Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Blissfully lost in the woods...

We've been blessed with the most amazing weather for my writing residency in the Sherwood Forest. Today I woke early and took our puppy Ringo for a walk in Sherwood Forest. He was in heaven following trails through the high bracken. The smell of pine was too delicious a temptation for him!  What a way to wake the senses. I have sometimes compared the process of writing to entering a woodland and following paths, being guided by your senses and instinct as you follow trails into your own story.

I returned home with Ringo and set out again, this time in running gear with the intention of getting well and truly lost in the woods. As I went off the main tracks taking me further and further into the woods I was transported back to my childhood wonderment in woodland scenery to a time when a whole day might pass in the simple pleasure of building a den.
It's little wonder that  so many of our favourite children's stories are set in woodland. Even as an adult the feeling of not quite knowing which path will lead you back to the familiar can be slightly unnerving and yet in that 'uncertain' moment lies new discovery... you begin to rely on your senses and your memory in a way that we're not often called on to do in a highly technical world.

In the afternoon I was joined by a wonderful group of people with their children who had come to hear me reading. I read from 'Artichoke Hearts'  and then the heat of the day helped to transport us to Kolkata where the young people took roles in a scene in the children's orphanage in 'Jasmine Skies'. Finally I returned to the woods, giving them a sneak preview of a woodland scene in my next book 'Kite Spirit' which is set in The Lake District..

On Thursday I will be holding a writing workshop in a shady glade where I will be playing the game of ' Closing your eyes and opening your senses' to the wonders of the woodland. Who knows what  strange and extraordinary creatures,characters and stories will emerge... If you go down to the woods today...

Thanks to the lovely team of people at Sherwood Forest Pines for planning such a special residency.

A Radio 4 journalist making a programme about wonderful experiences in the British countryside asked why this was such a special holiday. 'Does the sun help?' She asked ... the sun is definitely helping but the best thing come rain or shine is to remember the joys and excitement of being well and truly lost in the woods...


  1. It was so lovely to meet you yesterday Sita. I've just bought the Kindle edition of Artichoke Hearts because I wanted to find out what happened next!

  2. Thank so much. You too. It was a lovely gathering. I hope you enjoy the story.