Sad Times

Display in the lobby of my mum’s retirement village

Just a quick post from me at this strange and sad time.

It all feels a bit ‘rudderless’ without our dear Queen, doesn’t it? And as though everything has ground to a halt (especially for those valiant souls queuing for hours on end to pay their respects in Westminster Hall).

Talking of Westminster Hall, I had the slightly surreal experience of standing at the top of those steps once and reading out a poem I’d written. Honestly, this was not a dream. I wrote about it here.

And this is where the blog is quite handy for me – like an on-line diary – because I couldn’t remember when I did it or the name of the MP who made it possible but it’s all in the post, of course.

London Writers’ Salon

As I write this, I’m taking part in a London Writers’ Salon writing sprint (‘Writers’ Hour).

It’s a virtual, hour-long writing session held each weekday and free to attend. There are actually 4 sessions across 4 time zones and you can join in with as many as you like (they even email you with a reminder 15 minutes beforehand, that a session is about to start).

Friends had raved about the concept and how they were really getting some writing done, so I thought it was time I investigated. It’s on Zoom (of course!) and the idea is that you sit and write for an hour (well, it’s 50 minutes, once you take out the introductions and stuff at the end).

If you’re in the UK, the sessions are at 8am, 1pm, 4pm and 9pm (the 9pm one is actually the ‘8am New Zealand’ session).

Here’s the registration page and it’s free to join in (and you don’t have to ‘interact’ at any stage if you don’t want to. I keep my video off, so no-one can even see me).

Give it a go and let me know what you think!

RNA Workshop Day – Birmingham, Saturday 8th October 2022

The Romantic Novelists’ Association, of which I am a proud member, is holding a workshop day on Saturday 8th October in Birmingham and it’s open to non-members too.

I’ll be there and it looks like a good day (see the programme below). You don’t have to be a romance writer. I think it would be a useful day for writers of any kind.

Details below if it’s of interest. Sorry I can’t make it any bigger but you might be able to ‘zoom in’ to enlarge it. The venue is in central Birmingham about a 10 minute walk from New Street Station, tea, coffee & lunch are included, and there are three speakers on the day: Laura Deacon, from Bookouture, Fiona Lucas and Janet Gover.

If you’d like to attend, the booking form is here: and if you’ve got any queries, email Maybe I’ll see you there?!

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3 Responses to Sad Times

  1. Maria says:

    Hi Helen, it’s been a while since I visited your blog. I’ve missed it. Now we are heading towards Autumn I’ll definitely be here more often.
    The London Writers’ Salon has piqued my interest, however, when I try to ‘join’ in via your links I keep getting taken to a page to choose a membership or to donate.

    I’m very much a ‘try before I buy’ type of person, so did want to have a go…but unless they’ve changed something, or they’re now over subscribed, or I’m in the wrong place I can’t seem to get through the door.
    Could you point me to how you got in?
    Many thanks.

  2. David Payne says:

    Link seems to be working now. Also, if people are looking for writing sprints to take part in with others in a virtual way, there are a fair few writing streamers over on Twitch (I am one – but there are hundreds around the world).

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