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