Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

What will 2009 hold for us all, I wonder? Hopefully it will be a better one than 2008 - not that 2008 was a bad year for me. I got to see my work in print for the first time, I made a writing sale (yipee!), I got a job (several actually), so it was a good year in many ways. :)

Also over Christmas we heard good news - a new niece and nephew are on the way. Little Svetlana from Tula in (West) Russia is due in March to my brother and his wife, and hopefully by June little Michael Nikolai from Blagoveschenck (far East Russia, less than a km from China) will join my sister and her husband. The two little cousins will be close in age, and grow up almost next door to each other - so hopefully they will be friends!

Of course, the 2008 saw plenty of disappointments and sadness too for family and friends, but I am hopeful that 2009 will bring loads more happiness and (writing) success for us all!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


What is the most essential item to take on holidays other than tickets, passport & money? I think a good book comes next, and if I happen not to be currently devouring one, I turn to a few old favourites.

These usually are :
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (who couldn't love this masterpiece?)
The complete Fr. Brown short stories by GK Chesterton (brilliant, insightful & highly original)
Emma by Jane Austen (my favourite of her works).

Did you ever see the episode of 'Seinfeld' where George asks Jerry to get back some books of his that are in his ex's apartment. Jerry asks George if he has read them, and upon George's confirming that he has, Jerry says 'So what do you want them back for?' (Or words to that effect. If you don't know the show, I won't bore you with explanations).

Anyway, I have a number of favourite books, which I could easily read once a year with great pleasure, and any of the three above usually find their way into my suitcase. This time as I made a big effort to travel light, it was 'Emma'.

Which I enjoyed, yet again!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Back from Holidays

Back from 8 days in Tenerife, where I had a lovely relaxing holiday.

The island is very English - which means lots of plain food for me to eat. Usually I find it difficult to find somewhere nice but there was plenty of choice. The weather was not great - cloudy most of the time, but to enjoy 17 or 18 degrees in the middle of December is such a treat - I want to go every winter now! Of course, when I returned to work, I was informed that Tenerife was known as the Cloudy island...

I have a tendancy to bring bad weather with me whenever I go on holiday - be it New York, South Africa, France, Italy, Croatia, wherever - thunder and lightning usually follow. Some people, of course, talk about the earthquake in Assisi that happened after I visited, the fires in France, and numerous other things... It almost always rains on my holidays.

It didn't rain in Tenerife although the locals told me that it was really bad weather for there, so perhaps I really deserve my reputation!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Submission & Acceptance

Following Inkpot and her various submission competitions has made me recall the joy of getting accepted for the first time. It was such a high, I thought 'This is addictive - I want more!'. Although I have had several other acceptances, I have not put in much time in the last few months - in fact, I haven't submitted anything for ages.

Therefore when I return from holidays, I am going to be all motivated to do loads of writing. At least - at long last - my evening classes are over, so I don't have them hanging over me any more, which should help me get into my new writing routine (of at least an hour a day during the week, more at the weekend).

I think I will blog every day about how much or little I have done - just to embarrass myself into doing some work!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I really mean to blog at least once a week, hopefully twice. I would love to say daily but I don't think I'd manage that. It's amazing how much time blogging actually consumes - I can see why photos are used so often! (I know, they take time too).

I survived my first week in the new job, by starting late on Monday and leaving early Wednesday and Thursday for evening class. By Wednesday I also picked up a bad cough/chest infection, in bed all weekend and yesterday..anyway I got through it.

Tomorrow night is my last Wednesday night class, and Thursday is my last Thursday night class - I cannot wait. In fact, I'm celebrating by going on holiday to the sun. When I return to blogland, I will have my evenings back for writing, and I also intend to do some at lunch (once I'm settled in the job long enough to be my usual anti-social self).

How do people working by day find both time and energy to write, I wonder. Is it sheer self-discipline, and does anyone know where I can get some?