Friday 31 December 2010

Writers in the 2011 New Year's Honour List...

Literature hasn't featured much in the Queen's New Year's Honours List published today.

Congratulations go to:-

Historian and Author Lady Antonia Fraser CBE who has been created a Dame. She is the widow of  playwright Harold Pinter and wrote a memoir about their life together, Must Yo Go?: My Life with Harold Pinter, published earlier this year and serialised on Radio 4.

Professor Susheila Nasta, founder and Editor of Wasafiri-a literary magazine for contemporary international literature- has received an MBE for Services to Black and Asian Literature.

A fellow member of Nottingham Writers' Club, Ron Booth received an MBE for Services to the Community in Nottinghamshire. Alongside his many voluntary activities, a number of his books have raised funds for charities he has been involved with. He also helped launch a project to get a memorial to the twenty VC holders in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

If you know someone who you think deserves to be awarded an honour you can find details of how to nominate them here.

I hope you have a fulfilling and successful 2011.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

A Few Winter Photos...

Here are a couple of photos from my recent trip to Yorkshire. These were taken on Monday (27th) after a lovely dinner at Nont Sarah's (just on the right edge of the first photo) then we drove a short way to one of the parking areas on the Marsden Moor Heritage Trail-Buckstones. I took a quick snap of the ridge line despite my hair being blown all over my face and my fingers turning icy without my gloves on...

From Nont's there are spectacular views over to Scammonden Water and Halifax in the far distance, which can actually be seen from the restaurant's dining area. It's 1155 feet above sea level so you'll realise how cold it was up there with all the snow around. In fact while we were eating our lunch there was a light snow flurry.

Considering how far away from the sea the building is, it does actually have some nautical connections. The maple wood panelling that surrounds the front of the bar area came from a stateroom on the trans-Atlantic liner, Mauritania after it was scrapped.

This place has provided lots of memories for me as I first went there with my (then) boyfriend (now my husband).

road,pub sign,snow,hotel,moors,slush
                                                                           Looking toward the Moors...

No matter the time, distant past or present, you wouldn't want to travel across these moors in bad weather.

I was grateful I could go back to a warm hotel room eventually.

Snow Everywhere...

Monday 27 December 2010

I've survived Christmas- how about you?

Just popping in to say hello and I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas weekend.

I resisted over-indulging in the goodies- hopefully my waistline will thank me later. :-)

I've been visiting for a few days and have been in constant sight of snow. There are a few pictures- taken on Christmas Day and then today- I just need to download and look at them first to see if they are reasonable enough to show you...

Anyway, more in a few days...

Friday 17 December 2010

Christmas is coming and now for some fun...

As the snow starts falling again and the last of the presents are wrapped, I'm running out of things to talk about.

Plus my computer time gets limited by the children finishing school for the Christmas holidays and wanting access to the Internet.

So I'll be posting less over the next week and then leaving you to have a wonderful Christmas. I'll probably be posting a few photos before the New Year.

Otherwise normal service resumes in early January.

Here's a fun Christmas YouTube video- enjoy.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Reviewing the Writing Year and Making Resolutions...

I know you usually make resolutions at the start of the New Year but I've never found those last very long. Also I try to make my resolutions as flexible as possible so if I fail I don't feel too bad.

Life has been a bit chaotic this year so I haven't done as much writing as I intended.

One resolution for this year was to get at least one short story published in a Woman's magazine- a tough market to crack at any time.
Unfortunately the one I did send was rejected.

I have another one that just needs a little rewriting. A writer friend on a forum I belong to has offered to read it for me- she's had a number of womag stories published so I'll get an honest opinion before it goes out. So hopefully this time when I submit I might be nearer a yes- well you have to be positive...

I was going to do more work on my Dorset novel this year, but that too went out the window when my hubby had to work abroad for six months and keeping everything running at home took over my life.

Add to that a recurring bug that kept leaving me needing antibiotics to clear bad chest infections.

So writing was almost wiped out of the schedule in 2010.

In fact this blog has been the most concentrated writing I have done this year. So thank you for reading it and do please keep commenting.

So 2011 beckons and I need to decide a few goals. So here are my aims for the coming year.

1: Get a short story published- somewhere.

2: Work on at least one of my novella length stories.

3: The novel- open to decision.
Now I will be getting the feedback on this from the competitions it was entered into at the Writing club I attend. The comments will be back early January at the reorganised Awards Night- cancelled from earlier this month because of the snow. I may share some of the comments with you...

(I just hope the next lot of snow doesn't cancel the January attempt!!!)

4: Enter some writing competitions.

I think that is enough for one year.

Were your resolutions for this year successful, or like mine a bit of a disaster? You're welcome to share your highs and lows.

Here's to a positive 2011...

Thursday 9 December 2010

Improve Your Writing...

Have you ever puzzled over whether you should use Who's or Whose?

I didn't know the word Pleonasm existed, let alone what it was. But a quick read of the explanation and I realised I did actually know what it was and could recognise one when I saw it...

Well here is a web page where you can practise all those areas of grammar that we all stumble over occasionally. You will find out what a Pleonasm is if like me, you didn't know.

Thanks have to go to writer Teresa Ashby who mentioned these writing exercises and provided a link on her blog last month.

I've tried a few of the exercises and I'm doing okay, but I know I still have a few dodgy areas...

Have fun.

Monday 6 December 2010

Christmas is coming...

A temporary diversion from writing and transport problems because of the snow and ice.

This time every year I turn into a big kid again (temporarily) when the countdown to Santa begins (yes I know I'm a grown-up and I know the man in the big red suit doesn't really exist but it's better than moaning about all the miserable stuff. I'm a writer so imagination is allowed :) ).

So here's a link to put you in the Christmas spirit, NORAD Tracks Santa. You can click on the page for Santa's village- an alternative advent calendar...Hover your mouse over the building of the day and it will light up and the banner at the top will tell you what the building is. Click on it and a puzzle of some sort will come up- simple enough for a child to do and accompanied by Christmas music, probably courtesy of North Pole Radio at number 4...
Santa claus Pictures, Images and Photos
image from


Back to normality soon...

Friday 3 December 2010

"sex, scandal and soft furnishings"

I'm certain that I will be finding inspiration from the new series 'At Home with the Georgians' that started last night (Thursday the 4th) on BBC 2- available on BBC IPlayer- for UK only).

The programme has been written and is presented by historian Professor Amanda Vickery who clearly enjoys the Georgians and her enthusiasm oozes out of the screen to the viewer.

There are three parts (not enough for me!) and in part 1 we were treated to revealing thoughts from a few men and women of the early 18th C via their diaries.

It certainly made me reconsider the important role men played in setting up home. Many men today wouldn't necessarily see that as their main priority in the way her chosen Georgian males did.

I'm looking forward to part 2 when the subject is 'taste'. Consumerism 300 years ago perhaps? There will certainly be a lot of choice...

There is a very interesting post by Amanda Vickery on the BBC TV Blog which I'm sure you'll enjoy reading, explaining some of the places she visited in her research, as well as some dangerous contraptions.

Her book 'Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England' is going on my Christmas wish list.

Do explore some of the links that you'll find on the BBC pages, they always lead to other useful information.

Yes the inspiration bug is working already...

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Stiletto results...

Good news, the list of finalists of the Get Your Stiletto in the Door competition are now up and available to read. So look here for anyone you know.

Well done Lou Treleaven for getting into the Young Adults finalist list. You can find Lou's blog here.

Well done to all the finalists who will now be having their manuscripts looked at by an Agent and Editor to select a winner in their category.

If you entered and didn't get to the final three in your category, commiserations, but I'm sure the feedback will have been worth entering...