The days and weeks
continue to pass by one moment at a time. I have established a routine and just
as I used to wonder when I retired how I ever found time to work, now I wonder as
there still never seems enough time for everything how I ever used to find time
to go out before lockdown. My days are a little like this:
- Mornings write or
mark if some work comes in from the university.
- Coffee break mid-morning
during which I read magazines – professional ones about writing, the
Times Higher Educational supplement, or publications from National Trust, English Heritage, Wildlife Trust, National Women’s Register or
U3A. These publications are all a little thinner at the moment.
- Cook lunch if it’s
my turn. Martin and I take it in turns cooking.
- Sort out CaféLit.
- Spend half an hour
indulging myself in reading all of my interesting emails, not just the important
ones. Then deal with all the important ones.
- Half hour of Tai
Chi or similar, half an hour reading in the garden and then doing a little work
in the garden – mainly dead-heading, weeding and dealing with pests. This is weather
dependent of course.
- Go through my
submissions list and make one new submission.
- Any U3A work, critique
work or post that needs dealing with. Or online shopping
- Form 6.30 until
7.00 Mondays to Fridays we have a virtual choir practice via Zoom.
- Evenings - publishing
All of this is punctuated
by trips on to social media and sometimes disrupted by a Zoom or other online
session: French, German or Spanish conversation, Society of Authors, SCBWI or other
webinars, talks by National Women’s Register, for example.
If anything gets finished
early, I move on to the next thing on the list.
News about my writing
I’m still carrying
on much as before: The Round Robin, the
fifth book in the Schellberg Cycle, Not
Just Fluffy Bunnies, and I’m still
working on The Business of Writing. I’ve just finished the first draft and am
about a third of the way through a second draft.
I’m also continuing
to write stories relating to the virus and the collection I’m putting together
with other writers is growing. I’m ending that call to submission today but am continuing
to write and collect stories for Aftermath,
an invitation to write speculative and near future fiction about what may
happen after the virus. One scenario is of course that there may be no after
and the virus might be with us forever.
The Young Person’s Library
I’ve added new
This is a very attractive compilation of classic and modern
texts for Christmas, suitable for fluent readers.
This old classic disrupted my PGCE year. Many students were reading
this instead of getting on with course work or preparing lessons. It’s quite difficult
to identify the reader for this one.
A retelling of a lesser-known fairy tale with references to
Beauty and the Beast, The Snow Queen and the Frog Prince. There’s a touch of
Although there are references to the World
War II and evacuation, it is more a story about relationships and superstition.
It’s a nice short book and an easy read.
a fast-paced hilarious adventure with a few poignant moments. It is suitable for fluent readers and early teens.
Current reading recommendation
You can read my full
review of it here.
It’s possibly a fluent
reader book but also suitable for adults. The characters are rounded and believable.
The pace is enticing. Chapters are short,
making it easy to read. Yet it’s a hefty volume, some 472 pages long.
Note: these are
usually mobi-files to be downloaded to a Kindle. Occasionally there are PDFs.
I’m giving away The Tower. This follows on from the
novel offered last month and in March. and continues the story of the Peace Child. Protagonist
Kaleem started nagging at me and I had to write a fourth story about him. I
have a fifth one planned. So much for it being a trilogy!
economic situation at the moment is making me realise how the Zenoton may have
created their society. And that is one of the bits of Covid 19 writing I’m
currently working on.
You can download The Tower and lots of other free
please review it if you read it.
normally my books and the books supplied by the imprints I manage sell for
anything from £0.99 to £10.99, with most on Kindle being about £2.99 and the
average price for paperback being £7.00. We have to allow our writers to make a
living. But I’m offering these free samples so that you can try before you buy.
Also at the moment I’m quite happy for you to share these links with other
people and any of the items you’ve downloaded before - just until the end of
The Schellberg Project
The posts may be helpful for teachers who are familiar with
the Schellberg stories or who are teaching about the Holocaust and also for
other writers of historical fiction.
I’ve written about Carrie’s
War here as well, though this time I’m describing how much it does give
us some insight into what it must have been like for evacuees during World War
I’ve also written a post about which girls I’ve decided to include the The Round Robin. Read the post here.
I’ve suspended these until further notice. I’m now starting
work on a series of on-line materials.
Some notes about my newsletters and
They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they
Bridge House Authors
For all those published by Bridge House, CaféLit,
Chapeltown or The Red Telephone or interested in being published by us. General
news about the imprints. News for writers. Links to book performance. Sign up here.
News about our books. Sign up here.
The Creative Café Project
News about the project and CaféLit –
for the consumer rather than for the producer.
Sign up here.
News about my writing, The Schellberg Project, School
Visits and Events. Book recommendations and giveaways. Find it here.
Pushing Boundaries, Flying Higher
News about conferences and
workshops to do with the young adult novel. (infrequent postings) Sign up here
Red Telephone Books
News about our books and our authors. Sign
A Publisher’s Perspective
Here I blog as a publisher. Access
The Creative Café Project
Listings and reviews of creative
cafés. See them her
Find these here
Gill James Writer
All about writing and about my books. View
Gill’s Recommended Reads
Find information here
about books that
have taken me out of my editor’s head and a reminder of the ones I’ve
highlighted in this newsletter.
Gill’s Sample Fiction
Read some of my fiction here.
The House on Schellberg Street
All about my Schellberg project.
Read it here.
All about teaching creative writing.
Some creative writing exercises. Access this here.
Books Books Books
Weekly offers on our books and news of new
books. Find them here.
The Young Person’s Library I am gradually moving the children’s book
catalogue over to this site. Access it here.
Fair Submissions I am gradually moving the Opportunities
List to this site. Find it here.
ones are added several times a day. Roughly once a month I go through it and
take out all of the out of date ones. At that point I send it out to a list. If
you would like to be on that list, sign up here.
Happy reading and