Hello! Well, it’s that time of year again and although things are weird out there, I’m NOT going to mention them. Let’s just all stay in a little blogging bubble and pretend all is well with the world, agreed?
Have you bought all your Christmas presents? Yesterday, the company that I’d ordered walking boots from (for my OH), kindly informed me – three weeks after I ordered them – that they didn’t have any in stock. So, not sure what he’s going to be opening on Christmas Day now (apart from his stack of books!) Whoops!
I’ve just looked back at my Christmas post last year (for inspiration!). I wrote it on Christmas Eve and I described 2019 as ‘a bit of a bumpy year’! Ha! If only we knew what was coming… NO, stop! I said I wouldn’t talk about bad stuff. “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”, as the very wise Ms Jane Austen once said.
If you fancy working on a little (free) flash fiction competition over Christmas, the Scottish Book Trust is running one – 50 words max – which has to feature a candle.
The prize for the adult category is one of these ‘Go Away, I’m Writing’ mugs which is rather nice. If you are a clever person who can write in Gaelic, then so much the better – you can win a stack of books.
Anyway, all the details are here and the closing date is 26th January 2021.
And, just to give you a little ‘heads up’, Evesham Festival of Words will be running a free-to-enter mini saga competition (exactly 50 words + title) in February next year.
I know because I’ve just drawn up the rules for it (but I won’t be judging it), so if candles are not your thing and you want to write something completely candle-free, then have a think about a different kind of flash fiction piece (but bear in mind that the competition won’t open until 1st Feb). I will remind you again, once it’s up and running.
And in the meantime, the Evesham Festival short story competition (£5 entry fee) is open for entries. I am one of two people who’ll be shortlisting the stories in that competition, as I’ve done for the past couple of years and the final judging will be done by Simon Whaley (all anonymously, of course. It’s only the competition administrator who sees the names of the authors). Closing date for that one is March 2021 and you’ve got 2500 words to play with (and the theme is open), if you so wish, so get writing!
One last thing – the Festival is running a little Christmas quiz, which is free to enter, with a £10 book token up for grabs, so if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you might want to have a look.
Tele’! (or ‘the idiot’s lantern’ as I’ve heard it called).
There are 2 lovely TV programmes on the tele’ tonight (well, I think they’re lovely. You might not). They are both on at 9pm! CLASH!
The first is ‘Being Bridget Jones’ on BBC 2, a documentary about Helen Fielding’s phenomenal creation! (First so-called ‘chick lit’ novel – yes, she invented a genre – albeit one that these days is called ‘Romantic Comedy’). And as well as Helen Fielding, there are guest appearances from the stars of the films: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Ooh, can’t wait.
And the other one is also a series that started as a book (ah, James Herriot – my favourite books back in the day), namely, All Creatures Great and Small – the Christmas Special. Features ‘a dog in labour’ and of course, my namesake, Helen, with whom young James is in love!
Right, I have presents to wrap and shopping lists to write! (And, ahem, tele’ to watch later!) So, I will love you and leave you. Thanks for being along for the ride during this (odd!) year, have the best Christmas you can (and if that’s staying in your pyjamas all day and having beans on toast for dinner, then why not?) xx