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 work.
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’ve had a little bit of flash speculative fiction published this month. I was grateful to be paid $20.00 for this. https://pagespineficshowcase.com/outta-this-world/elementary-gill-james . It just goes to show that you should keep on trying: this was rejected four times before it was accepted.
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
The full catalogue is gradually moving from http://www.gilljameswriter.eu/p/blog-page_81.html to https://www.theyoungpersonslibrary.co.uk/
I’ve added new this month:
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 feminism too.
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.
This is a fast-paced hilarious adventure with a few poignant moments. It is suitable for fluent readers and early teens.
Current reading recommendation
I’m recommending this month North Child by Edith Pattou.
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!
Certainly the 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 materials here.
Please, please, please review it if you read it.
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. 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 lock-down.
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 II.
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 blogs
They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they all do.
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.
Chapeltown Books 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.
Gill’s News: 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 up here.
A Publisher’s Perspective Here I blog as a publisher. Access this here.
The Creative Café Project Listings and reviews of creative cafés. See them here.
CaféLit Stories Find these here
Gill James Writer All about writing and about my books. View this here.
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.
Writing Teacher 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.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.
Happy reading and writing.