Happy New Year!

Not blogged in 2019 due to changes and developments and general busy-ness of all types so a very belated Happy New year to anyone reading this.

Bullet-point reasons why I’ve been too tied up to blog:

  • Put together a PhD proposal and application for the OU which was sooooo much work and had a deadline of 11/1/2019
  • Wrote/constructed/ordered a novella-in-flash because as my PhD proposal is for the writing of a novel-in-flash I thought I’d better have a practice writing a novella-in-flash first. Ellipsis litzine were running a free comp for a flash collection/novella so I worked my bum off to make their deadline on 31/1/2019 (made it by the skin of my teeth). This comp, judged by the excellent Stephanie Hutton was a real joy to be part of – Stephanie provided great feedback for all the short-listed entrants and I’m so pleased to report my novella came second. Here’s the link to the results http://www.ellipsiszine.com/ellipsis-flash-collection-competition/ This, I’m sure will help with my PhD applications and was a real boost. Many congrats to all the other winners and listees and if they ever run this comp again I couldn’t recommend entering it more highly.
  • Put together more, bespoke PhD proposals for other Unis when the OU didn’t feel they had the staff to support my (admittedly niche and specialised) proposal.
  • Helped my oldest son plus family organise emigrating to Poland (he starts his new job today and the decorators are in at his house to make it nice to be sold/rented.)
  • Helped his younger twenty-year-old brother navigate applying for first ever proper job. (After 50 plus applications and loads of interviews he finally started and has been there two months now).
  • Helped same son and his lovely girlfriend find suitable rented accommodation (they move in this weekend and are dying to be in their own place).
  • Assisted third son with UCAS stuff and went for a lovely visit to Manchester Uni where he was offered a place if he gets and A and 2 Bs in Maths, Chemistry and Biology.
  • Assisted third son with driving and I am very pleased to say his passed his test three weeks ago. (This is hugely important to me because we live in the middle of nowhere and I drive him everywhere – least I did. On another first day of the school holidays I’d be taking him to the gym now, or a match, or a friends house most likely, but not today. Today I am in the hobbit hole writing this and it feels like real freedom.
  • Graduated at the Barbican with lovely writing friends some of whom I’d never met in real life and it was wonderful. Here is a video of me and my writing buddy Judith getting our masters. We have been critiquing each others work for two and a half years now and our writerly friendship has grown and grown over this time. As luck would have it, in a sea of graduate gowns Judith and I were seated next to each other at the ceremony – same grade band, names alphabetically consecutive, the goddess of creating writing smiling beneficently upon us – and so we got to chat for hours. It was brilliant.

    Right back to the PhD applications. Will blog again when I send them out. Hopefully by the end of the week. Fingers crossed.