Holiday reads

Over the past two weeks I've been placing mammoth Amazon orders. For my holiday reads, you understand. Not at all because I am a book-buying addict. Which is why my to-read pile now stands at 68 books. Oops.

The trouble is, I keep reading the books I bought for my holidays because they are the most appealing. This also happened when I was a child, so much so that my 'rents would have to confiscate my summer reads until it was time to go away.

So, what I need to do today is choose my books and take them down to London so I can't read them until I'm on holiday.

For my beach holiday in Crete, I'm thinking of reading:
  • A Summer Fling - Milly Johnson
  • Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Pictures of Lily - Paige Toon
  • The Ghost - Robert Harris

And for my city break in Budapest:
  • Bel-Ami - Guy de Maupassant
  • The Junior Officers' Reading Club - Patrick Hennessey
  • Midnight Girls - Lulu Taylor
Now, I just need to make sure that I *do* take them to London and I don't read them! Has anyone read any of these? What are your planned holiday reads, or what books are you looking forward to reading this summer? x

Other goals update

I thought I'd do a quick update on my 'other goals' seeing as I am taking a break from the writing goals at the moment.

#1 was to limit myself to 12 reads a month, which means by the end of June I shouldn't have read more than 60 books. I'm currently reading book 55, so I'm on track with this goal! However, I have been on a bit of a book-buying binge in the past week with my to-read pile standing at 70 books ... must stick to my limit!

#2 was to blog online at least 5 times a month. I know I haven't done this, but I am going to sneakily add up January - May's blog posts, which gives me a total 29 blog posts and that's on average more than 5 posts a month! ;)

#3 was for me to visit 2 new countries this year. In April I went to Ireland for the very first time and next month I'm going to Greece and a country yet to be decided! With Greece though this goal is achieved!

#4 was for me to see 2 West End musicals. I saw Legally Blonde in April, which was brilliant, and I'll definitely be going to see another musical soon. Now, all I need to do is decide between Sister Act and Sweet Charity!

If you made goals or resolutions for 2010, how are you doing in achieving them? x

Writing competition - The Terry Pratchett Prize

For all the writers, have you seen the announcement about The Terry Pratchett Prize? The winner will walk off with £20,000 and their book published! Ooh!

The deadline is 31st December 2010, and the submission has to be a book that hasn't been published between 80,000 and 150,000 words, along with a synopsis of less than 600 words.

As for the theme, Terry Pratchett has this to say:

Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).

We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won't be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don't know that they are; after all, you don't.

But this might just be the start. The wonderful Peter Dickinson once wrote a book that could convince you that flying dragons might have existed on Earth. Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate worlds humanity didn't survive, or never evolved -- but other things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way. The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it's all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger their legs wouldn't carry them. In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.

For full terms and conditions, see here. Good luck!

2010 Goals Update

I have to say, I started 2010 with the best intentions. I kicked off the year with a brilliant goals list for my writing and for the first few months of 2010 the achievement of these goals went well. I had it all figured out, and I figured it would be easy to stick to these goals.

But, unfortunately, real life took over - the professional side of life more than anything - and since the end of March I've been concentrating on finding a new job in London. I have been to London so many times in the past few months that I simply don't have the time to write at the moment - job hunting, applications, interview preparation and the interviews themselves are very time-consuming, not to mention most weekends I'm back to London to spend time with the boy. I'm also working longer hours than before and something has had to give temporarily - sadly, that something is my writing.

This is not me giving up on my books - I will still be submitting TROG, but I won't be working on anything new until I sort out a job in London. I have been very lucky to have been able to afford to spend a lot of time on my books in the past year or so, but turning 25 means I am now a grown-up and I have to rethink some of my priorities. I can't neglect my professional development any longer in favour of my pipe dream - I do know I *will* be published one day, but I sadly have no idea when that day will actually be. And, I have mentioned it several times before on here, I miss London, I want to go home, and the most important thing for me at the moment is to make this happen.

If you could give up your job to concentrate on a pipe dream, what pipe dream would you want to chase after? xoxo


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