Another 1st January Blog Post…

Happy new YearIs anyone else confused? It feels like Sunday to me today but I’m reliably informed that it’s actually Friday. We’ve still got a whole weekend ahead of us! Weird! (But good, at the same time). There must be a name for it (New Year discombobulation?).

Ooh, it was difficult to write that last word because my ‘B’ key broke off the laptop last night and I’m having to press the little stumpy white peg every time I need that letter. I would take a photo to show you but it’s all dusty down there, in the depths of the keyboard and I’m too ashamed. This could be an excuse to buy a new MACHINE! (Because it’s not just the ‘B’ – it’s old!). If any of you have any ‘machine’ recommendations, do let me know!

Hope you had a good Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. Let’s hope all our writing dreams come true (or at least, a bit nearer!) in the New Year.

Here’s what’s coming up in 2016:

1. A FREE writing competition on this blog once I reach 600 followers!

2. On Monday afternoon (or is it Wednesday or Saturday week?) Douglas McPherson is interviewing me by phone for Writer’s Forum magazine, all about my People’s Friend serial win. I’m rather excited about that! (let’s hope I don’t forget and go out…).

3. I’ve sent my writing targets for 2016 to Sally and she’s sent hers to me, so we’re all set for the New Year. I won’t bore you with the details of mine (plus if I reveal them, it feels a bit like setting myself up for failure!) but suffice to say, one of my goals is to write a post a week on the blog in 2016. If there’s anything (writing-related!) that you’d like me to write about, do let me know!

4. On Thursday 30th June 2016, my friend Chris and I will be running a book/literary quiz for the brand new Evesham Festival of Words! More details here.

If you live in or around Evesham and you’ve got some bookish pals to make up a team of 4, please put the date in your diary! We’d love to have a full house for this quiz!

5. And finally, if, like me, you’ve never read Tolstoy’s War And Peace (and let’s face it, who’s got time?), you might want to tune into the BBC’s epic new adaptation, which starts on 3rd January, BBC 1, 9pm (this Sunday!). It is, apparently ‘racy and pacy’ – that’ll do me.

War And Peace is 560,000 words long

War And Peace is 560,000 words long

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16 Responses to Another 1st January Blog Post…

  1. Maggie says:

    I am rather in awe of your achievements as my writing is on a much smaller scale and it has to fit in with reading (of course), knitting, drawing and general domestic stuff, which strangely I quite enjoy, but if you would like to pop over to my very modest new blog, you would be very welcome. I’m at

  2. Maggie, thank you – I have popped over to your shiny new blog and will leave a message! One of the things I want to do in 2016 is expand my reading and not always stick to the same writers and genres, so your Val McDermid recommendation is very interesting! (great picture too).

  3. Ninette says:

    You are not alone in your confusion! I cannot believe it is Saturday today…surely it’s Monday? 🙂 If you are going to get a new computer I would have no hesitation in recommending a MacBook – if you’re not already using one. They take a bit of getting used to but a bit like an Aga, once you’ve had one you never find other makes very good. (I believe you have an Aga?). I love my Mac! I have ‘writing plans’ for this year rather than ‘targets’ and hopefully it’s going to start with a screen writing course in Dorset…if they’ve still got space for me. Plans to be in the UK for longer, which I’m looking forward to – except of course for the weather as it is, without doubt, better here in Italy. But we’ll also be spending time here – how lucky am I? Happy New Year!

    • Ninette, thanks for your message and Happy New Year! Hope to see you in 2016 then, when you’re gracing the UK with your presence! I do have an Aga but I must admit, it’s still a bit of a mystery to me. Luckily ‘the man’ can work it so I just shout up the stairs to him “What’s 200 degrees C?” and the answer comes back, “Bottom of the top oven, with the cooling plate out” or something equally weird. Seems to work, though! But if a MacBook is that complicated, I’m doomed…! Still thinking about what to do and getting the hang of the strange ‘b’!

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    Good luck with finding your letter B! I really do think it’s the best excuse for getting a new computer. I have a tiny laptop that fits in a handbag (biggish) and it’s brilliant as I can take it anywhere. Good luck with your goal setting – I shall be doing mine with Tracy soon. P.S What day is it?

    • Wendy, I don’t have a clue what day it is. It feels like Sunday now but.. hold on, I’ll just check.. yes, it’s Saturday night! I’m really disorientated! Enjoy your teacakes.. erm, I mean goal setting – with Tracy!

  5. rosgemmell says:

    Happy New Year – we’re having the same problem with what day it is! Looking forward to War and Peace as it’s probably the only way I’ll ever get to know the story.

  6. Heather Walker says:

    I’m actually reading War and Peace right now! I bought it for 10p at a church fair and then realised it’s just the first of two volumes (around 700 close print pages in each). I’m at page 450. It was a plod at first but it’s got more interesting and dare I say I’m quite enjoying it now. Probably will watch the TV adaptation – it will save me seeking volume two! Good luck with the interview and have a great year of writing!

    • Heather, I am impressed! I can’t even face ‘The Goldfinch’ which has been on my bookshelf for about 2 years and it’s probably half the size of War & Peace! Thanks for your good wishes and the same to you, for your writing in 2016!

  7. traceyglasspool says:

    Happy new year Helen – look forward to all your news in 2016 and the PF serial. War & Peace has been on the bookshelf for many years and still looks pristine, unlike the well-loved Rebecca which it sits next to. I did get halfway through Anna Karenina once – does that count?

  8. I’d never read war and peace, but might try the tv version. My aims are to finish the serial that I sent in to P.F. Write a follow up to my romantic novel, and also work on volume 2 of my village stories, Redington. And I want to blog at least once a week as well. Means I need to be on facebook and twitter less, but that’s probably not a bad thing. Happy New Year, and can’t wait to read your serial in P.F. and the interview in W.F.

  9. You’re going to be busy, Susan! Good luck with it all and Happy New Year to you too. And thanks for following my blog!

  10. Keith Havers says:

    Hope you reach 600 followers soon, Helen, so we can have one of your fun comps.

  11. Nicola says:

    Happy New Year, Helen. I hope your interview went well. Look forward to reading all about it soon.

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