On a personal note – and sorry to put sad things here at Christmas, but it would seem odd not to mention it – we buried both my husband’s parents in 2019 and my own dear dad died on 8th December, which, although he was 93 and poorly, was still a shock.
And feels very weird to type it and it’s going to be a funny old Christmas without him.
If any of you are missing a loved one at this time of year – and I’m sure many of you are – I’m sending you a virtual hug. It’s bloody horrible, isn’t it?
On the writing front, as usual, I didn’t do as much as I wanted to.
Here are the many ways in which I failed:
* I only submitted 33 stories to women’s magazines (my target, which I’ve achieved for the past 5 years, is always 52, one a week).
* I didn’t complete NaNoWriMo.
* I didn’t send off my novel manuscript to the RNA by 31st August, so missed the deadline.
* Although I won a Writers Bureau course in a raffle in the summer (!) I have yet to complete and submit my first assignment (but I will!)The Good:
But, in better news – in July we got married! At this wonderful place and I must admit, it was a fabulous weekend and I feel very lucky and – to use another fashionable word (which I doubt Her Maj’ will use tomorrow, but who knows?), I feel very ‘blessed’.
And on the writing front, there were some good things: I did manage 47k of NaNo and it’s still an on-going project; I went on two of Alison May and Janet Gover’s fabulous courses, in January and October and I was a tutor for the first time at NAWGFest in August, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
And I continued to blog, even through the stress and horrible times (yes, I am kind to you). In fact, this is my 39th post of the year and I’ll probably manage another one, bringing it up to a nice round 40, before 31st.
I came second in the Tamworth Literary Festival competition (and, ahem, finally got my prize money 5 months later! Hurrah).
I also interviewed an author for the first time ever, at Evesham Festival of Words and I couldn’t have chosen a better person: it was the lovely and very talented Ms Joanna Cannon. (If you haven’t read her 3 books, do! You’re in for a treat).
And looking ahead, in the New Year I’ve got a new job, teaching 2 Creative Writing classes at the theatre in Chipping Norton and I’m setting up a Book Club for Evesham Festival. Plus, I’m just about to book myself a place on a writing retreat so, there are lots of good things ahead. For you too, I hope. Bring it on!
I’ve just taken the Bonnie baby for a walk in the brilliant Christmas Eve sunshine, had a chat with two very nice dog-walking young men that I met along the way (honestly, they were like romantic heroes! One had the bluest eyes! And, most importantly, they had nice, well-behaved dogs too) and I have reminded myself, that, truly, every day is a gift.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas.