I’m surprised that I’m blogging, as I haven’t been able to log in for months. Randomly, my password has appeared and here I am!
As for most people, 2021 has been a stinker – pretty much a twin to 2020, except we’ve had vaccinations every few months (or so it seems). I’ll talk about important stuff first, before the writing things. Sadly, I lost my grandma in August. She was in a care home, so I didn’t get to see her for the last sixteen months of her life. Thankfully, we were able to speak on the phone. I feel pretty cheated that she didn’t spend her final year (aged 95) drinking tea and eating cake, surrounded by her family. I’m not a political person but I do think that those in authority should have some experience in areas related to the roles they have. Years ago, I was offered a position running a genetics lab (they did interview me – I wasn’t just stopped in the street) but I knew that I wasn’t experienced enough to do the role justice, so I turned it down. That doesn’t seem to happen in government.
So, on to writing. My creative writing tutor talked me out of doing a PhD and suggested I start putting my writing out there. Reluctantly, I did so. There were many nos. Some didn’t even have the courtesy to respond. Some real shots in the dark. But then there were longlists…and shortlists. There were invitations to read. And, most surprisingly, my poetry (I still don’t understand the rules) started to get recognised. I was shortlisted and invited to an awards ceremony for the National Association of Writing Groups (although didn’t attend due to being hyper-nervy about Covid). I was surprised to get a runners-up place for a travel article but shocked to win the Formal Poetry award for my Rondeau (we only learned about that in our writing class, just before entries were due). I got a lovely trophy and a few certificates signed by THE Julian Fellowes (of Downton fame, among other things). I can officially call myself an ‘award-winning poet’! I’ve also had a short story included in Cranked Anvil’s first Flash Fiction Anthology. Nice to have something else to add to the bookshelf.
And what of the novel? It’s a difficult one to write as there are so many threads and there’s a crime element that I need to get right. I used to have friends in the police that I could ask but they have drifted off over the years. My husband got me some excellent books about crime and being a detective, so I’m hoping that will motivate me.
I’m logging off now, as we’re awaiting an Indian food delivery. We know how to do New Year: food, dogs, duvets, comedy and coffee! I find the New Year makes me uneasy and anxious – too many unknowns. Like a blank page at the beginning of a story…
Happy New Year to you, whoever stumbles across this page. I hope it’s everything you wish it to be.