booze-up Burns Night celebration was shifted at the last minute, from Friday to Sunday night, to allow two guests, who were poorly-bad, to recover. We suddenly had another two days to ‘prepare’ but of course, we were still running round like loonies at the last minute!
Anyway, a fun time was had by all, much whisky was consumed (even by me and I don’t like it) and some people didn’t go to bed until 4.20am… so yesterday was something of a write-off.
By the time we’d all got up, had breakfast, walked the dog and our 4 guests had headed home, we were feeling a bit weary… so we went to sleep for three hours, got up at 6pm (the dog was very confused) and today I’m all jet-lagged and unsure what day it is. (Monday?).
Prima/Mills & Boon Competition
Prima magazine is running a writing competition in conjunction with Mills & Boon.
You’ve got until 31st March 2017 to email a romance story outline (500 – 1000 words) and the first chapter (3000 – 5000 words) and the winner will receive £500 and have 6 months to work with a M&B editor, to finish the 50,000 word novel.
I’m probably not supposed to say this, but even if becoming a M&B author is not your main aim in life (the 2015 competition winner, Rachel Dove, writes all kinds of things, including horror!), it would be a real feather in your cap and really good experience, if you won and you’d be virtually guaranteed a finished novel at the end of it.
Read all about it here.
Another competition – I’m judging the Nottingham Writers’ Club’s National Short Story competition this year and I’m really looking forward to reading the entries (especially as the theme is ‘food and/or drink’ – some of my favourite subjects!)
You can submit your precious stories from tomorrow, 1st Feb 2017 but please note, (from the website) ‘this isn’t a competition for professionals, please don’t enter if you’ve earned £300 or more from short story writing up to and including 2016’.
Books I’ve Read This Month
As it’s the last day of January – and as one of my new year’s resolutions was to read more – I am now going to indulge myself and tell you what I read this month:
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
This is a young adult novel, which won the overall Costa Book of the Year prize in 2015 (impressive!) and which was recommended to me by a writer friend. I did like it – it’s original and although set in Victorian times it has a very positive ‘girl power’ message but I couldn’t get away from the feeling that I was reading a book for children. Good but not fantastic, would be my verdict.
The Girls – and still on the subject of ‘girls’ (have you noticed how many books have ‘girl’ in the title these days?) I read this Sunday Times best-seller by Emma Cline. It’s based on the Californian Manson murders of 1969 so, as you might expect, it’s not exactly laugh-a-minute. But it is very well-written and I did keep turning the page to find out what was going to happen to the heroine. I enjoyed it but again, it’s not one that I can rave about.
I’m sure Della won’t mind me saying they’re a light, fun read (let’s face it, ‘light and fun’ isn’t an easy combination to achieve!) and just right for a bedtime read.
Any recommendations for my February reading, folks?