No Time Like The Presents!

The time has flown since I last wrote and I’ve been busy, busy!

After almost three years, I sadly gave up my two daytime creative writing classes on 17th October (due to no time!).

I was showered with cards and cakes and good wishes, which was lovely. (And I know some of my ‘former students’ – eek, horrible expression – read this blog, so thank you, again!). And yes, there IS a pineapple plant amongst all those lovely gifts and it does have significance but it’s a long story so I will save it for another time.

And then, less than a week later, last Sunday, it was my birthday, so yet more cards and presents and chocolates… and I am 75% sugar at the moment. I have been thoroughly spoilt.

Timber Corps/Lumberjills

I *may* have mentioned this before, but it’s now ONE WEEK until my second novel, The Highland Girls at War is released, as an e-book (paperback’s out later, on 22nd December) and I am finally at liberty to say that it will be the first in a series.

I’ve had some lovely reviews on Netgalley but a few people have wondered about the ending and whether the story’s going to be continued (if the answer was ‘no’, they were all inclined to be a bit grumpy!), so at least now I can say ‘Yes, it will!’ (Erm, all being well and as long as I can come up with the goods).

Currently the first draft is at 33,000 words. Slow (but steady!) progress…!

It’s actually the 80th Anniversary of the formation of the Women’s Timber Corps this year and this week BBC Radio 4’s ‘Women’s Hour’ had a 9-minute feature about the Lumberjills which, if you’d like to listen, is here (at 43.40 mins in).


A quick reminder – as if you needed it – that NaNoWriMo, that annual, global ‘writefest’ in which you are urged to write 50,000 of a novel during the month of November – starts next Tuesday. It’s free and there are more details here.

I will be taking part! Let me know if you will be too.

If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel, it’s worth doing it, if only because it gives you an idea of the kind of discipline and word count required (and of course 50k is only really a novella. Most novels are longer than that).

If you’ve never done NaNo before, it’s definitely worth trying to do a little planning first. I didn’t plan the first couple of times I did it and ended up with a pile of poo. (Although I have still to read those manuscripts back and perhaps they’re not as bad as I thought).

Being Dull

As some of you will know, I’m a bit of a Twitter fan.

Someone tweeted today that as the news was all so awful, we should tweet our most boring news, to compensate. My contribution was: ‘We have a new divan bed and over the weekend we’re going to fill the drawers with our bedlinen.’

And I got this reply: That IS boring! Well done!

And I have honestly never been so happy to be called boring. It was like getting a gold star. What’s your most boring news of the moment? It’s actually quite therapeutic to think about it!

My very own Black Beauty

This entry was posted in Cotswolds, novel writing, Novels and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to No Time Like The Presents!

  1. Derek Baker says:

    Yawn yawn.
    Cannot wait to read your next book.roll on Christmas.

  2. Penny Alexander says:

    Hello again Helen!
    Most boring news I have… well, grass needs cutting once more. Probably won’t do it while it’s wet, though.

    Good luck with the Lumberjills!

  3. Fran says:

    Congratulations on getting a series commissioned! As for my boring news, today I had chutney with my Scotch egg.

    • Thanks Fran. I am still being quite ‘low key’ about it because although they’ve said I can mention ‘The Series’, (gulp!) the big announcement about a second contract has not yet been made….ah, the wheels of the publishing machine, they do turn in weird and wonderful ways…..! (and yes, that was beautifully boring, although I must admit, I am partial to a Scotch egg and a bit of chutney probably set it off beautifully…!)

  4. Karelann says:

    What great news that is about the series, well done on keeping secrets.
    My boring news is still waiting for old summerhouse doors to be collected after new ones fitted on Monday.

    • It is a pain (and boring!) when you’re waiting for things like that, I know! I gave away some furniture this week, on our village Facebook page. Ah, was such a relief to get rid of it but then someone asked if they could bring the table back. The Ukrainian family that they’d got it for, had got themselves a table in the meantime! So, I had to start advertising it all over again and it’s now back with us. Hopefully someone’s coming to collect it in the morning. Fingers crossed!

  5. Eirin Thompson says:

    I deep-cleaned the fridge, which sounds about as boring as it gets, I think, so why do I now get a thrill every time I open it and see all that gleaming glass and order? Delighted to hear you’re getting a series! Looking forward to the new book.

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