Reading and writing round-up (13-26 July)

Reading update

The book buying has been getting out of control again. I popped into Waterstones Wakefield to buy a copy of Go Set a Watchman and ended up buying books for Mum, Olivia and me.

waterstones shopping

And here they are…

I’m not going on holiday this year, but I decided I’d buy some beach reads anyway. They were: Cecelia Ahern’s The Year I Met You, Millie Johnson’s The Teashop on the Corner, and Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl. I will just have to pretend I’m going on holiday.

Mslexia magazine are advertising their novel competition. Rosie Garland won last year’s competition and received a lot of praise. I decided to buy The Palace of Curiosities to find out why it was a winner, and hopefully to pick up some tips for my own novel.

My next university module is short story and life writing – some sort of combination – so that is very much on my mind and influencing my book choices. I bought Love Nina: Despatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe.

Books given

As it was my birthday my friend bought me a copy of Lizzy Hawker’s Runner, a short story about a long run which at 264 pages is not a short story at all. It fits in perfectly with my life writing module, as I’m writing about running too!

Chris bought me bookshop vouchers for my birthday.

Another friend from running club loaned me Raymond Briggs’ Ethel & Ernest – a true story. This is the story of Raymond Briggs’ parents from their first chance encounter to their deaths, told in Briggs’ unique strip-cartoon format.

Writing update

I entered a competition to write a 250 word monologue in the voice of a window cleaner. I only found out about the competition on the closing date, so I didn’t have much time to work on this. But it was fun. I enjoyed the process, and it’s something else I’ve completed for my portfolio. I’m trying to print out all my writing. I tend to save work on the computer but that means I’m forever editing and changing things. The result is that I never think anything is finished. Having a printed portfolio is good for creating a positive mindset. Just seeing the quantity of work makes me appreciate how far I’ve come.

I’m entering one of my short stories in a competition. The deadline is the end of July so I have been busy getting the story into shape. Having a deadline to work to definitely helps. I’ve decided to keep targeting short story competitions because if nothing else, it makes me finish a story. I’ve also been developing an idea for a novel. I really should be finishing the ideas I’ve already had, but this idea popped into my head and I couldn’t get rid of it.

I think that’s everything. I would love to know what you are reading or writing.

Liz x

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