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This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Writing

Spring is here – yay! Time to slough off the woes of winter and get writing!

The extremely intriguing muses for this week are provided by Sally (via Angela…) so get musing people!

And Marit has written an interesting blog on being a grandmother and a writer - something I know nothing about as I don’t even have children, (just dogs and pigs and…) So a fascinating insight into trying to fit more into a day than you can possible manage. Keep trying, Marit, and finish those novels!

On the bragging stool – Angela’s story, The Cimmerian Club, was chosen to be performed by the Liars League in Leeds. Angela has promised to upload a link when it’s available - I’m looking forward to seeing that.

And I actually have a couple of things this week: my book, Temporal Shift, finalized in the Southern Magic (this is one of the RWA chapter groups) Gayle Winters Award of Excellence competition – winners announced early April so keep everything crossed. And I have a new 3 book contract from Entangled Brazen for a series called – Things to Do Before You Die. It’s off a proposal so I have to write them now.

The rest of us are keeping busy: Dianne is revising her novel, Vanessa is working on her second novel, Paola is really busy settling in, but her travel writing course is going very well (and she’s meeting Glyn on Tuesday – we definitely want photos.)

The magazine is doing great, 536 views and 76 downloads so far. No feedback yet.

Lots of fabulous April challenges provided by an absent Alyson (off having fun in the snow!) plus why not join Camp NanoWrimo with Jo and me – this time you get to set your own word count so no stressing.

And finally, there was some talk at the formal meeting regarding the focus of Writers Abroad. So maybe we could all take a moment to think about exactly what we want from the group and the best way to get it…


On being a Grandmother and a Writer
Category: Writing
Tags: writing life time

On being a Grandmother and a Writer...


Many years ago, I decided I would venture back into education, beginning with an OU Foundation course. It went wrong from the start. As soon as I got my books out and proceeded to read – the very first page – the entire family gathered round the table to talk about their news and their day. In retrospect, I think using the kitchen table as my desk was asking for trouble. I now have two desks. One for my laptop, and one for the sewing machine. I was obviously not meant to work from the kitchen table, and just as well, as the kitchen is busier than ever, with many of my grandchildren here at some point in the day, on every weekday – and on the weekend, the four (including two year old twins) living a little further afield, here either all day Saturday or Sunday.


I told myself (once I had new glasses, and I could actually see properly again) that I must set myself a timetable, and get back to writing early in the morning – and late at night (‘free’ time) - but have failed miserably. My husband has retired – just going into the third year of retirement now. I haven’t – I keep working away on my little business(es) to earn the extra needed for being the grandmother I have always been, with a full larder, always able to whip up a meal for six or twelve, provide fruit, biscuits and drinks, and presents for all their birthdays and at Christmas. And host most of the birthday parties. We’re usually around 30 (12 of them being grandchildren). The £8-£10 royalties a month (when I’m lucky), don’t go very far.


If I had the resources, I’d give up the stationery business, and just write (and take proper part in writerly things on WA) and work on my textile items, in between family time. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have it any other way, family-wise. I have been very, very lucky  -and I know I’ll never be lonely.

But speaking of lonely, I have seven almost finished novels/books feeling very lonely in their files, and notes for a further two. I need a PA, a typist, an  editor, a publisher (since I still self-publish), a cleaner, cook, chauffeur - and a new laptop. This one is jumbling up my writing, and I keep having to go back to put it right.


So what writing lesson is there in all this? Hmm, perhaps work on one thing at a time? But what do you do when the muse bombards you with new ideas? You write, and then get overcome with guilt because another manuscript is lying there idle, and other things you should be doing, are not getting done. Blogs lie there, lacking new posts, my favourite writers’ site only gets the odd visit. And guilt becomes your companion. I’d like to show it the door, but I think perhaps I will be shown the door instead. Unless some kind soul waves a magic wand and gives me a 48 hour day. That would do nicely.


Meanwhile, keep writing, friends, and perhaps one day I will catch up.


This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: site news

There must be spring in the air as an awful lot seems to be going on this week.

Jo has posted the Blog, appropriately about our fifth anthology Kaleidoscope, pointing out the importance of raising money to give children around the world a chance that we take for granted – to be able to read. Let’s hope this year’s anthology breaks previous records. And our thanks go to Crilly for starting the ball rolling by contacting this year’s charity Room to Read.

John has posted some inspiring prompts in this week’s Muses, taken from news items and headlines from his local Welsh paper.

Alyson sits firmly on the Bragging Stool. It must have been modesty that made her fail to include this in the column last week so I shall make sure she’s there now! Yet another acceptance for a short story in People’s Friend. Anyone who has tried submitting to womags will know this is no mean feat.

More achievements in the new Commitment Cabin where Jo and Nicola are posting. Why not join in? Go over and take a look. The Chapter Forum is back up and running with Nicola and Dianne looking for critiques on chapters of their novels. Val is also looking for advice in the March Writing Challenge for her entry to the Mash competition. I’ll check it out next, Val!

So, no slacking! There are muses to write, critiques to do, and it’s about time to start thinking about our own submissions for the Kaleidoscope anthology, before time runs out.

And I’ll remind myself as well as everyone else that there’s a Formal Meeting on Sunday 22nd March.

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