Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Bolt From The Blue

I apologise for not blogging in a long time. My stepfather died suddenly on 19th March, so it has been an emotional time, and it has thrown things somewhat awry. He lived in the house left to me by my mother, so I have been preoccupied with the business of clearing it. It seems quite strange to 'reclaim' my family home after many years. I plan to let the house in the short term. I wouldn't go back to my childhood village to live, much as I love the view from the house and the beautiful garden (see photo). I have my memories and have set my novel in a place based on the village and surrounding area. The place will live on in my head, even if I never physically revisit it.

I am about halfway through reading the 120 Yellow Room Competition entries. The standard is high this time. I am reading in alphabetical order of title. I hope to announce the shortlist here on this blog in the next couple of weeks.

I have already sold out of Issue 7 of The Yellow Room. The pressure is now on to get Issue 8 off the starting blocks. The magazine is proving very popular of late, and I will certainly need to do a bigger print run next time.

I have had a few more short story competition successes recently as well as several rejections. All part and parcel of a writer's life. I have a regular Saturday evening appointment with Write-Invite, which has to be my favourite competition of all. I have won twice now and been placed second or third numerous times. I'm the top of their league table again this week, which is a huge thrill. I also recommend the Five Stop Story Competition.

I am working hard on my novel, as I hope to get a synopsis and the first two or three chapters out to agents in early June. I'm sure that by the end of the year I will have developed an incredibly thick skin! It is getting tougher by the day.


Rebecca Emin said...

It sounds like you're having a very busy time. Sorry about your step-father. The garden looks lovely.

Jo said...

Thanks, Rebecca. That is only a very small part of the garden. It's huge and very beautiful.

Sally Zigmond said...

It's certainly been a tough time for you. fab garden, by the way! Love the tree. Glad to see things are beginning to look up for you. I'm not surprised Issue 7 sold out. It's a cracking read.

I still owe you an email! xx

JO said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your stepfather - these are difficult times. I hope it is a comfort that you are still able to read and write. And Issue 7 - is fab!

Miss McFish said...

I know I've already said this on your Facebook page Jo, but Issue 7 was brilliant, and I'm really looking forward to Issue 8 (and I'm not just saying that because I'll be in it, honest!).

And what a lovely garden too..

Biddy Fraser said...

Sorry too about your step-father. That's a lovely garden. I've read an issue of The Yellow Room in the past and really enjoyed it.