Every other Wednesday I receive an organic veg box from Riverford. Today was one of those moments when I pick up the box and groan. Not one, but two aubergines! I never know what to do with them apart from put them in a curry or soup. Then I had a bright idea. I have a cookery book by Harry Eastwood, which tells you how to make cakes using vegetables. I quickly scanned the index for 'aubergines' and found Chocolate Heartache cake, using two aubergines. Excellent! I even had the rest of the ingredients (including 300g of 70% chocolate) in my cupboards and just enough eggs. Phew! I haven't finished making it yet, but I'm sure it will taste divine with a cup of tea later.
In other news..... I've become a little obsessed with history... specifically the Second World War. This is partly because my unfinished pocket novel is set in that era and I need to do lots of research, and partly because I've just finished Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, which now ranks amongst my top ten reads of all time. Now I'm avidly seeking out novels set in a similar time period (1910 to 1945) and was pleased to discover there are still two Persephone books in my collection I haven't yet read (High Wages by Dorothy Whipple and A Very Great Profession: The Women's Novel 1914-39 by Nicola Beauman). I'm currently reading Dawn Chorus by Joan Wyndham (her diaries are also brilliant!). All this has made me wonder whether I can actually finish the crime novel I'm rewriting for the millionth time or whether I should set about writing an historical novel. It's interesting how our tastes and inclinations change as both a reader and a writer as we get older.
Some of you will be relieved to hear that Issue 9 of The Yellow Room goes off to the typesetter this afternoon! I will then revamp the website a little, as I now want to sell PDF versions of some of the earlier issues in order to help cover printing costs. Some subscribers may have noticed that their subscriptions have automatically been cancelled by Paypal. Do not panic! I will contacting all subscribers to let them know the current status of their subscription and when they need to renew.
In future, there will only be two windows per year for submitting to The Yellow Room - in September and February. The plan is to publish more competition winners than previously. Payment can now only be a free subscription.