Very Inspired Blogger Award

very-inspirational-blogger1Happy Christmas! I hope you’ve all had a good day.

We wandered up to the local pub and had an unexpectedly-delicious seven course meal, washed down with 2 bottles of wine and then staggered home again, so I can’t complain.

The Literary Pig (otherwise known as Tracy Fells) has nominated me for a ‘Very Inspired Blogger’ award. How kind!

I must admit that I don’t always ‘accept’ these blog awards because they seem a little bit ‘blowing-one’s-own-trumpet-y’, but as it’s Christmas, I’m going to make an exception.

I have to tell you 7 random facts about me, so I’ll try to relate them to writing…

1. One of my Christmas presents (he knows me so well…) was a ‘procrastination pen’. It says ‘Do It Later’ on the side and ‘Because no one likes an overachiever’ on the back of the box.

2. I studied English (and German) at Leeds University, at the same time as ITN journalist Nina Nannar but if I had my time over, I’d have studied Creative Writing. (*sighs*)

3. My dad calls my writing for the women’s magazines, ‘Stories about Auntie Mary’ (!)

4. I am always torn between reading and writing (and other stuff, obviously. See 1).

5. I am trying to write a serial set in 1905. Getting that finished – and hopefully accepted – is one of my goals for the New Year. (*snaps procrastination pen in half!*)

6. I submitted over 135,000 words to magazines and competitions in 2012. This wasn’t all new writing – some of the pieces and stories were sent out 2 or 3 times to different places – but it’s still more than I’ve ever done.

7. I’ve got the star letter in the latest issue of Psychologies magazine. I’ve won a complete pedicure set worth £88. (Quite a feet, don’t you think?)

I hope those were suitably random! I’m not going to pass the ‘award’ on – not because I’m mean but because everyone I know in the blogging world has already had enough of ‘em!

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12 Responses to Very Inspired Blogger Award

  1. Patsy says:

    Congratulations on your award.

  2. KH says:

    Happy Christmas to you and yours, Helen. You’re a star taking time to blog on Christmas Day!

    All good wishes KH

  3. Tracy Fells says:

    Wow Helen I’m amazed by no. 6 and the total words submitted. Shows how they mount up! I started tracking words per week in 2012 but not from the start so will be keen to do this again in 2013. Also good news from TPF – just got an email telling me my story is in issue 19 Jan – great they let you know as others don’t! Can’t wait to see what artwork goes with my story.

    • Tracy
      Congratulations on your story appearing in PF. I agree, not all magazines do let you know.. hmm, TWN being a case in point. I am still waiting for confirmation that my story did actually appear in 1st December issue!!

  4. P Douglas Hammond says:

    Erm, wrong kind of ‘feat’, me thinks

    • Erm, it was meant to be a pun…. ?


      • johny141 says:

        Deservedly Pun,ished?

      • P Douglas Hammond says:

        Sorry. I suspected that something was afoot.
        All the same, I am sitting quietly in the corner now, eating Umbel Pie.

        While you are there; I was wondering what you think about including a blurb in a book.
        I recently started reading a something by Martin Amis, and had I not read the blurb beforehand I would not have finished reading the first page. The story was so confusing and uninteresting, that without knowing in advance what the plot was, there was no incentive to continue.
        I would have thought that this was a sign of bad writing – even though the confusion could be justified. When I write, I like to drip feed the reader clues right from the start – but not before the start.
        Is this one of the perks of being a successful writer – that you can bend the rules?


      • Peter
        Interesting point. I was actually only thinking the same thing myself, the other day, as I pondered ‘The Poet’s Wife’, a novel by Judith Allnatt, which has been on my bedside table to read for months (actually, make that over a year!). It’s very slow at the beginning (I’ve read the first couple of pages) and if I didn’t know it was about the poet John Clare and therefore of interest to me (I also like Judith Allnatt as a tutor and writer), then I’m sure, like you with the Amis book, I wouldn’t be prepared to continue with it (when I get chance!).
        I think that’s the difference between a novel and a short story. With short stories, we haven’t got a clue what’s going to happen (usually) and in order to hold our interest, albeit for only a few pages, there needs to be a hook and/or something to keep us reading. With a novel, it’s acceptable for it to be more of a ‘slow burn’. The blurb is what usually piques (sp?) our interest and if providing a blurb seems like ‘cheating’ well, I don’t think it is, really. Agents and publishers require a synopsis or summary of a novel before they read it, don’t they? So it seems acceptable for potential readers to have an idea of what the story will be about before we commit the hours it will take to read a novel.

      • P Douglas Hammond says:

        I have just discovered that I am a pedant (and am proud to be one), so I had to look up ‘pique’; what an odd word!
        Thanks for your reply Helen; I suppose you are right; I never have been much of a reader myself, but normally went by the author’s name when choosing a book, or by the picture on the cover – perhaps not the best system.
        I have not had anything published yet, but I’m aware that I have plenty to learn before I even try. I would like to think though, that it won’t be too long before pluck up courage to send something in.

        I have another question, if I may: Every time I read through my work, I find things to change – punctuation, words, word order etc. Do you find this still happens even after a book is in print? ‘Oh no! that’s wrong! I could have worded that better.’

      • Peter Sadly I don’t yet have a book in print (only stories and articles) so I can’t honestly answer but I think that’s the sub-editor’s job, so no, I don’t think most writers worry to much about grammar, etc, once a book is published. However, I think most novelists believe that their novels could be improved, once they’re in print and they re-read them. Martin Davies, a novelist and tutor, certainly ‘admitted’ that to us on a course – that if he could rewrite the first novel he had published, he’d do a better job now and I’ve heard that JK Rowling has said the same. Every novel you write is a learning experience and the more you write, apparently, the better you get. So, once you’ve had a few published, you’re bound to look back at the first couple of books and think ‘I could do those better now’. Still, it would be a nice problem to have, I think…! I hope that’s answered your question!


  5. P Douglas Hammond says:

    Thanks Helen.
    I do still have many questions, but I will spare you.

    Happy New Year,


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