Hello, lovely people! So what have you been up to this week? Please don’t all shout at once, I’m not deaf. Really? Well, that all sounds very lovely, but now back to me. 😉
Actually, before we go any further, can I just say a belated happy birthday to Benedict Cumberbatch? The divine Mr C turned 38 on the 19th July, and yes I did wish him a happy birthday on Twitter, (birthday greetings for him were actually trending. See, it’s not just me!) and on Facebook, (to the embarrassment of my eldest daughter) and I know he probably won’t read this or any of the other birthday messages I sent but hey, you never know, and anyway it’s my blog and I can do what I like, so there!
I’ve had a busy few days. After a fortnight’s holiday it was back to work for me. Is there anything worse than that first day back after so many days of freedom? I can’t really complain as I only worked for four days. I had Friday off as I was going to my brother’s wedding. You would think, since this event has been planned for roughly a year, that I would be totally organised for the big day, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be very wrong. I’m the sort of person who thinks everything will be fine and we’ll have plenty of time, so on Friday morning I was sitting quite happily in my little room, browsing Facebook and flicking through Pinterest, thinking how jolly it was not having to get ready for work and to have so much time to spare. It came as something as a shock, therefore, when I remembered that I’d forgotten to try on my outfit. Of course, I’d tried it when I bought it, but that was months ago, and it might not actually have fitted me any longer, given that I’d just got back from a holiday where ice cream, doughnuts, hot dogs, creamy pasta and burgers were eaten freely.
I also realised that I needed to straighten my hair, that I’d forgotten to write on the card, and that I hadn’t even wrapped the wedding presents. This led to some frantic moments as I tried to accomplish all these things while DH scowled and muttered about getting stuck in traffic and wondered aloud why it was always the same fiasco every time we had to be anywhere. Luckily for me, he’s very good at wrapping presents and came to my rescue while I wondered how to break it to him that I’d forgotten to buy a gift bag to put them in and had to rummage under the bed to find an old birthday one that didn’t look too birthday-like and would do for wedding presents (and if you’re reading this, dear brother and new sister-in-law, I’m sorry, but you know you should expect such things from me by now. There’s a price to pay for creative genius…)
As it turned out, we were on time and the day was lovely. The sun shone, the bride and groom had a brilliant time and laughed a lot, we all ate and drank and chatted to people we hadn’t seen in ages, the buttons didn’t ping off my trousers and there were hardly any arguments at all. Always a bonus at a family wedding.
The downside was that I didn’t get to taste any of the cake – although if it was fruit cake I don’t care, I really hate fruit cake – and having Friday off means I’m working a double shift next Friday. Boo. 😦
In other news, I’m still waiting for my manuscript to come back from the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. That’s a nerve-wracking thing, I can tell you. I was late last year, sending it off approximately two days before the deadline, and everyone said I’d be waiting ages for it to return. However, it only took three weeks. This year it was (I thought!) ready to send in early June, but I haven’t had my report back yet. Of course, as you’d expect, the minute I sent it off I thought of lots of things that I could have done to make it better. In fact, there are at least two scenes that I think I’m going to cut when it comes back, and I’ve thought of ways to make my character a bit more sympathetic, too. I’m dying to know if my reader thinks the same as I do, or if she’s spotted something else entirely that I ought to be more worried about. Gulp!
While waiting for the verdict on A Kiss from a Rose, I’ve been busying myself writing the short story for the anthology that I told you all about. It’s the brainchild of The Write Romantics and they’re publishing it in aid of two very worthy charities. You can read all about it and also about a great competition to name the anthology here. Anyway, I’m not confident about writing short stories so I was a bit worried about it, but I was so honoured to be asked to take part I was hardly likely to refuse, was I? As it turns out, after a few false starts and bitten nails, I quite enjoyed the process of writing it. It was quite refreshing to have to think about telling a story in so few words and deciding how best to tell it – which viewpoint to use, which tense, where to start it, how to finish it. It’s very different from writing a novel and fairly daunting, I have to say. I’m impressed by those writers who create short stories all the time. It’s by no means easy and I wasn’t convinced that I’d mastered the art. I sent it to Alex, one of The Write Romantics, to proofread and to get her opinion. Luckily, she liked it, and I don’t think she was only saying that because she’s my friend. In fact, I know she wasn’t because she told me “I’m not just saying that because you’re my friend”. See! So, apart from a few minor edits, that’s that job done and I can breathe again. At least, until the manuscript of my novel turns up on the doorstep complete with report.
I’ve been scouring the blogs and Facebook pages of fellow writers this week and trying not to feel jealous as I read all about their fantastic weekend at the RNA Conference in Shropshire. There are some great stories, fab pictures, and enough information to make anyone eager to take part in next year’s event. I admit, I did have a wobble when I read it’s to take place in London. I’ve never been to London, and it seems like quite a scary place to a northerner like me! It seems very noisy, very expensive, and very big! Even the thought of getting a train down there is a worrying thought. There’s no getting away from it, though. I can’t have another year of feeling left out and envious. It’s just not on. In fact, I’ve already started saving for the fees so there you go. London, here I come!
Finally, I’d just like to thank The Write Romantics, Tracey Scott-Townsend, and Heidi-Jo Swain for being so supportive this last couple of weeks. I did a guest post on The Write Romantics’ blog last Saturday which you can read here. I was also invited to do the Meet My Character blog tour by Tracey (whose own post you can read here) and passed the baton to Alys West, whose post you can read here. On August 8th I will be on Heidi-Jo’s blog. She is a member of the NWS and is running a summer Path to Publication blog tour featuring fellow members. You can read the first of her guest’s post here. Don’t forget to look out for mine on August 8th!
So, it’s back to the grindstone for me. A week at the day job beckons, including two ten hour shifts instead of one. Oh, the glamour. I bet Barbara Cartland never had these problems!
Have a great week xx