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Sunday, 28 October 2007

YLAF 2007





A great start to YLAF on Friday night. Sat Nav and I attended the welcome reception at the Holiday Inn, York. Thank you Crin and your team for such a warm welcome.

We met some of the other authors and artists appearing at the biggest lesbian literary event in the UK. It was good to catch up with Val Lee and Jenny Roberts again, and to finally meet Tricia Walker.
And what happened on the way home? Yes . . . you've guessed it, we got lost!
We were so busy singing along to my friend Loraine's music, that we totally missed our turning and inadvertently ended up in York city centre at 10.30pm - not the best time to be driving through York!

Saturday morning we were up at 6am! Of course there isn't only the two of us to get ready, we had to leave food prepared for the animals - you would think we had five thousand! Don't worry, our lovely friends and neighbours were seeing to them, we didn't expect the animals to have to help themselves buffet service fashion. Do you know if I could only teach the Labrador to open tins himself I could make millions, but I don't know if I could trust him to share though!

We arrived at York Racecourse for the event at about 9.30am so Sat Nav was right on course with directions. Time for a cup of tea, and to meet up with my facilitators in the green room.

My first panel of the day was to discuss 'Characters' with Marianne K. Martin and Jane Fletcher which was expertly chaired by Val Lee. Of course I had to talk about Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson who I'm sure was sitting somewhere in the audience. It was lovely to meet and chat with Marianne and Jane, but Marianne I would ditch the cola lol! ;-)

Early afternoon brought the YLAF Players to the stage with their version of True Pride & Prejudice. This was a brilliant performance and went down a storm. Well done to Crin Claxton for penning this and congrats to Stella Duffy for her marvelously inventive ad libbing. You cracked it girl!

My second panel participation was later in the day when Publishing was our topic. I joined Tricia Walker for this panel which was led by Kelly Smith of Bywater Books. We had a small attendance at this one, but everyone was so wanting to be there that the time just flew and we ran well over. Special thanks to Kelly Smith for hanging in there especially when she had a terrible cold and was not feeling well. Hope you're feeling better today Kelly.

Congratulations Tricia on your book sales . . . more books had to be sourced as the stock was sold out. Fantastic.

It was also a pleasure to meet up with and chat to Sarah Waters and Stella Duffy - two very talented women whose writing I admire.

Crin - I see that Sat Nav bought your vampire book . . . looking forward to reading that if I can prize it off her!

To all of the people who attended my panels I would like to say a big thank you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

And finally to Crin again, and this has to be said . . . what an organizer!
You did an excellent job of organizing the whole event and I hope you will continue to do this. The entire team were brilliant, it appeared to run like clockwork. Great stuff.

The photos are top Kelly Smith, Tricia Walker and Ellen Dean publishing panel. The players are Stella Duffy, Semsem Kuherhi and Crin Claxton. And the character panel, Jane Fletcher, V. G. Lee, Marianne K. Martin and Ellen Dean.

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