NaNo Update & Other Stuff*

A ‘nice warm orange’ (pink?) in the bedroom

Yuck, it’s horrible out there: freezing cold and pouring with rain (I have a very smug husband who checked the weather forecast and took the dog for a walk at 7.30am, before the bad weather came in). But then, I suppose it is past mid-November, so it’s only to be expected.

And talking of ‘mid-November’, how are you getting on with NaNoWriMo, if you are partaking? I am plodding on but I’m still way, way behind. I should be on 35,000 words and I’ve just reached 20,000 but it’s better than nothing, I suppose.

My mum is here because the decorator’s at her place, finally putting up the wallpaper, which looks like this (above) in the bedroom and this (below) in the lounge. All very nice – only on one wall in each room, so it’s not overwhelming – and has only taken since April to organise!

People’s Friend Short Story Competition

The People’s Friend magazine has announced the results of its short story competition, which was for new-to-them writers and the winner is Julie Robertson and there’s an interview with her here.

I’m mentioning this because I think it’s encouraging, for all of us! It’s all too easy to think that if you don’t start writing when you’re in infant school, that you have ‘no chance’ and that no-one gets published once they’re (whisper it) ‘middle aged’ but that’s not true. It’s never too late to start writing or get into print.

It’s interesting that although she’s a new writer, Julie has, unwittingly or not, followed the advice that PF and writing tutors, including me, always give to those who want to write for The People’s Friend: i.e.: read the magazine (to see what kinds of stories they publish and therefore want). She even gets a copy of the People’s Friend Annual for Christmas every year.

Good for her and well done, Julie on your win!

#RIP Twitter?

Lots of people are jumping ship from Twitter, convinced it’s all about to fold and they are joining ‘Mastodon’ (which sounds like an antibiotic) or ‘Hive’ or other strange things (“Twitter migrants flock to Mastodon” as one headline has it).

If it does disappear (and apparently, it’s losing $4m dollars a day, so that doesn’t sound too healthy), I will be truly upset because, as many of you know, I LURVE Twitter and it’s been the source of much information, help, advice, friendship and laughs over the years. In fact, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I probably wouldn’t be published without it because it’s where I first saw the #bookcamp opportunity, back in 2020.

Anyway, I am staying until they turn the lights out!

Diary of A Debut Novelist – Weds 23rd November, 7pm

This week’s ‘Diary of a Debut Novelist’ session (free, 1 hour long, Zoom panel discussion with a live ‘Q&A’ and chance to win books), is on the subject of ‘What happens next, once your book is finished and edited’? 5 debut novelists will be talking about book covers, social media, marketing, launches and reviews.

By chance, one of this week’s featured writers was also on the Kate Nash #book camp scheme with me and was the first, I think, to get a book deal (Jon Barton).

You need to sign up if you want to get the Zoom link, so that you can join in the night. Might ‘see’ you there!?


And now I’m (half) watching the football. They’ve just played the national anthem and our team all sang ‘God Save The Queen‘! Whoops.

*sorry about the useless title! Am not feeling very inspired. I had my Covid jab yesterday and I have a sore arm and that’s my excuse, anyway.

This entry was posted in Magazines, Short Stories, The People's Friend and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to NaNo Update & Other Stuff*

  1. Penny says:

    Sympathies due for yr sore arm Helen. It will pass I’m sure, but take it easy.
    Congrats to Julie! Looking forward to reading her story.

  2. Karelann says:

    Well done – 20,000 words is quite an achievement for nano with all that you have going on. You are right that Julie’s win is inspiring too.
    Hope your Mum is back in her freshly decorated place soon and the arm is less sore by now.
    Fingers crossed you are happy with whatever target you have reached at the end of November.

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