Since I last wrote, a couple of weeks ago, what a lot has happened!
So, please excuse the all-over-the-placeness of this post but that’s ‘where my head’s at’, as the young people say.
I’ve been on a mini-break to lovely Devon (Dartmouth, to be precise) and the place where we stayed overlooked the harbour, which was rather swish!
While we were there, we visited Agatha Christie’s holiday home ‘Greenway’ which is well worth a visit.
As we arrived, the heavens opened and the fire alarm went off – simultaneously.
So, we were ushered into the walled garden (which was presumably the ‘assembly point’), where we stood under dripping trees and got soaked! It wasn’t the best start but luckily, within a few minutes, the rain stopped and the ‘fire’ was declared to be a false alarm and we could get on with our visit. (And yes, there was a big greenhouse where we could have taken shelter but it was full of people and we were doing our Covid-distancing thing!)
Another Celebrity Book
In other news, the Olympics have started, of course – and almost finished – (and typically I’ve only got into them towards the end) and Sarah, Duchess of York, has launched her first adult novel, ‘Her Heart For a Compass’, published by Mills & Boon and written ‘in partnership’ with veteran Mills & Boon author, Marguerite Kaye.
The Duchess was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’ programme and when asked about the ‘writing process’ with her co-author, she admitted that, having left school at 16, she had a ‘vision’ for the book but is “very much a director rather than an actual scribe” – which leads me to believe that Ms Kaye probably wrote
all most of it. So why, I wonder, does her name not appear on the front cover? Seems a bit mean not to credit her on the front!
Apparently, the dynamic duo are all signed up to write a second novel for M&B. Perhaps the Duchess will show her commitment to the romance genre and join the Romantic Novelists’ Association? And I might rub shoulder-pads with her at one of the legendary RNA parties! (I’ve never been to one, by the way but perhaps one day…)
Novel Submission News
The news is.. there is no news. But there might be soon.. (sorry, I know that’s annoying. Just conscious I haven’t mentioned the novel since 13th June but it has not been forgotten!)
I was reminded of the fabulous, late Maeve Binchy recently when replying to Sharon’s comment about Bill Bryson’s retirement. Maeve Binchy was one of those authors who never retired. She announced her retirement in 2000 but the books kept coming. She simply couldn’t stop. There’s lots of good writerly advice on Maeve’s website by the way and on the anniversary of her death, 30th July, someone tweeted her ‘life advice’ which I have posted before but I think it’s great and worth another look:
“Learn to type. Learn to drive. Have fun. Write postcards. (Letters take too long and you won’t do it, a postcard takes two minutes.) Be punctual. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. They are not thinking about you. Write quickly. (Taking longer doesn’t usually make it better.) Get up early. See the world. Call everybody by their first name, from doctors to presidents. Have parties. Don’t agonise. Don’t regret. Don’t fuss. Never brood. Move on. Don’t wait for permission to be happy. Don’t wait for permission to do anything. Make your own life.”
Back in 2013 (aagh, can’t believe where the time has gone), I went to Italy, on a writing holiday – I have just re-read my posts from that time and it’s made me smile. Sometimes having a blog is better than a diary.
One of the many lovely things that happened on that trip to Umbria was that I met Ninette, who was living in Italy at the time and who joined the group for one day.
We’ve stayed in touch, our paths have crossed at other (sadly, not so glamorous!) writing holidays and she’s now not only published a memoir, Dear Tosh (and she’s planning another about her time in Italy) but she’s also just started a monthly newsletter.
As soon as I saw the newsletter mentioned (on the Twitters, of course), I signed up and, just as well, because she kindly gives a mention to this very blog, (in fact, she ‘recommends’ it! Ah, too kind).
Christmas Flash Fiction Comp
And finally, in this hotch-potch of a post, as much as I do not like the ‘C’ word to be mentioned this early, I feel I must draw your attention to the ‘Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest’ which is running again this year and is open to entries until 15th November.
It’s free! There are prizes! And (or should that be ‘but’?) it is seriously weird…
That’s all for now, folks!