Monday, 29 October 2007

I'm back!

What do you get if you cross a musty-smelling 60s style chalet (complete with matching 60s crockery) on the Isle of Wight with a sunny/windy/rainy week in October?

A damned good holiday that's what*

And I really, really, really didn't want to come back to real life. My week was a mixture of luxurious slovenliness (sofa+ chocolate + dvd player + loads of great TV shows (The 4400 and Jericho) and lots of films = bliss) and day trips to the seaside, the pier, the amusement arcades, the zoo, the bowling alley, cafes with sea views and the occasional trip to the pub.

I promised myself I wouldn't do any writing or editing and I didn't. Unfortunately the books I lugged all the way there...and all the way back... remained unread too but I don't feel too guilty. I just wanted to do what I wanted, when I wanted, for a whole week. And I did! My b'day was lovely - a trip to the Isle of Wight Zoo in the afternoon and to the cinema to see Stardust in the evening. Can't recommend the film enough. If you loved films like Labyrinth and The Never Ending Story when you were a kid you'll love Stardust. And you can take your kids to see it too ;o)

Now it's back to work, back on with the writing and editing and I've also got a ton of websites to design for friends. So busy, busy, busy once again. Oh how I miss last weeks late nights and later mornings.

Two good bits of news to come back to to raise my writing spirits...

1) My flash "Six Uses for a Hedgehog" is going to be published v.v.soon by Tall Tales and Modern Fables - a Lottery-funded free quarterly print magazine to be distributed in pubs and cafes in Brighton & Hove. And all the contributing writers are from Brighton and Hove too so that's nice.

2) To Be Read Aloud got in touch to tell me my story "Slipping Down the Sky" has been published in their latest anthology for 'oral interpreters' (that's people who compete in reading competitions to you and me) and it's winging its way to me from the States as we speak. Oh, and a very welcome $100 has been deposited in my PayPal account. V nice.

So... what are my plans now? Well my novel still needs to be edited, my children's book still needs to be written and I've got a short story that needs a bit of work.

On top of that I've also signed up for Slingink's Eurofiction competition. Starting on 1st November a series of 3 prompts will be released. I'll then have 2 weeks to write a story to one of those prompts and send it in. The judges will then rate the received stories in a Eurofiction marking style - 20 points for 1st place, 18 for second, 17 for third, down to one point and then nil. The competition takes place over 20 weeks so, by the end of it, I'll have written 10 new short stories. There's a cash prize for the person who comes top of the leader board at the end of the twenty weeks but that's not why I'm entering. I've entered to give myself a short story kick up the bum and get me writing more regularly.

What else? Oh yes. And I'll be flashing for Children in Need in the middle of November. That's not as rude as it sounds - I'll be writing a piece of flash fiction every hour from 6pm on Thursday 15th November to about 2am Friday 16th November (to a series of prompts). Last year, and the year before, I flashed from 6pm through to midnight on Friday with only a couple of hours break (and some sleep time) but this year I wasn't able to get time off work so I'll just be doing a bit. Every little helps and all that.

God, just typing all that out makes me feel knackered. Time for a lie down!

* Copious rose-scented joss sticks partially masked the musky smell


womagwriter said...

Welcome back!

The Isle of Wight's lovely, isn't it? We live near enough to do daytrips there. I'm a big fan. Was it the zoo in Sandown you went to - the one with all the gorgeous tigers?

We took the kids to see Stardust over half term. I agree - it's a marvellous film.

It will be all write said...

Hi there !

Just wanted 2 bring to your attention that I left a comment on your last blog.

I am very new to this blogging thing so I am not sure if you be prompted or not. It's all strange.

I would also like to put all writers and a list of my fave blogs but again I have no clue. Makes me all sound real simple. Anyway Hi and I look forward to hearing from you .....

liz fenwick said...

Welcome back :-) You have a lot on your plate and it's your shout for coffee of at the Novel Racers for the next two weeks ....... if there's a problem let me know.

liz x

Lane said...

Wow, you sound refreshed, re-charged and raring to go!
Sounds like a great holiday:-)

KayJay said...

Great to have you back! Did you miss the internet? I was away for 3 days and I was SHOCKED at how lost I felt without it.

Glad you had a fun time, all sounds rather fab in a groovy retro way!

JJ said...

That sounds like a proper chill - how lovely. And what a lot of activity to come. All the best with it.


HelenMH said...

Welcome back - as usual your future schedule sounds exhausting! Good luck with all that!

SallyQ said...

Welcome home, Cally! Sometimes the most unattractive seeming holidays turn out to be the best!

Well done on the publications too!

Good luck with the Children in Need marathon.

Leigh said...

What a nice time you must have had to come home raving about your holiday. Glad you enjoyed it!

Congratulations on your publications (glowing slightly green, here). What lovely news to await your return!

The Children in Need thing sounds fun. Good luck with it, and your other targets. Don't overdo it, will you?!

CTaylor said...

womag - thanks so much for the lovely welcome. I'm a big, big fan of the Isle of Wight (this was my second visit this year!). And yes, it was the zoo in Sandown. It was the male lion that astonished me. I'd NEVER been so close to a lion before and it was a terrifying and awe-inspiring experience. Such big paws!

It Will Be All Write - hello there. Thanks for your two comments. No need to tell me you've commented. I receive all the comments that are posted here and approve them so they're published. I'll check out your blog very soon.

Liz - thanks for the novel racers reminder. I'd better get my thinking hat on for a good topic!

Lane - I may sound raring to go but secretly I'm terrified ;o)

KayJay - Funnily enough I didn't miss the internet. A couple of times I though "Hmm, wonder if I've got any interesting emails" but with emails come rejections so it was actually it was really nice to take a break from it for a bit. Also also a bit of an internet addict so it was good to induldge in a bit of cold turkey.

JJ - it was wonderfully chilled thanks. I'm scared of all the upcoming activity but, like a swan, am trying to appear serene on the surface!

Helenmh - thanks for the welcome back. Am gonna need lots of coffee and glucose tablets to get through the next month!

Sally - thanks for the welcome back. Most of my holidays are unattractive on the surface (too skint to do swanky holidays) but they're always great (although sometimes a little musty smelling ;o))

Leigh - I'm easily pleased. Any break is a good break in my book!