I meant to post before the end of the year but time got away with me, so here I am on a cold and rainy January 1st, feeling glad – as I’m sure you are too – that 2020 is over.
I haven’t made any resolutions, have you? But a friend of mine took a photo every day last year (her theme was ‘a thing of beauty’) which I think is rather a nice idea.
I probably won’t keep it up but I started today with this!Our village had a ‘Gingerbread Trail’ over Christmas, (lots of gingerbread men in windows) and this jolly life-sized pair are stationed outside the church. Made me smile, anyway.
On a positive note, one of the (small!) targets that I set myself for last year – and that I achieved – was to read 35 books (I actually managed 36. Yay!).
Interestingly, as many as TWENTY of these books were read for the two book clubs to which I now belong. My top two books of the year were:
Small Island by Andrea Levy. I’ve read it before, years ago but this was a book club choice, so I ‘had’ to re-read it and I honestly think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Queenie – by Candice Carty-Williams, which I’ve spoken about already, here.
My new target, for 2021 (I set it on the Goodreads site) is 40.
Giveaway (NOW CLOSED!)
However, my OH got round that by buying me two quiz books. Sneaky! And (shh, don’t tell him), I’ve got one of them already – ‘The Penguin Book Quiz’ so I’m offering it on here as a little giveaway.
Just write a little message (‘Happy New Year’ will do!) in the comments by Monday 4th January at 5pm and I’ll put all the names in a hat and pick someone out. Please note, this giveaway is now closed and I’ll be choosing a winner later this evening – 4th Jan – so please don’t enter if you’re reading this after 5pm on 4th Jan!
I have a short story in the current People’s Friend Special and I’m feeling a little poignant about it because I reckon it will be one of the last short stories I have published.
This year my aspirations to write a novel have had a boost, as you’ll know if you’ve been following the blog. I’ve got an agent – someone (amazingly) who seems to believe in the story I’m trying to get down – and in my writing. I’m very lucky and grateful for that but there’s lots of hard work ahead and I just don’t have the time – or space in my little head – to write short stories as well as something longer (hats off to those who can), so something’s got to give.
Christmas Love Story Competition: c/d 14th Feb 2021
Here’s a great opportunity from Penguin Michael Joseph for unpublished would-be novelists, living in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. They want to publish a festive love story, which will be published in paperback and e-book in time for Christmas 2022.
In the first instance you just have to send your Christmas Love Story pitch, which should be no longer than 200 words, plus 1,000 words of your manuscript and entries should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
by midnight on 14 February 2021.
Make sure you read all the rules carefully if you’re going to enter and good luck!