Wednesday 31 December 2014

Well, it’s the last day of 2015 and I’m still enjoying that Christmas holiday bubble where the days are still dark, we stay in a lot, see a lot of friends and family and also consume a lot of story. I’m reading and writing avidly, getting used to my new tablet (birthday present) and getting around to a lot of “writerly” work the day job often doesn’t leave time for. Lots of submissions, marketing and updating web pages.
On a personal level, we’re still getting over the rather nasty burglary we suffered in November. We lost two cars, cash, a passport, keys, a folder of music, a Kindle - and a bath towel! I say we’re getting over it but it’s been more interesting than traumatic. No, I’m not traumatised that they came in the middle of the night through a front window whilst we were asleep. I almost admire them for that. I do feel slightly uncomfortable because I think they were watching the house and they’d got our movements worked out and because I am convinced they cloned my bank cards. My handbag was found ten miles away from our house. It was on a footpath going up to a house. They’d left my memory stick, my work ID and my credit card very visibly in the wrong part of the bag.  They’d wanted it to be found and they wanted me to think my bank cards were safe.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Changing regimes – and changing back again

Since 2003 I’ve spent the first two hours of every day writing. Yes, even weekends and when on holiday. However, I don’t beat myself up if I don’t manage it. I count the weekends and holidays as extra and set them against the days when I don’t manage to write.
I also try to write 2000 words. I don’t always manage it but often come close – say 1750.
This can actually be quite productive and has led to a novel every eighteen months or so, and several short stories, articles and academic papers.
Then this academic year for the first time, it all seemed to go to pot. I just couldn’t seem to fit it in. Work seemed to make more demands.  

Monday 8 December 2014

A belated November newsletter

It’s that time of year again and we’re on the run into that festival. Yes, Christmas is a time when I traditionally do a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. I watch a lot TV – some of the cheesy variety and some other, more serious material, often some of that good old British drama. Lots of ideas bubble away.
I always see this time of year as a type of hibernation – we feed ourselves – physically, intellectually and emotionally, we stay indoors and keep ourselves warm – and we writers hope that lots of people will read our books. Perhaps they’ll have a new Kindle for Christmas and download some of our works.              
I have a birthday just before Christmas and though I used to curse it as a child I now welcome it: it’s the day our hemisphere starts titling back towards the light and I’ve only ever been to school once on my birthday. I’ve never been to work – though I may do a little writing.  The end of the gloom seems a good time to welcome a new year and new plans for new works.
Of course also, there are lots of celebrations and yesterday we held a gathering of Bridge House and CafeLit authors. More about this below!