Monday, 21 July 2008

Welcome Returns

Last week was taken up with teaching a summer school course in novel writing for the university's Dept of Continuing Education. I've been doing this for some years now and in a paradoxical way enjoy the sheer intensity of it, whizzing through everything from ideas and motivation through to how best to promote your work - all in a week! I don't know who's more shell-shocked by the end of it, me or my class - but we have a laugh and I get to meet some very interesting people. I live and breathe it for a week and collapse exhausted on Friday night - and on Saturday there's the accumulation of dishes to wash and the ever-present laundry mountain to 'ground' me again!

Our family holiday is imminent so if I go silent again - I will be back. I want to mention in the meantime two happy returns to the blog and site links I have in the boxes to the right. The first is Tess Gerritsen, who back in the spring rather dramatically announced she was going dark because she'd been the subject of a vicious online campaign against her. I wasn't the only one to think this was a real shame as I really enjoy her blog both for its disarming honesty and for its insight into the life - and stresses - of a highly successful writer. I kept checking sporadically and sure enough, a few weeks ago, she started up again. You just can't shut us writers up!

The second revival is that of my friend Jacqui Lofthouse, at her site and blog - www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. Jacqui has been quiet for months now because she has been concentrating on finishing her fourth novel - but is now continuing her literary consultancy with new consultants. She is also launching her new business, Essential Artist, which involves coaching for 'creative development of individuals and organisations'. So if you need help either with checking the quality of your manuscript or with motivation and confidence building as a creative artist, check out Jacqui's site and download her ebook - Write 30,000 Words in 30 Days. Good luck with all of this, Jacqui, and with the revisions and sending out of your new novel!

Now, I face Packing Hell - bad enough choosing clothes for myself and the boys - but one of the worst aspects is picking the good reads to take. Not so intellectual that my brain goes into meltdown under the hot sun, not so light that they're read at a sitting and I'm left staring into space for thirteen of the fourteen days (what's that you say? Write your own? Nah - I'm off duty). What I need are reasonably chunky light-but-rich affairs that will fill the laze-by-the-pool time and maybe trigger a thought or two ... no, no, I told you - I'm OFF DUTY! I will not think of themes, tropes, leitmotifs, intertextuality ...

If you're off on holiday yourself, have a great time, and happy reading. Here are some titles I'll definitely be packing - Joseph O'Connor 'Redemption Falls'(he wrote the brilliant 'Star of the Sea'; C. J. Sanson 'Sovereign' (third in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor mysteries); Anne Donovan 'Being Emily' (she wrote the wonderful 'Buddha Da'). And then there's ... oh, and there's ...

6 comments:

KAREN said...

I have 'Being Emily' on my TBR pile and enjoyed Redemption Falls too.

Sounds like you're ready for a holiday so have a great time :o)

Lorna F said...

Karen - you're so right! We're at that stage of Packing Hell where you think 'Next year let's just close the curtains and pretend we've gone away, lie in a darkened room for the duration and save money - quite apart from avoiding stress-related collapse!'

Kift said...

Hi Lorna, long time...
Enjoying your blog!I've started writing, myself (to supplement musical income,)though a friend suggested, "That's not writing, that's low-level hacking."

Holiday-wise, I'm following your close-the-curtains-and-pretend-I've- gone-away tip, and settling down with Anne Lamott's 'Bird by Bird'

atb

Richard

Fiona Robyn said...

Hi Lorna - found your blog via Jacqui's - good to 'meet' you!

Lorna F said...

Hi, Fiona, good to meet you too! I'd read about you on Jacqui's website and wish you lots of success with your consultancy work with her - and, of course, with your publishing! I've had a bit of a break from blogging over the past month, for various reasons, but am hoping to get back into it properly now - so I hope you'll keep reading.

Lorna F said...

Hi, Kift, I've had a look at your blog and am wondering how things are going currently. You've been resourceful in locating potential blogging markets but it does seem like an enormous amount of work for the payments so far. Are you continuing to develop this? How did 'Bird by Bird' go? Also, forgive me, but I know a few Richards - which one are you?!