Friday, 26 June 2009

Back to Life and Blogging

Phew, tis over. A 13 week contract that sounded like a bit of a doddle way back in March but which ended up taking over my working life and giving me some very bizarre dreams. I feel like I suddenly have an extra three hours in my day and can finally get back on track, especially with my writing.

No news yet from The Agent but I have been reliable informed that up to three months is a normal wait time so I am trying to be patient and not going all dry throated and choky when the phone rings in the middle of the afternoon.

Had lovely time last night at the Calderdale Short Story competition prize-giving evening. There were 430 entrants and mine was one of the 30 shortlisted so I was pretty chuffed. The three winners read from their stories and they were all excellent, especially the winning story which I hope ends up being published somewhere as I want to be able to recommend it to people to read. The judges were the writer Jane Rogers and the publisher Ra Page (of Comma Press). They both talked about what they look for in a good short story and it was really useful and inspiring. I managed to talk to both of them afterwards too, over wine and nibbles.

Our local Arts festival is about to start and there are lots of literary delights on offer. I have a ticket to see Carol Ann Duffy and also for a talk by Katie Fforde and Eleanor Moran. There is also an opportunity for a 'literary lunch' with Katie and Eleanor which could be fun.

Next week I'm going to a 'Writer's Roadshow' - a full day of workshops, forums, readings and 'meet the authors'. As part of the day I get a 'one-to-one' hour with the author Mark Illis. I have to send him some of my work in advance and then we will discuss it. It's a great opportunity, but I'm a bit nervous. I know Mark as our daughters go to school together and the thought of him reading my novel is a bit daunting (number of people who have read any of it so far is still very small). But I love his writing (just finished Tender which I can highly recommend) so his comments and criticism will be very valued.

But before all that there is a weekend of costume fittings, dress rehearsals and performances - not for me but The Daughter who is in both a dance show and a play. And I also only have two days to get my oufit ready for the DIY fashion show in town, which is also part of the festival. I have a dress in many pieces and several lengths of ribbon. Now I just need to get sewing.