To wish any reader I might have left a Happy New Year. I have not posted for a while. I put this down to the frustrating life we have had forced on us. A huge grey cloud to hang over a writer. Writers do not work in a vacuum. Like any other creative person, they need input from the outside world. The other day I found in my Documents folder a piece I wrote about a walk across my local common. The draft, including bird song, blossom in flower and an historical reference to the English Civil War 1640-1642, was almost a poem. Perhaps I will revise it into verse.

Recently this cloud has lifted. A painter I know had a productive few months at the end of last year, culminating in a exhibiting at an important show with exceptional monetary rewards. I don’t have that kind of hope with my WIP, a novel set in the 1950s. However, my enthusiasm for writing, particularly this novel, has returned. To force my hand, I have entered it in a prestigious novel competition. Which means I have to complete and submit my finale of the novel to my mentor – Emma Darwin at this month.

Also to complete re-drafting according to her suggestions on two earlier submissions. A task I’ve postponed from last September! And finally to send to a writing comrade who is, by profession a reader of manuscripts, with a special interest in Structure, for her comments by the end of February. Then I will have to amend my work so that in the glorious event of being shortlised in the competition, the novel will be completed and can be sent on it way.

All of which will get my writing life to the end of March. With, maybe, one or two new short stories submitted as well. Gosh! That feels better.

Since I am not brilliant on inserting illustrations into my posts, I am sticking to one at the top of future blogs.

One last thing. If you are a new reader please see the Page Buy the Book, indicated in the heading strap and Click. I have copies of The Baby Box and Tales of Dusty Death here with me or you can order Tales of Dusty Death from booksellers.

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