A Tale of Two Books (and some cake)

bookIt’s nearly that time of year again. No, not the Great British Bake Off Final, although that IS on tonight and I WILL be watching!

My man has been out to the village shop and bought a cake ‘specially because we always get an urge-for-cake while it’s on. Unfortunately, and sssh, don’t tell him.. he bought ‘almond & cherry’ which is NOT my favourite. 😦 But I will force it down.

No, the ‘time of the year’ I’m talking about is NaNoWriMo. I won’t go through it all again. You probably know what it is and if you don’t, I wrote it about it in more detail (SIX YEARS AGO!) here.

If you’re intending on taking part in National Novel Writing Month (apparently 200,000 people around the world do), the 1st November’s only a few days away, so it’s time to start thinking and maybe doing some planning, unless you want to do it in a completely seat-of-the-pants way and just start writing but I honestly don’t recommend that. In my experience, you end up with (mostly) rubbish!

I still haven’t decided if I’m going to attempt it or not. It partly depends on whether I get my non-fiction book finished and published on Amazon by then and also if any of my pals are going to do it too (it’s much easier if someone you know is also in the throes of NaNo because you can sympathise, empathise and generally cheer each other on).


But I have to tell you about the book I’ve bought, which arrived today in the post ‘Ready, Set, Novel!’ (‘Plan and Plot your upcoming masterpiece) which is written by the folks that set up NaNoWriMo (well, you can’t really blame them for cashing in).

It’s a book and ‘stationery’ all at the same time! Double-whammy! It’s a ‘novelling journal’, a handy workbook, meant to be used to prepare you for NaNoWriMo but as I’m fast running out of time to do that, I may just use it alongside the (possible) ‘novel writing’ in November and see how I get on.


And talking of book recommendations, on a completely different note, I went to the Cheltenham Literature Festival a couple of weeks ago and amongst others, saw Carys Bray being interviewed and subsequently bought her first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley.

I am so, so wary of buying books by people I’ve never heard of (sorry, Carys) just because I’ve been disappointed so many times but I’m happy to say, that this was a lovely read (it gave me ‘book bereavement’. When I’d finished reading it, I felt bereft and lost and wished I still had that world to go back to), so I have no hesitation in recommending it.

I learned something from it and I love it when I learn something from a novel, as long as I don’t feel like I’ve been lectured at. The story centres around a British Mormon family, in present day Northern England. Carys Bray comes from exactly that kind of family (interesting article here published before the novel came out) so I’m sure there’s a lot in the book that’s autobiographical. I found it fascinating.

They always say, write the book that only you could write. With Carys’ background and life experiences, not many other people could have written anything like A Song for Issy Bradley and that’s part of the attraction, I think. It’s original and intriguing, as well as beautifully-written, sad and funny.

If you read it, let me know what you think.

Wish I had this cake for tonight...

Wish I had this cake for tonight…

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5 Responses to A Tale of Two Books (and some cake)

  1. pennywrite says:

    Ah yes, NaNo. Great fun, especially with company, but been there done that a few times. Exhausting, so won’t be doing it this year. In its favour though, it certainly helped with ‘continuous editing’ syndrome since you have to keep writing and not mind your mistakes (until later, that is)
    Enjoy your cake! Whatever it is!

  2. Mervyn Coverdale says:

    Dear Helen ( Blogaboutwriting)

    Could you please change my email address:

    From: mjmcoverdale @btinternet.com

    To: mjmcoverdale12@btinternet.com

    Many thanks, Mervyn Coverdale


    • Mervyn
      Sorry but I don’t think I can do that. Otherwise I could add anyone’s email address to my followers, whether they wanted to follow my blog or not. I think you probably have to just follow me using your new email address. Hope that helps! Helen

  3. juliathorley says:

    Good luck with NaNo, if you decide to go for it. Did the right cook win Bake Off, do you think?

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    Definitely No No Nano for me! Can’t think of anything worse!

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