Autumn Vibes

My friend got married & look what she took on honeymoon to Greece!

You’ve probably noticed it’s September! And I’ve definitely got that ‘back to school’ feeling. You too? I’ve had a few weeks of summer R&R (much needed!) and now I have to get back to work.

We still have the builders here (*screams silently*). There’s a fine layer of dust across the whole of downstairs and it’s not worth wiping it off (I’ve tried) because the next day, it’s back.

While I sit in the lounge writing this, Smooth Radio is blasting out from the hall and I’m singing the occasional duet with one of the plasterers (“She’s Like The Wind” anyone?).

They’ve been here, on and off, for a few weeks now and it’s quite useful, as a writer, to think about their different characteristics.

So, for example, we’ve got:

* The good-looking, quiet one (clearly well brought up, she says, sounding about 104), who just gets on with it and never has a coffee.

* The two pals who chat (and sing!) all day. One of them doesn’t like dogs (but I’ve forgiven him because he has a nice singing voice) and the other swears like a trooper.

* The one who’s older than the rest, a bit cynical and grumpy.

* The smiley, jolly one who calls me ‘mate’, (as in ’ Yeah, I’ll have another cup of tea, thanks, mate’) and calls my husband ‘Big Al’.

That’s just a broad brush of their characters of course and they’d need to be fleshed out in a story but can you see how, if I was writing about a group of chaps, the different types of people in a real group, might help, when it comes to creating characters?

Even if you eventually expand on those characteristics or change them, it’s a good starting point.

My ‘Highland Girls’ book is up on Netgalley (as I, erm, may have mentioned) and the reviews are starting to trickle in, which is always a nerve-wracking time.

I know everyone says ‘don’t read them!’ but how can you resist reading people’s first impressions? You’d need amazing will-power not to look.

I had one that was a bit so-so (and also contained a plot spoiler which was annoying and ‘bad form’ from someone who is presumably used to reviewing books) but then I had a lovely one – so lovely, in fact, that it made me cry happy tears! Thank you Nicola W, whoever you are.

If you haven’t yet requested it on Netgalley, please do consider doing so! It would be great to get lots of reviews on there in advance of 4th November, when it comes out.


On a completely different subject, have you heard of Mirthy? It’s a website that offers an on-line programme of events (via Zoom). Everything from yoga and meditation to travel talks, cooking demonstrations and book clubs. There’s a monthly subscription of £4.99 which gives you access to everything but you can also sign up for free and get access to 4 free events a month. I did a standing Pilates class last week (actually I did it twice, because they email you the recording afterwards).

I did spot a writing group but I can’t find it on there now. Anyway, might be worth a look! I know someone who does travel talks for them and I think they’re always looking for new speakers, so if that’s your thing, it might be worth looking at it from that angle too.

HE Bates Short Story Competition c/d 5th December

Northampton Writers Group have just announced that their annual HE Bates Short Story competition is open. There are cash prizes (£300, £100 and £50 for first, second and third places).

There’s an open theme and it costs £8 for the first entry or £12 for two stories.

All the details are here and good luck if you decide to have a go.

Bonnie says, “Have a good weekend!”

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

3 Responses to Autumn Vibes

  1. Penny A says:

    September, Helen, but not as we know it! Pretty warm still… Good to hear your news.

  2. Sandy Vaughan says:

    Here’s the link to the Mirthy writers group. I’ve attended a couple of their free talks on other subjects, a useful resource and you get a few free zoom sessions to get you started as a Mirthy ‘member’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s