John Goodwin is a writer friend of mine living in Cyprus. I met him in 2008 while on a UK Author’s Away Week writing holiday in Bellapais, Northern Cyprus. John lives in Paphos but was good enough to taxi me over to the north of the island. He was similarly generous with other writers in the group. While there we critiqued each others work and John quickly established himself with his wit and passion for writing. Later he bought my editing services to content-edit an early draft of a clever thriller based on the upcoming Olympics in London in 2012. His premise is based on a terrorist caught up with a group plotting to sabotage the event to publicise their cause. The protagonist is out of his depth with the group and the story cunningly follows his attempts to avoid trouble yet right wrongs. John is the CEO of a construction company that was involved in scaffolding for the Olympic Stadium and was able to use his inside information to provide engaging insights for the story. The Last Olympiad by John Goodwin is my recommended book of the month. Go for it folks!
Posts Tagged ‘Cyprus’
Between cycling a rented bike in the Akamas National Park, hiking along the coast, and feasting with friends, I hardly had time for writing. Nevertheless, the TV was in Greek and as exciting as Gibraltar TV so I did achieve some lowly fiction targets. I managed to find an internet Café (when will cheap hotels wake up to their guests’ needs?) in Coral Bay, so that meant another bike ride or two. I downloaded batches of stories I am judging for this year’s Whittaker prize and spent evenings reading and grading them.
It was a thrilling moment to huff and puff the rented bike up to Pegia (sp?) where Eleanor was married and have a snack lunch of banana and nuts at the actual spot. My bike can be seen in the photo.
We writers explored the 6th century ruined Basillica at Agios Georgias, only 100 metres from our hotel but the event that intrigued us the most was an abandoned hotel next door. The pool contained about a metre of horrible murky water. We had to investigate because at night the frogs made such a din. Of course they stopped when we closed in but soon started again when we froze for a few minutes. We couldn’t figure how they got out of the pool. We didn’t see even one of them, only hear what seemed to be hundreds. Unless those frogs have learned to jump out of water and up the pool ladder at dawn, we remain mystified.
The meat-eaters and drinkers among us made the most of the tavernas and told me the food wasn’t cheap but tasty. The only vegan food I found on the menu was Village Salad, and only then when I asked for the Feta cheese to be excluded. What remained was a bowl containing tomatoes, lettuce, onion swimming in a tasty but samey olive oil and vinegar dressing. Occasionally an olive or celery snippet would be in there. You’d think that a society that had evolved into civilization 2000 years before the Brits were living in mud huts, would know to add peppers, avocado, fruit, houmous, cress, nuts… Never mind, it was tasty and healthy. I expect if I paid more than 5 euros and travelled farther than the local village, I’d have found more vegan variety.
I swam every day but only in the hotel unheated pool (approx 15C brrrr at first but Ok for vigour). The sea attracted one of our number who’d brought flippers and snorkelling gear. Temp he estimated at 18C but he found no life in the local harbour though we saw tiny fish in sunnier spots.
I’m glad I went. Talk is of Kerala in India next year.
There are some photos on a page in progress here
I have enough photos to throw together an article for Cycling World and I made some progress on my fantasy, Xaghra’s Revenge.
I’m off to Cyprus soon for a residential writers’ workshop and relaxation. I normally work from home and frequently distracted by seeing chores to do, answering the phone and door, and preparing meals. Being away allows us to focus more on writing and reading. (I’ll still be distracted but by more pleasurable pursuits. It is organized through UKAuthors.com and I’m helping to run it this year with John Goodwin (our Cyprus member) and David Gardiner. That’s no big deal because apart from daily get togethers in the evening for an hour or so reading and critting each others’ work, we are free to spend the day writing or sight seeing. I’m hoping to finish the last two chapters of Xaghra’s Revenge; write a couple of shorts; and rent a bike to explore western Cyprus. Some of the latter will go into a contribution to Cycling World. While we’re there we are visiting the local writers’ group in Paphos. I’m taking a handful of my books and Escape Velocity mag to sell.
For writers of the Whittaker Prize competition that is currently running, I’ll be picking up the entries while on Cyprus. Just think that I’ll be in a good mood grading your stories while basking in the warm.
Back to packing.
Hooray, the clouds evaporated and so I leapt on my bike and travelled partly on the North Cheshire route of the Cheshire Cycle way to reach Latchford in Warrington. After a cup of tea and peanut butter sandwich I pushed a mower around my in-laws’ lawn, swallowed another mug of tea and headed back before the school run. A round trip of 60 miles with only a few short hills such as Dunham, Frodsham and Preston Brook. The only worrying section is around Daresbury just south of Warrington. Workmen are widening a roundabout. it looks as if there maybe a cycle lane for it too, but currently all incoming traffic are funnelled into one lane – so I shared it with HUGE lorries, who sometimes cut back in too soon. I always brake when something carrying a supermarket overtakes me – let them go!
The illustrated booklet arrived today about my writers’ week in Bellapais, Northern Cyprus. Beautiful photographs and great short stories as well as information. Any writer planning to visit Northern Cyprus, especially in the lovely Kyrenia area should buy this cheap book
Sorry about that; I just sneaked away for a couple of weeks to Cyprus. My daughter, Eleanor married Gareth Monk while there, and then instead of returning with my wife, I hid in my rucksack and instructed it to go north to the Turkish Northern lands where I met up with writers on a residential. Cyprus is a marvelous spot for a wedding, for archeological nosing around, for Scuba diving (son and daughter), mountain walking and writing. Brilliant.
I logged on at the odd internet cafe in Cyprus but with connection speeds slower than a snail crawling up a wet window, I waited until I reached home. I promise not to complain about BT Broadband ever again… In amongst the spam was a welcome contract from Double Dragon Publishing to include my short story Abandoned in an anthology. I found I’d had a conversation and it was taken down by Cheryl at Book Connections and used here
Thanks for the plugs, Cheryl – come in handy for sinks.
I also found that I had to do some agency work for my agent. He’s in Chile or some exotic place south of his usual Chicago-ish abode and had neglected to take all my Left Luggage files with him. So when a publisher finally asks for more juicy chunks of my scifi it was passed to me to provide them. That’s Okay, it will be reflected in my remuneration and accounts, mate!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to LES FlOYD for 8th April. He’s up to his elbows in fine eating ware in Exeter.