Monday, 31 December 2018

Just in time

Just in time...
It is the last day of December: time to reflect on 2018 before the midnight chimes sound the death knell of the old year and a new year begins. 
I’ve not written as much as I had planned this time last year. But I have written. And I have started to submit my work again. I count that as a good thing. 

I have seen stories published in Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special and the Yours 2019 Annual.
Several of my letters have been printed in various magazines.
I have had a couple of shoutouts in the Mslexia subscribers’ newsletter, littlems.
I was a runner-up in a competition run by Writers’ Forum which resulted in a sale.

Writing friends:
In June I visited Helen and Mike Walters at their glorious Solus Or Writing Retreat.
In August I went to the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School where I met several writing buddies, both old and new.

My desk at Solus Or with its incredible view
New Year plans:
I hesitate to state in a public forum exactly what I hope to achieve in 2019. Real life too often intervenes to knock us off our chartered course. I have though privately committed some intentions to paper to give me a focus.

I definitely want to write more, submit more, enter more competitions, and be published more often. 

I intend to return to Solus Or.

I hope also to return to Swanwick.

Happy New Year to all and may all your writing dreams come true in 2019.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

I’m Hired!

As a writer we become accustomed to rejections. They still bite, but over time the feeling is more of an annoying nip rather than feeling as though your lovingly crafted work has been chewed up and spat out.

Applying for jobs also brings its share of rejections. Over the last nine years I’ve been turned down more than a hundred times. As time has gone by I’ve become more sanguine at accepting the ‘nos’ and apart from a couple of temporary positions got on with enjoying my life in less structured ways.

Yesterday I received three emails that all began “I write with reference to your application for the above post and regret to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion”.

But then I received a fourth email that read “(Redacted) has advised me that she would like to offer you a position at the (redacted) Library”. 

So there you have it. I have been offered a part-time job on a permanent contract. It’s perfect for me - just two days a week, working in a library, and being paid for the privilege.

But how will this affect my writing? I hope it will impact in a good way. I certainly wrote more often during the time I worked full-time in Boots four Christmases ago. Having only a limited time in which to write can concentrate the mind.

And as an extra encouragement I can report that two stories ‘wot I wrote’ are in the Yours 2019 Annual currently on sale. It’s good to be in print again.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Hi Ho, Silver Linings

Nine years ago my life changed overnight. The firm I was working for closed suddenly. My daily routine and purpose for getting up in the morning was taken away.
But there was a plus side. Forced redundancy meant I had more time to spend with my husband who had already retired. 

I applied for many jobs but, apart from the occasional temping opportunity and Christmas season retail positions, nobody wanted to employ me. 
But I signed up to a creative writing course and found that I loved it.

I missed daily camaraderie with my office colleagues.
But I discovered the welcoming world of the writing community.

The very first story I wrote during that course was published last year. It is in ‘Paws for Thought’, an ebook anthology which includes many excellent stories from some of my new friends in the writing community, many of whom are well-known and much respected authors. I am humbled to be in such good company.

And what is even better, all proceeds from the sale of the book are in support of the RSPCA, Halifax and Huddersfield branch. It costs only £2.99. You can buy a copy here. Please do. You will help our furry friends going through hard times find their silver lining.