Hello and welcome!
Pull up a chair, it may just be the two of us but that’s ok; more trifle to go around, right?
Months and months have passed since I’ve posted on my old blog site, http://@violableu.wordpress.com and hence I thought rather than simply wake that one up, I may as well start a new page. Clean slate; fewer ramblings and more focus 🖊
How has lockdown been for you?
Our son lives with us so we didn’t miss him – ha! – but our daughter moved out last summer, so we’ve had to make do with FaceTime catch ups until very recently. Mother’s Day landing after the rule of 1 meet-up outside meant she could visit our garden and bring her new puppy to say hello. What a treat!
I’ve written a whole second novel since the days of my old blogging habits. A stand-alone historical, presently with a Reader on the New Writers Scheme (with the Romantic Novelists Association). It also underwent a structural critique last autumn which was enlightening – to put it mildly – and its early chapters have been heavily poked and prodded by fellow-students on a brilliant creative writing class I’ve attended weekly since last summer.
I can’t but help feel the edit I spent all winter doing has made it worthy of the pride which runs through me. Forgive me if that sounds arrogant. While it may not get picked up by an agent, I know it’s a better book than it was after NaNo 2019, so I’m singing it’s praises for now 🤗
A writer’s self-confidence is a fragile thing, and recent studies with Sophie Hannah have taught me why we don’t always believe in ourselves even when others tell us we should. Her Dream Author Programme has been eye-opening alongside the more general studies of creative writing, and I’m thrilled I enrolled, using money I’d saved for a retreat which covid cancelled.
I’ve been reading more since the pandemic started (and know how lucky I am to have not found myself in a reading slump as some sadly have). Below is one special title which I’ll not forget in a hurry! Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing is a stunning tale; a whoddunit set in the marshy swamps of North Caroline in 1969, and the incredible story of The Marsh Girl. Have you read it?
I’ve written a poem and a short story this month and sent them off to competitions. Exercising those writing braincells; all four of them. (Can’t have them going rusty while I wait to hear about my suffragette novel!)
A friend sent me this classic after we were talking about reading different genres, and what makes a great page-turner.
I’m a third of the way through and very much enjoying it. Admittedly some pages of mild info-dumping when much of the scientific facts need to be laid out for us, but luckily they are interspersed with pulse-quickening scenes and wonderful characterisation. And the premise is still awesome 🦖
My aim is to blog weekly; daily was too frequent to fit well into the aspects of life here on the farm. And once a month I’m planning book giveaways – new paperback copies of my favourite recent stories.
I hope to see you again; drop me a line and tell me what you’ve been up to!
See you soon,
💉 (I’ve had my first!)