Tag Archives: Muriel Spark

Out with the Old and In with the New

31 Dec

Life

Here we are on Hogmanay, and it’s time to take an inventory of the last year, and plan for the one ahead. I sat this time last year with my family, and we all said ‘well, 2017 can’t be as bad as 2016’, well it was a close run think – I lost my father-in-law and a friend, who were both lovely gentle people and who are missed. I also spent at least ten nights in hospital (5 separate admissions) with one of my kids, and countless other times at A&E, Out-Patients, the GP and Boots with both oldsters and youngsters. But we did welcome a new baby into the family, and had a wedding which united my nephew with the cousin of one of my oldest friends.

I also got on top of my horrible atopic eczema, thank you Child’s Farm, and got my mojo back (at least a bit)

Writing

An alright year on the writing front. I got back to my writers’ group; went on a retreat to a freezing but very atmospheric country house/castle; continued to write short stories; and made some progress with my novel. I managed to get a few pieces published, but there were the inevitable knock-backs and disappointments. I am starting the new year with a new notebook, which I hope will be filled with lots of tantalising snippets that will grow into fully-formed beauties.

Out with the Paperblanks (I love you) and in with the Essential Waitrose

I have a writing plan in hand, should funding become available; and a another plan if it doesn’t. I’ve got my new office/son’s bedroom painted, so all I need is a carpet, and his university term to start again, and I can move back in.

Reading

I failed miserably at my GoodReads challenge of reading 20 books this year (only managed 12), and got to the stage with my book group that I didn’t even know what book I was meant to have bought (and read). That will all change this incoming year, with Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark in honour of her centenary. I am a huge fan of Muriel Spark, but I actually haven’t read this one, so I am really looking forward to it.

The fact that I haven’t finished many books disguises the fact that I have been doing huge amounts of reading. My writers’ group means that I critique around 15k words a month, and I am nearly finished a Proofreading Course which takes reading to a whole new level. I plan to launch my new website/business in the next couple of months.

Talented G2 Writers

I’ve felt huge pride, and not a little jealousy in the success of friends – four past members of my writers’ group have gone on to great things. Ethyl Smith and Maggie Ritchie published their second novels this year, and Kevin Scott and Gail Honeyman , their first. Gail’s success has been phenomenal, and gives hope to us lesser mortals. Having read the books in draft form, I am only now getting round to reading the books in full, but I know they will be great.

So here’s to 2018, may it bring happiness and health to us all.

 

 

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