Endings and Beginnings
Well our house move is getting ever nearer. Considering that
there is no chain and neither we nor the vendors have a mortgage involved it’s
taking a considerable amount of time.
Apparently documents have been lost in the post, emails have been sent
to non-existent people and we actually have done our own searches much more
quickly than the solicitor has completed hers. As we paid for a full survey, we
received detailed reports. Martin is interested in family history and this
sometimes means delving into old maps.
We’ve found an old map of the area we’re moving to. And like in our
former home we’ll have the foundations of a much older building in our garden. Already we like the old wall that borders the
1960s built house. We’ll be in walking distance of the pub, the church, the
river and many bus routes into Bury.
Martin’s family history work is giving me tons of ideas for
stories. Such fun!
I also had my last formal session with my MA group
yesterday. They are such a nice bunch of students. It’s been a particular
interesting course to teach as much of the content in delivered by outsiders or
by people who work elsewhere in the university. So, I’ve learnt a lot myself. I
really act as a sort of supervising tutor to all of the students but they each
also have individual supervisors for their projects. I’m supervising four
Next week they have individual interviews with me.
Then of course comes some marking and I’m also completing
some marking on another module. I always feel marking enhances my editing
skills. I get paid for it to boot.
News about my writing
I’m now steaming ahead with my writing again. The House of Clementine is beginning to
shape up. I’m punctuating the editing
process by writing bits of flash fiction. I’m still working on 280 x 70 - sequel to 140 x 140. This works in a similar
way. Each time I write I look at the
first picture I see on my Twitter feed and write a story about it in exactly
Then in between each edit of The House of Clementine I’m writing a longer short story. I’m getting plenty of stories at the moment
from my journeys by bus. I still have to jot the ideas down as soon as I get
them or they drift away again. I use my
phone for this more often than not.
books for children
added several titles to this over the last month. It continues to grow. You can
find it here. Do take a look if you’re into children’s
books. This month I’ve included How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen
Glasgow (YA), Hilary
McKay’s Fairy Tales (fluent reader), The Monster Café by Sean Leahy and Mihaly Orodan (pre-school)
Phoenix Burning by Bryony Pearce (YA).
Current reading recommendation
This month I have
chosen You Me Everything by Catherine
Isaac. I borrowed this from my local library and it has a “Read Regional”
sticker on it. So, presumably I’m supporting a local writer. I hope I’ve
triggered some PLR.
I found the
characters very engaging and the story intriguing. It has an upbeat
ending. Protagonist single mum Jess has
a secret. She lets us in on it part of the way through and then we hold our
breath as other characters gradually find out what that is.
This isn’t a great
literary work but neither could you really classify it as popular fiction. You
could call it a romance but the actual romance isn’t the main theme of the
That is what is so
great about much British literature. Its position isn’t clichéd.
And this book,
anyway, is well written.
Give it a go.
You’ll find it here.
This month I’m
giving away my flash fiction collection January
Stones. These were written one a day from 1 to 31 January 2013.
Access it and lots of other freebies here.
Note, that 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.
Naturally I welcome reviews.
The Schellberg Project
I’ve added just one post to the project this month. It is
one that may be of use to teachers and will also form part of the discovery
pack in the workshop. I give a little more detail about the Karl Schubert
School which moved out of the House on Schellberg Street only in the late 1960s
– in fact just a few years before I completed half of my year abroad in
Stuttgart. This was part of my BA Dual Hons in French and German. I found a
room to rent in the home of two elderly
sisters. When they found out about the connection with Clara Lehrs they were beside
themselves. “Oh yes. We know Haus Lehrs. It is very important to us.”
I remain amazed that the school in the cellar survived not
just World War II and the Nazi regime but also the exigencies of education in
the 20th and 21st century in a country that is pragmatic
about and demanding of its education.
You can read the post here.
My third book in the Schellberg cycle, Girl in a Smart Uniform is starting its design process any moment
I’m still proactively promoting my school visits associated
with The House on Schellberg Street
project. I’ve now developed a whole workshop for this. It starts off with a
board game, includes some role play and creative writing and ends with a
It is now possible to purchase the kit to work on on your
own. Find details here.
Costs for my workshops = travel expenses plus £400 for a
full day and £200 for a half day. This includes all materials and some
freebies. Two schools near to each other might consider splitting the day and
halving the travel expenses and fees. This is open to negotiation in any
I also offer a free half day visit, though you pay my travel
expenses, if you allow me to promote my books.
I’m continuously adding materials for schools to the site
that are different from the ones I use for the workshops. I’ve recently added
in resources and books to do with the topic. See them here
Query for a school visit here.
I’m also happy to tailor a visit for your agreed donation.
This can be for either a Schellberg Cycle
visit or a creative writing workshop. Any monies raised this way will go specifically
to a project I have for a non-fiction book about a journey that will follow the
footsteps of Clara Lehrs.
I’m hoping to do the whole journey by train, including departing via my nearest
Metrolink station. It’s important to feel the rails beneath my feet.
I offer as well standard author visits which include
readings from my books, Q & A sessions and creative writing exercises.
Please remember, with these as well, I’m open to negotiation
if you can’t afford the full price.
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,
CafeLit, Chapletown or The Red Telephone or interested in being published by
us. General news about the imprints. News for writers. Link to book
performance. Sign up here.
News about our books. Sign up here.
The Creative Café Project
about the project and CaféLit – for the consumer rather than for the
Sign up here.
News about my writing, The Schellberg Project, School
Visits and Events. Find it here.
Opportunities List Remember I
keep a full list of vetted opportunities on my writing blog. See them here. New
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.
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.
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.
Happy reading and