I have just returned home after a wonderful two-week holiday in Ireland. I took full advantage of the quiet countryside to catch up on some reading. In this photo I was engrossed in ‘Steel City Confidential’ , a new thriller by Anne Hagan. The Carlingford Mountains are behind me and The Irish Sea in front. I could have heard a pin drop in the garden of the cottage, so it was the ideal location to read.
Whilst there I also read ‘A Shot at Love’ by T.B. Markinson and ‘After Mrs Hamilton’ by Clare Ashton. I can certainly recommend a trip to the emerald isle for those seeking a space to relax. I was also able to get some writing done and squirrel away some ideas for future stories. Of course there are plenty of things to do for those days when you want to get out and about. I visited The Giant’s Causeway, Portrush, Dublin, Dundalk and had many lovely meals out at some truly fantastic restaurants. All in all a truly memorable trip.
I’m just back from my first ever Bold Strokes event in Nottingham. What a weekend! After a delay getting there (due to a cancelled flight and subsequently four cities in a day to make it), I attended the ‘Meet and Speak’ at the Five Leaves Bookshop in the city. As soon as I was through the door I was greeted by a sea of friendly faces – Brey Willows and Robyn Nyx, Valden Bush, Carol Hutchinson, Isabelle Lonitz, Anna Larner and her wife, Jen Silver, Jane Fletcher and her lovely wife Joanie, Jody Klaire, Em and Ferb, Sam Skybourne, Lise Gold and her wife, Anne Holt and many more. After listening to some wonderful readings a few of us headed off to the Pitcher and Piano for drinks and chat. We sat outside in the warm night air until the early hours talking until we realised we had an event to get up for in the morning and headed off to our various hotels.
Saturday morning started with a welcome from the lovely Brey Willows. The room filled up quickly and we were treated to some fascinating panels – Challenging the Norms, Flowers and Wine, Playing with the universe, It’s a Writer’s Life and reading from the authors. I found hearing the authors read their own work made me want to buy more books. We were all able to mingle throughout the day and chat to the authors and get our book purchases signed. The After Party at the Pit and Pendulum nearby gave us a chance to socialise more. As we moved around the tables we all got to know some new people. The banter was fantastic.
Sunday brought some more panels, readings and a hilarious quiz. We all headed off to The New Foresters bar afterwards for a BBQ and lots of chat. Hours passed quickly as we met new people and old friends. The conversations brought us all together and made us realise just how much we all have in common. Getting to spend time together was energising and affirming – and I cannot wait for next year to do it all again.
I have just spent the most wonderful weekend in Wigtown, Scotland’s very own Booktown. Situated in the south-west of Scotland, in Dumfries and Galloway, it boasts thirteen bookshops. Yes thirteen bookshops! I have been keen to go for a long time and was not disappointed. Some of the bookshops are also cafes and restaurants. The Airbnb I stayed in, The Glaisnock, had a vegetarian cafe attached, a reading room with shelves and shelves of books and books in the rooms. The bistro we had dinner in was a lesfic heaven. The Green Room is a fairly new restaurant, lesbian-owned, and had the largest selection of lesfic books I have every seen in one place. It is to be found in Bank Street, on the site of an old hotel and garden nursery. You have to be eagle-eyed to spot it, but believe me, it is well worth a visit. The food was fantastic, the owners super-friendly and you will have the chance to browse the shelves of books from every lesfic publisher imaginable. I bought six there but could have bought a hundred if I’d had room in my case for them!
Reading Lasses was an other wonderful cafe/bookshop with the best soup I’ve ever tasted – and a great selection of lesbian fiction too.
After leaving Wigtown we took a drive west to Portpatrick, a quaint coastal village. It is the most picturesque place imaginable and well worth checking out if you are in the area.
last month, I’ve been part of a Street Team for Angela and Becca at Writers
Helping Writers, who are launching their new writing book on February 19th.
Because they are known for showing, not telling, they decided it would be fun
to keep the thesaurus book’s topic a secret until the book cover reveal…WHICH
you writers know (and possibly use) the original Emotion Thesaurus.
It released in 2012 and became a must-have resource for many because it
contained lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75
emotions, making the difficult task of showing character emotion on the page
people have asked Angela and Becca to add more emotions over the years that
they decided to create a second edition. It contains 55 NEW entries, bringing the total to 130 emotions.
is almost DOUBLE IN SIZE and there’s a lot more new content, so I recommend
checking it out. And you can. Right now.
This book is available for preorder, so you can find all the details about this new book’s contents by visiting Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble, or swinging by Writers Helping Writers. You can view the full list of emotions included in this new book, too.
One last thing…Angela & Becca have a special gift for writers HERE. If you like free education, stop by and check it out. (It’s only available for a limited time!)
This is the kind of book I will go back to again and again as I go through my writing process. Sandra Gerth gives us a step-by-step guide on how to realise our goals. She makes us see that it’s great to have dreams but to make them a reality we first have to decide on achievable goals and work on them.
I loved how she breaks everything down into achievable goals and made me be more specific about what I really want. And she makes the writer think about themselves, what is important and relevant to them. The task seems more manageable and realistic. Planning how to get that book written doesn’t seem such a daunting task . I can see me following a lot of the advice
She also gives plenty of advice on other books to read for further information and links to online resources that expand the subject. An excellent book I can highly recommend.