Feeling All ‘At Sea’…

Just spent a weekend on a narrowboat... I was happiest on dry land!

Just spent a weekend on a narrowboat… I was happiest on dry land!

Typically, just as I had a clear week ahead of me – no meetings, appointments or trips out – and planned to do a serious amount of writing (I had in mind a new story or article every day, to be submitted, so five in total, before the weekend..), what happens?

Yes, Sod’s Law intervenes.

On Sunday night, straight after The Night Manager, I started to feel a bit queasy and .. well, I’ll spare you the details but it involved being sick. A lot. Through the night and the next morning.

So, Monday was a write-off (ha! No pun intended). I lay in bed/on the sofa, generally feeling sorry for myself and only managing to sip the odd bit of water.

Tuesday I felt a bit better but still light-headed and sicky and definitely not in the writing mood. I was hoping I’d be back to ‘normal’ by today and I am – almost – but that’s still over two writing days LOST. Aaagh. Very annoying. But it made me realise how much I take my health for granted. When you’re sick, it’s horrible, isn’t it?

Some things that have cheered me up:

1. Louise Doughty’s excellent thriller Apple Tree Yard which I wrote about here – is being made into a 4 part TV series by the BBC! Wheee! Something to fill the gap that Happy Valley and The Night Manager are leaving.

2. I got my annual payment from ALCS. And I actually tweeted them to say “Thank God for the ALCS #Skint #Writer.” If you have any articles or stories published in the UK, it’s really worth joining them.

3. The first trailer is out for the new Bridget Jones film which, you may remember, I spotted them making when I was in London last year. This may not be exciting for you but I love the books and the character and the only downside is that the film’s not coming out until September! I have just watched this trailer (warning: contains one F word!) and laughed my socks off. Ah, we’ve all still got it, even if Renee, Colin and Emma Thompson are all looking a bit more wrinkly than in the last film (actually Emma wasn’t in the last film, but you know what I mean).

4. I am still smiling about Jackie The Musical which I went to see last Friday in Coventry (and which was hopefully not the cause of my lurgie!). Very good. If you read Jackie, then I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.

5. This has cheered me up, not because I want to enter it myself but because I like it when I find a new, free-to-enter writing competition, so I am sharing it with you:

The Oxford Festival of the Arts are inviting entries to their ‘children’s’ writing competition – it can be a (max 1000 word) story either by a child OR for a child (ie: written by an adult) and the closing date is 29th April 2016. Read the rules here.

They are rather vague about the ‘prizes’ – and perhaps the glory and the chance to read out your work along with other winners and children’s authors, IS the prize?

6. We went on a narrowboat weekend a couple of weeks ago and, looking back, I did really enjoy it. Yes, even Coventry Canal (where we counted 3 shopping trollies in the water and went over a wheelie bin) but it was quite stressful. It would be fine if the canals were twice the width and there was no-one else on them but every time another boat came towards us – eeek, I panicked. Luckily, someone calm was at the helm!

Moored up, with wine and a book. That's my kind of boating!

Moored up, with wine and a book. That’s my kind of boating!

This entry was posted in Competitions, Finding Time To Write, Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Feeling All ‘At Sea’…

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    So much to comment on this week! Firstly, sorry you weren’t well – it’s yuk isn’t it, but glad you’re on the mend. The next thing is, YAY! Apple tree Yard as a series. Brilliant, as it’s my favourite book and I didn’t know. Also, can’t wait for BJ film. I’m off to see Jackie the Musical in a couple of weeks time with 6 friends (all of us Jackie readers) so glad it has the thumbs up. Finally, three cheers for ALCS payments – they paid for our holiday this year – sadly not on a canal boat (love them). Phew that was a long reply! Hope today sees you back to your old writing self x

    • Thanks for your reply, Wendy. I’m sure you will enjoy Jackie! Just make sure you all dress up a bit ..! (We did but to be honest not many of the audience did. But we enjoyed ourselves anyway, in our flares and Rubettes-style caps!). I am all better now, thank you very much. Hope you are having a great Easter!

  2. Hope you’re fully recovered now, Helen and that the soup you had on Saturday wasn’t the cause!

    • Thanks Sally. No, I think it was a bug, rather than anything I ate. Not sure why I think that but it ‘lingered’ a bit longer than perhaps it would if I’d just eaten something that didn’t disagree with me (plus, I have an iron-lined stomach, usually!)

  3. rosgemmell says:

    Glad the rest of your news was happier for you, Helen, and that you’re feeling much better! Absolutely cheers for the ALCS payments. Don’t know Apple Tree Yard but will look out for it as I’ve loved the other two dramas.

  4. Linda says:


    Hope you’re feeling better now and manage to find some time over the long weekend to catch up on your writing. At least you have an excuse now to eat chocolate!


  5. juliathorley says:

    Glad you’re on the mend. I did a doubletake when I saw my ALCS payment! Gratefully received #anotherskintwriter

  6. KateHogan says:

    Glad you’re on the mend, Helen and thanks for the info. Re ALCS I think it’s great, too, but my payment was less for the year just gone than the year before although I sold more stories in the last period. Any idea how they work the payment out? Good wishes Kate

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