Trouble with Laptops & A Writing Retreat Opportunity!

I am feeling all discombobulated because my laptop died today (RIP Bluey).

It has been on the cards for a while but the final blow was when it got rained on last night, when water leaked through an open window onto the keyboard.

Fortunately, before it died completely, all my files were saved on a memory stick and have now been transferred to The New Laptop but it’s all a bit funny. None of my passwords were saved on Facebook, Twitter, Ebay or Paypal and eeeek, I’ve had to start again and (sssh, don’t tell my OH, who bought the new laptop) but it’s a bit SMALL. I’m still getting used to the screen and the keyboard. First World problems, I know. I am sure I will survive.

A couple of things to alert you to – the first one is URGENT, as it expires on Sunday evening (i.e: tomorrow). Apologies for the short notice but I only spotted it myself this afternoon, on the Twitters, when I finally managed to get in.

Free Writing Retreat

This was the tweet I spotted, from novelist Amanda Reynolds:

“Need time & space to write but don’t have funds for a paid retreat? @nickiwomble is offering 1 lucky (& talented) winner a FREE stay in her beautiful #Cotswolds @Airbnb & I’ll be on hand with a free #mentoring session so #pitchme your novel’s first line using #CotswoldsRetreat”

So, you need to be on Twitter and follow Amanda Reynolds and tweet her the first line of your novel by midnight on Sunday 9th June, if you want to do this.

She’ll then shortlist some entries, who will need to send their synopsis and first chapter of the novel by 16th June. I wasn’t going to enter this because I have other stuff to do and this will be a distraction but then I thought – oh, what the heck! So, maybe you should go for it too? What have you got to lose? (Although I would add that, if you can actually afford a retreat without too much trouble – I can’t, I honestly have no job and no money – then perhaps don’t enter and leave it for someone who really needs it).

It’s definitely worth following Amanda Reynolds by the way (she writes psychological thrillers and she’s lovely. I met her recently when I won a place on a workshop that she was offering on Twitter).

She often has freebies and stuff to support writers on her Twitter feed and blog, so if not this time, maybe the next….

Arvon Poetry Challenge

Here’s another FREE opportunity: those lovely people at Arvon (who run fabulous writing courses), are offering a 5 day poetry challenge, to celebrate National Writing Day on 26th June. Just sign up on their website here and every day between 24th and 28th June you’ll be emailed a poetry prompt. There will also be a competition run in conjunction with the challenge. Even if you’re not that ‘into’ poetry – or don’t think you are – it might be a good way of finding inspiration and writing something different to your usual.

Joanna Cannon

And in other news, I’ve just started to re-read the 2 Joanna Cannon novels – ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep’ and ‘Three Things About Elsie’ (it’s no hardship, believe me), in preparation for 30th June, when I will be interviewing her at the Evesham Festival of Words. There are still some tickets left, at just £6 each if you can come along!

There will be Battenberg. (Battenburg?)

And now I must dash because the new series of Killing Eve is just about to start…!

This entry was posted in Competitions, Cotswolds, Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Trouble with Laptops & A Writing Retreat Opportunity!

  1. banksywrites says:

    Hi Helen. I feel for you. My laptop died a year ago, and I’ve only just bought a new one. I didn’t have a cloud account, and had been a bit lax in backing up my work-in-progress, so I lost a couple of chapters. Since then, I’d been blaming the absence of a laptop for me failing to push on with the project, even though I’d transferred it to an iMac. But I’ve had the new one for about a month now, and am still struggling to get on with things. Now, I’m blaming it on the fact my husband is working from home, my recently-graduated daughter has decided to live with us while doing a masters, and we’ve acquired a dog. So thank you for the heads-up on the retreat comp. I definitely need some time and space to write, so I’ve put in my bid 🙂

  2. pennywrite says:

    One sentence leaps out at me as good advice: ‘all my files were saved on a memory stick’ These days, I’m so careful I may save everything three times in three different ways!! Perhaps, like me, you learned the hard way?

    • yes, I’ve definitely lost stuff and had some ‘near misses’ in the past! It’s my OH (who can’t bear the hysteria!) who nags me to save stuff onto Dropbox and a memory stick!

  3. Amanda Barton says:

    Wish I lived closer to Evesham so I could attend your interview with Joanna Cannon. I love her writing. And it would be nice to meet you too! I hope it goes well.

  4. juliathorley says:

    I can’t use a laptop at all, because I touch type and the keys are just too close together. I even had to buy a separate ‘clackety’ keyboard for my desktop PC because the one that came with it was too flat and compact. I know it’s only a matter of millimetres, but it makes the world of different. Thanks for Poetry Challenge info; I might have a go at that.

    • Julia
      I touch type too and I’m struggling with this new laptop because yes, as you say, the keys are too close together! My other one was fine. Very annoying. I keep making mistakes which I never did with my other one!

  5. philippabowe says:

    I share your pain – I once accidentally stood on my fave laptop and over the years subjected it to other horrors, like spilling raspberry coulis over the keyboard. It valiantly kept going before eventually dying. I haven’t found a replacement as good. But like you say, first world problems. 😉
    Thanks for the link to the poetry challenge, I’ll give it a go – I’ve only just begun to (nervously) dip into poetry and would like some guidance, it sounds perfect!

    • That made me smile, Philippa. I like the fact that it was raspberry coulis (not something mundane like tomato ketchup, which is probably what I’d have spilt!). Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing what the poetry challenge is like!

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