A rounding up, summing up, divvying up write up of the year beckons. I haven’t blogged as often this year for health and other reasons but was touched despite lagging behind to receive a Blogger Recognition Award today. Actually it’s my second such award… not bad for someone who is poor at networking and not really a team player. More of that below.
Things have certainly happened. The Magic Carpet was published in July and has some wonderful reviews from a pretty exclusive readership. Last night I was invited to answer questions about it by a book club. As I travelled there, I thought I should have prepared a flipchart…a powerpoint…handouts. My mind became strangely blank as to what was in the book, why and how I’d written it, whether I even had any right to claim it as mine. I’ve never been in a book club, my excuse being that I studied literature at university so I’ve been there and done that (arrogant and hardly recent). I also prefer to read what I choose when I want, and as said I’m not a team player. But now that I know a bookclub can involve Crémant de Bourgogne, a “snack” supper of three courses, hand-made home-made chocolates and a kind of gently probing supportive questioning that didn’t last more than twenty minutes, maybe I’ll change my mind. I may have been the guest author but I did feel the junior partner – these women were all much more careful readers (and cooks) than I am!
In November I finished the 3rd edit of Novel Three and sent it to Agent X who has it on his pile for comments. I already have acknowledgments to make, to several friends for discussions and particularly to my writing group, Z, M and C. These mysterious ladies are writing novels set variously in Afghanistan, London, Paris and South America, and we’ve had a good year exploring each others’ ideas in a surprisingly cheap central London cocktail bar M knew. In future it will be known as the Algonquin of the 21st century. London literary walks will skip nearby Bloomsbury and head straight for the blue plaque we fully intend to have there. Until then we’re keeping it secret. Who will get published first? Watch this space.
In August I had my eye operation which went well and I’ll have the other eye done in February. I’ve been pleased that changed eyesight has not meant too much change to my writing routines. I must spend less time on screens and online but that’s a good thing anyway. For the time being all I need do is enlarge the page to type and read. I have no ideas yet for Novel Four, and I hope I think of something because I enjoy writing so much. But this year must be the year of a traditional publisher – I’m uncomfortable asking people to buy from Amazon and indeed some of them won’t. Hopefully I’ve improved my craft enough for poor Agent X to get lucky third time round.
Now to that Blogger Recognition Award. I was very touched to be nominated by Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord and her gesture in turn means I can thank some of the bloggers who’ve supported me and who I’ve enjoyed reading this year. We move in overlapping circles so some names have I’m sure received several awards already. No harm piling the awards up though, and congratulations if you’re new to all this!
As Sally says, participation is optional. Many of you will be too busy to act on this at all,or you may want to put it aside for now and come back to it in the spring. That’s entirely up to you. I tried making a badge but I’m crap so please use Sally’s or one of these.
There are a few guidelines attached to the award if you do participate.
My thanks of course to Sally at Smorgasbord for nominating me.
1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.
How My Blog Started:
In 2015 I was advised to blog after I published The Infinity Pool. It was supposed to get me more sales. Slowly, it did, and I found I enjoyed blogging more than I’d expected. I’ve made some good friends in the blogosphere, and am always humbled and touched by the welcome I get when I return to the scene after a few weeks or months away..
Two Pieces of Advice to New (or any) Bloggers:
- This plea comes from a reader with poor vision but would help everyone. Please make sure your font is large enough and the colour scheme helps rather than hinders the readability. You should break up long paragraphs, and the whole site should be easy to navigate.
- You’ll write a good post if you’re in the mood for blogging. It shouldn’t become a chore. If you can’t be bloggered, don’t.
Select up to 15 Bloggers: Some who are incredibly supportive I really should include, but when I looked I’d included them last time so I hope they’ll excuse me. You know who you are (D G Kaye, for instance!)
Colleen Chesebro – Word Craft – Prose and Poetry Colleen is hugely encouraging to any creative writers and poets out there. She and all the following are team players – I may not be one but I can certainly appreciate them.
Robbie Cheadle: Roberta Writes Robbie’s frequent comments always encourage me to think at least someone’s read my posts carefully!
Mary Smith: Mary Smith’s Place I couldn’t believe I hadn’t nominated Mary last time around. Not many people have the qualifications, experience and writing ability to guide you from Afghanistan to Dumfries and Galloway!
Liz Gauffreau: Elizabeth Gauffreau is a writer from Adelaide, generous with her thoughtful, appreciative comments.
Shelley Wilson at I write. I read. I review. Shelley is a writing mentor, author, networker and I can only assume a bundle of energy as she’s very productive!
Lel Budge at The Bookwormery kicked off my recent blog tour with gentle efficiency and blogs about health as well as books.
Marcia Meara at The Write Stuff. Her sub heading is “Writers helping Writers” and she does exactly what it says on the tin.
Mairead at Swirl and Thread is an Irish blogger and NetGalley reviewer but I’ve mainly come across her on Facebook. I’m always struck by her common sense, gentle enthusiasm and discerning taste.
Rekha at The Book Decoder is a breath of fresh air! If I had to explain the meaning of the word enthusiasm to a Martian, I’d guide them to Rekha’s site.
Anonymous (the cat herder?) at Herding Cats hides her light under a bushel but quietly gets on with reviewing, appreciating, communicating her love of books.
Katy Johnson is an author and generous interviewer and sharer at Katy’s Writing Coffee Shop. She hasn’t posted in the last couple of months, so must be busy with her many many projects.
Julie at A Little Book Problem gave The Magic Carpet the best review I’ve ever had so I’m encouraging people to throw awards at her until she has a little award problem too.
Camilla Downs is another generous team player from the US. At Meet the Authors she’s always happy to help other authors and produces interesting work herself.
Last but definitely not least, Kriti Khare at Armed with a Book networks, shares, disseminates, teaches. She’s always worth a visit.
And a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
© Jessica Norrie 2019