Monday, 10 February 2014


Next week is half term.  As ever, I am longing for it.

I don't have an awful lot planned for the week yet, other than a trip to the dentist on Tuesday, the prospect of which is naturally filling me with so much joy that I can barely contain myself.

What I do hope to do is plenty of writing.  I am making progress with book 3 - what with my don't-break-the-chain writing - but it's pretty slow going at the moment.  Only about a chapter a week.  I think I can do better, but I'm so weary by the time I get home in the evenings (and generally by this I mean in the psychological sense) that all I want to do is consume stories rather than create them.

But I'm hoping that in the bliss that is half term I'll have more mental energy to get something really substantial done.

I used to be able to churn out thousands of words a day.  Probably not very good words but still.  Now I consider it a productive day if I manage anything above six-hundred.

So that's my plan.  It'll be great to feel excited about something again.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Author Talk - Rebecca Alexander

After the cheap and easy therapy of last week's blog post (apologies for the excessive grumpiness there), it's nice to have something more positive to talk about this time.

On Thursday 30th January published author and writer extraordinaire Rebecca Alexander came to the college to do an Author Talk about her brilliant debut The Secrets of Life and Death, and her craft as a professional novelist.

I met Reb while doing my MA at Winchester Uni but haven't physically seen her since that time.  We've kept in touch via the wonders of the internets, beta-ing each other's work and chatting about our writing.  It's something I highly value.  Without it I could easily feel cut off from the rest of the writing world and I'm far too insular as it is.

And now that Reb's published, with a three-book deal from a major publishing house (WOO!), she's in the perfect position to impart her wisdom to the next set of aspiring authors (and I'm including myself in that group along with the students).

There were two sessions and though the numbers weren't huge, I felt they went really well, chiefly due to Reb's skill as a speaker.  She oozed confidence and ease, keeping all of her words relevant, helpful and entertaining.  If I'd been in her position I know I would've been an incoherent wobbling mess.  The whole thing took me right back to my uni Creative Writing classes and I loved it.

Ahh - University Nostalgia.

So I say thank you to Reb for a lovely day and urge the rest of you to go and buy her book immediately.

Seriously.  Off you go.  I'll wait.