Never-Ending Story…

Today, for the first time, I worked in my new STUDY, which is now fully equipped with desk and chair, rug and shelving (I will post a photo, just as soon as I’ve tidied up a bit).

I think I should call it my ‘office’, actually. I read somewhere once, that ‘office’ sounds more work-like, ‘study’ just sounds like you’re going to read or have a snooze.

It was a bit chilly (there’s heat but it’s a cold room, as it’s the annexe above our garage) but I survived a couple of hours in there, before the temperature and my desperate need to reconnect to the internet, drove me back into the house.

Having no interweb was actually GOOD. It made me realise how often I click onto it, just to check… you know. So, I’m thinking of taking the radical step of NOT having internet access in there at all. Ever.

[I interrupt this post to vote for Limahl to do the next trial on ‘I’m A Celebrity’. He may be an ’80s music icon but he’s very, very annoying]

I wish I hadn’t bothered to log on, as it turned out, because I had an email from Maureen Street and you know what that means. Yes, it’s the same-old-never-ending story: WW rejecting a story! Aaagh*.

But the study office is a step forward. I will let you know if it increases my output! (or if I just freeze).

Escalator Literature Competition

There’s not much time for this but if you live in the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk or Suffolk) and you’re over 18, you might be interested in entering the Escalator Literature Competition to “win a year’s worth of creative and professional development, funding support, and key introductions to agents and publishers.” There are more details here and you’ve got until 28th November to apply.

Reader’s Digest: Favourite Word Competition

And for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live in that part of the world…. here’s something that’s almost as good.

If you let Reader’s Digest know your favourite WORD, you could win £100 cash and £100 worth of Chambers books (thesaurus and dictionary, etc) and there are 50 runners-up prizes of Chambers books. You’ve got until 14th December to email your word and the reason why (or, if you’re feeling very technical and clever, you can record your reason – no longer than 2 minutes – and upload your video onto YouTube!!)

More details here.

*am being a bit of a drama queen. I actually have a story in the current issue of Woman’s Weekly, so all is not lost.

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23 Responses to Never-Ending Story…

  1. chrissie says:

    well done re womans weekly just like to say I really enjoy your blog

  2. Derek says:

    I am really disappointed to read that you watch ” celebrity get me out”.i recommend you don’t spread it around!!

  3. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    I’m with Derek on the Celebrity thing. You wouldn’t catch me watching that. By the way, is this the right time for a high five for the WW story?

  4. Patsy says:

    Not having the internet in your office is very sensible – I’m sure I’d get more done if I didn’t have it in mine.

    Congrats on the WW story.

  5. Congratulations on the WW story, Helen and thanks for the link to the Reader’s Digest comp. I too have a chilly room in which I write. Showing my lack of originality here: it’s called ‘the writing room’.

  6. Linda says:

    I call my writing space ‘my office’ because it sounds more professional than the spare bedroom. It’s a good idea not to have internet connection, but how many times a day will you have to ‘go home’ to check something?

    • That’s a very good question, Linda. ‘Home’ is down the (outside) stairs and across the (smallish) garden, so not too far but I would have to bring my laptop out with me, as it’s the only one I have and there’s always the risk of falling down the stairs (especially in the dark!), so I’m hoping it will all prove too much hassle and I will remain IN the office until I have written something! And then, my reward will be, to come ‘home’ and check emails!

  7. Maggie May says:

    People can be so snobby about ‘I’m a Celeb…’ I like to watch it to see how characters interact with each other and to see how wrong you can be about the perception of someone. The voting public ruin the programme – they keep voting for Helen because she is so squeemish. The same applies to the X-Factor – ruined by the stupid public who have just voted out the best singer.

    By the way my favourite writing space is in a cosy chair with a pad and pen. No temptation to check emails. I go up to ‘the office’ when I have something solid to write and know I will get on with it.

    • Maggie – very wise (about sitting in a chair away from emails!!). And yes, people are a bit snobby about ‘I’m A Celeb’. I don’t mind them saying it’s a load of rubbish if they’ve actually watched it but most of them dismiss it without even having seen it (just like a lot of people say the Harry Potter books are rubbish without having read them!). It’s light entertainment. It makes me laugh and, like you, I enjoy the interaction between the different personalities because, being a writer, I tend to be interested in the way people think and act.. .strange that.

  8. Hi Helen, the way Limahl was screaming in that room was funny, and when he asked if anybody minded if he ate meat, but he’s a vegetarian when they’re all so hungry they’d eat each other was priceless. Your office/study/writing room. Counldn’t you call it Helen’s Place, would be more ‘you’ and I wouldn’t get the internet in there. Look forward to your photo of it.

  9. Tracy Fells says:

    So glad you posted about the Reader’s Digest comp – I’d heard about this and then promptly forgot where! Study, sorry, Office sounds lovely – do post a photo. During winter months I try to avoid using heating during the day when writing and resort to: hot-water bottle, leggings (designed for hikers are best) under jog pants, fingerless gloves and several pairs of socks. Keeps me toasty but then panic ensues if the doorbell goes as I must look like a bag lady…

    • That made me laugh, Tracy. I know what you mean – it feels very extravagant to have the heating on all day, doesn’t it? Would be lovely to have a library just at the end of the road, nicely heated and empty, where we could hide away in a little corner! Ah well – never satisfied, am I?!

  10. Debbie W says:

    Well, I don’t know about you but I’m keeping an eye on I’m a Celeb ’cause David is fit, fit, fit. Plus it’s just a bit of fun, as is the X Factor. I agree, Lamahl seems to be demonstrating he feels superior tor Helen yet I bet if he’d had to stick his face into a photocopier full of cockroaches I honestly don’t think he’d manage it.

    Lucky you having your own writing area. I can only dream of that although I do have a shed at the bottom of the garden where I could go. How will you cope when the really cold weather comes, Helen?

    I enjoy reading your blog. I have one now btw

    Best wishes,
    Debbie W

    • Debbie
      I agree, David is a lovely bit of man-candy!! And yes, I don’t think any of them could have plunged their face into those cockroaches – ugh! You couldn’t even see the stars, could you? (sorry, those of you for whom this is all jibberish). I was devastated when I realised it wasn’t on tonight!!
      Thanks for your kind comments about the blog – I will check yours out!

  11. Jo Tiddy says:

    I seem to recall Limahl being irritaing in 1983 as well, but he had fab hair. Am I showing my age?

  12. KH says:

    Well done on your WW story, Helen. I really enjoyed the writing. As for special writing space without Internet access I ventured with my laptop into an outhouse which we painted up and called an office last year. It was hard being away from all the things I like and not being able to peruse emails etc but I managed to write a novel. I think I also managed to give myself Pneumonia too. I wasn’t well at all for ages. Still it was proof that it worked for me in terms of the writing. But I would certainly advise that you keep warm. I’ts amazing how easy it is to forget what your body feels like when the muse gets you and you’re writing like crazy. Good wishes KH
    P.S I’m still looking for an agent though!

  13. Debbie W says:

    I didn’t see I am a celeb last night as my aerial has been blown around and the result is no TV. Still, I was pleased to see the news on line this morning Lamahl has been asked to totter off – hurray.

    Debbie W

  14. Rachel says:

    I’m actually writing my NaNoWriMo piece during I’m a Celeb. I find that it distracts me from thinking I’m stuck and there’s at least a million ad breaks where you don’t need to watch at all.

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