The Week in View!

There are some times when, as a writer, all you can do is sit down and crack on with books. There are other times when all you want is a little time to be able to do just that!

This week is one of those weeks when what I really need is more time to sit down, but it ain’t going to happen. At least, not easily.

The thing is, this week I’m wandering off to the wilds. I’ve been asked to go to Swanwick, a brilliant charitable trust that exists to help writers. I’m going up there to run a couple of workshops on plotting murders. Not real ones, you understand, but the nice, friendly sort you have in books. That’s going to be fun, especially since I’ll be meeting old friends up there – especially Simon Brett – I haven’t seen him in a while. Wandering off to Swanwick will take some time, though. It’s a long way from Dartmoor. One good aspect is, that on the train I’ll be able to do more editing on the current book, which currently has the imaginative working title of “Poitiers”, but the downside is it’ll cost two days work at my desk. Ah, well. It’ll be fun, anyway!

Not Tinners' Morris!

Not Tinners’ Morris!

This weekend I was at the Dartmoor Folk Festival, which is held in South Zeal every year. It’s always fun because I take out a table in the craft marquee and sell books all weekend (apart from when I’m dancing with Tinners’ Morris). Every year I have more new people appearing and looking bemused at my display and asking if I know the author … and all of them tend to come back year after year once they’ve started. A nice way to hook new readers!I managed to get a couple of dances in, too, and because the weather was absolutely fabulous, lots of people got burned, but no one minded. And the beer was excellent (as were the ice creams)!

The best point for me was, Tinners’ Morris and a few other select groups were invited to the Church at South Tawton by Rev Paul, and we processed in through the church and out to dance outside … before going to the pubs, naturally. And this time, I’m glad to report, I didn’t spontaneously combust while in the church. Last time I danced Morris in a church, my waistcoat caught fire. That could have been a hint from on high, or might just have been my gormless foolishness in standing too close to the candles!

I’ve started using a new pen this weekend.

Pelikan M805 Demonstrator

Pelikan M805 Demonstrator

Hmm. How to explain this.

I’ve been looking at the idea of a new project for a while. Although it’s firmed up, I’m not going to talk about it yet (I have two projects to finish first). However, one thing that was clear was, I needed to have a new pen for it. Pelikan, who have a range of superb pens, have been good enough to provide me with one of their M805s for it. You can see them here.

It is gorgeous! I’ve never had a pen with an EF (extra fine) nib before, but I’m very pleased with this one. It’s not as smooth and soft as a medium (like the ones I have in my Visconti and Conway Stewarts), but it is by no means harsh. There’s a little line variation, although not too much, and I think this is going to be one of my most-used pens very soon. It has a really good balance, the thickness is ideal for me, and I think it looks gorgeous. I love being able to see exactly how much ink is left, and the silver/rhodium appeals to me much more than a gold equivalent.

I should just say, although I happily recommend books, pens, papers and other things on this website, I am not paid by any of the companies to do so. I do get review items occasionally, but it’s on the understanding that I will not say I like something when I don’t. In the same way that I won’t review a book just to put up a bad review, because many readers may well like a book that I detest, I won’t say I love something when I don’t. So, when I say I love this Pelikan, You can take it from me that I do actually like the pen!

Love the see through body and silvered nib. Just lovely!

Love the see through body and silvered nib. Just lovely!

There is one other piece of news.

I had an interview with the BBC recently and suggested to them that I could do some interviews with other authors. As a result I now have a delightful little digital recorder and several meetings set up with friends. I’ll be talking to Becky Tope this week, and Ian Mortimer as well, and while I’m up at Swanwick I’ll be interviewing Simon Brett over a glass or two. The idea is, that I’ll be getting them all to chat about the landscape and how it inspires them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Ian Mortimer talking about his love of history from Crockern Tor, or Lilian Harry speaking about some of the villages that made her think of her fictional villages, or someone like me talking about seeing a place and imagining a dead body there! Hopefully these “Scenes of Crime” will be interesting to a wider audience. Equally hopefully, with luck I’ll be able to get links through to the BBC so that you can hear them via the miracle of the internet.

And that’s about it for now. Wish me luck with the busy week coming!

12 Responses to “The Week in View!”
  1. annswinfen says:

    Mike, when you see Simon Brett, ask him if he remembers coming to Dundee Book Events some years ago. I ran DBE and chaired his event, in which he played all the parts in a short play he’d written. He was a sensational success. Say hello from me. Love all your pens and wish I could afford more!


  2. Jack Eason says:

    Have fun :)


  3. cybaea says:

    Oh! I lust for that pen, especially the engraved one. But budget does not allow it. So. Very. Envious. :) Congratulations!


  4. Wow! You’re busy!

    I hope you have a good time, and that you get some writing/editing in. Enjoy! :)


  5. I like your pen, I used to love the paper mates, and treated myself to a gold finish vintage one for £20 on Ebay, not quite in your league, but I love it so much!


    • THat’s a good price, though. I’d love to get a Schaeffer snorkel at some time for a brother who’s still devastated to have lost his. He adored that pen. Strange how attached we can become to different pens!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kay Samuelson says:

    I do wish you lots of luck, with a great deal of fun thrown in, too. I do know the value of a good pen; I am one of those old relics who learned to take shorthand about 55 years ago. To my surprise, I was still using it before I retired, as late as 2008. Some people don’t like talking into a machine. A great pen is the best asset to a stenographer.


    • The strange thing is, there appear to be more and more dinosaurs popping up out of the woodwork all the time. With luck we can turn back the tide of biros and schools refusing to teach joined-up handwriting! Thanks for the comment, Kay.


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