathroom sponsored by Dame Maggie Smith.
4. Listen very carefully. There is so much to hear. Owls. Breathing. Snatches of music. Things that go bump in the night.
5. Read. Read all those books, plays and poems that were mentioned and that you realised – to your horror – you still hadn’t read.
6. Give encouragement.
7. Accept compliments.
8. Sit on a bench with a view. It may not be the most beautiful view in England, but wherever you land, enjoy the view.
9. Carry a torch at all times.
10. Recycle gags. If a line worked the first time, it might sound even better the second time.
And keep writing.
Thank you to Arvon and to Ruth, Ilona and Dan at the Hurst. Another thank you to everyone on the course for making our shared experience so much fun. Thank you to Chrissie, Vicki, Paul and Dan for acting in my scene. And a HUGE thank you to Dan Rebellato, Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore for being so brilliant, generous with your time, kind, supportive, full of good humour and for encouraging all of us. What a wonderful, unforgettable week!
Comment for The Spirit of Arvon
@SusieSteiner1 I loved your latest book and read it far too quickly. I’ve just given it to my mum and she is gripped. Thank you.