10th December, 2022
The last few weeks have been filled with lovely writerly things. I’ve been working with a mentor for an anthology that Lincoln University is putting together. It’s fairly lengthy and is inspired by a piece of old family history. It’s been a joy to research and write. It’s with the editing team at the moment and I’ve got a reprieve until mid-January when I’ll receive their feedback. Then it’ll be all systems go to bash it into shape for publication in the spring. I’ve also returned to editing my novel which was longlisted for the Cheshire Novel Prize earlier this year. This book seems to be taking forever but I’ve been knocked off track so many times by that rollercoaster we call Life. Anyway, I am determined! And bit by bit it’s getting there.
And speaking of the Cheshire Novel Prize, a few of us who were shortlisted or longlisted managed to meet up in London last week. We had such a fabulous time. I’m so proud to be amongst these talented, warm, and kind writers. We have become friends, chatting virtually in a private space created by the organiser of the prize, and there are more of us scattered far and wide, but it was lovely that seven of us could get together.
I’ve had some lovely walks in recent weeks, too. I met a lovely writing friend for a tramp around Arger Fen, a Suffolk Wildlife reserve. It was a beautiful autumnal day and we perched on a damp bench to eat our packed lunches. It felt just like we were on a school trip! I also had a flying visit to the Peak District. I actually went for a lovely friend’s book launch and took the opportunity to grab a couple of hikes. It was absolutely stunning, and I’ll definitely be back. Although, not for a little while. I’ve had hip pain for several months now and yesterday I received the diagnosis of gluteal tendinopathy which basically means I’ve got an inflamed tendon. Great! I said. Well, sort of. The doctor said. You’ll need to have physio and it’ll take around four months to mend so you’ll have to cut back on walking and the gym. Not the best news, but not the worst either. In the meantime, I’ve started a preliminary exercise routine the doctor gave me until I see the physio.
I’ve been a bit hit and miss with my reading lately. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout. I could relate to Lucy in so many ways. Being alone, I often look back on my life and wonder about things. Sometimes it’s easier to look back when looking forward and planning a solo future can be exhausting. I think the trick to a happy balance is to only look back on the best of times, and try not to see too far into the future. Lucy by the Sea really hit the spot.
I’ve also enjoyed A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris, which was very clever and had me guessing until the end. At the moment I’m dipping into a collection of short stories in A.L Kennedy’s We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time. Wonderful stories.
December can be a tricky month for me (actually, I’ve come to the conclusion that most months hold some sort of gnarled root to trip me up). And so I decided to start a little project called #itsasunrisething. Each day in December my plan is to post a photo of my sunrise. I’m doing it on twitter where some lovely friends have joined in, and it really is uplifting (although it got off to a cloudy start with no sun at all!). But this morning I cheated and took a photo from my bedroom window. I’ll venture out for a slow, gently walk (bah! humbug!) with Molly a bit later. But for now, I’m in bed with my laptop and tea. And what could be nicer than that?