Friday, 1 November 2013

Afternoon Tea

This afternoon is, like every other following the hour of three o’clock or so, dominated by pets. The canine snores at my feet though even the slightest movement on my part prompts him to believe tea is imminent. Meanwhile our kitten nestles upon my lap while Number One Pet, our chocolate brown cat whose girth reflects his approaching middle age, snuggles against my laptop, his untoned body spilling onto my keyboard and threatening to copy, delete or paste at will. Sadly, his sister, our Free Range Feline, has been absent for some weeks though remains, I understand, in the local vicinity.

But to return to more appropriate topics. I am delighted to report yet more publishing successes: my interview with the charmingly entertaining Milton Keynes Poet Laureate, Mark Niel, has featured in Buckinghamshire Life, along with my poignant feature about War Memorials. In Hertfordshire Life a piece about Helen Venables, the stunningly attractive Managing Director of House of Colour, appeared in the October Issue. In the current edition of Prayer for Today magazine, I have two interviews featured: one with BBC presenter Pam Rhodes and the other with founder of StreetKidsDirect, Duncan Dyason. 

I am just waiting for the latest copy of Hampshire Life to pop through my letterbox, too. This includes my interview with artist Gill Dollery. Oh, and I think I mentioned last time about another trip to the Ashmolean in Oxford? Well, my review of the Francis Bacon, Henry Moore – Flesh and Bone exhibition appeared quite recently in The Lady.

A glance in my diary reveals many more commissions lined up and, of course, I continue my Lady Margaret Gosworthy-Pringle blog for Hampshire Life. Do take a peak. It’s guaranteed to give anyone a titter.

Finally I should mention my presence at the recent Thame Arts and Literature Festival. This was my fourth successive appearance and I spent the most inspiring couple of hours with a bunch of eager writers. Meanwhile, plans are already under way for next year’s Berkhamsted Writing Competition and I am delighted to report my presence on the organising committee yet again. More details will follow.

Now it surely must be time for my afternoon tea. Not to mention the pets' . . .

Monday, 16 September 2013

Pet Distractions

Before embracing the nitty gritty of my latest literary accomplishments I must apologise for any forthcoming typographical and continuity errors. We have, you see, recently acquired another pet. Said feline, a mere 10 weeks old, is scarpering over my desk at this very moment, breaking only to use my study as an assault course before chewing the wiring connections to my laptop. She is, of course, adorably sweet. And, at the same time, a constant distraction.

But wait. She appears to have drifted into a cat nap so I’ll just make the most of a few quiet minutes. 

Now, what have I to report? Oh yes, the latest Buckinghamshire Life edition features two of my articles: an interview with the ultra talented Carole Matthews and a piece about Theatre in the Villages, an annual showcase of travelling theatre set to wow audiences across the county between now and Christmas. 

Continuing my growing affiliation with Hampshire Life, I interviewed the fabulously creative artist Charlie Barton for this month’s issue and look forward to attending her London exhibition, to which she insisted on inviting me, in the autumn.

I returned to the Ashmolean again last week . . . oh dear, the little minx! The kitten’s nibbling my hard drive. Now calm down, canine, my shriek wasn’t meant to stimulate you and please stop stampeding over the pile of magazines I’ve just assembled for next week’s Regular Writers. Sorry, reader, I think it’s time to go . . .

Friday, 9 August 2013

Summer Temptations

What a hectic summer! I am daily juggling deadlines, interviews and teaching while all the time resisting the temptation to recline before the sun’s rays and bring a smidgeon of warm tones to my English complexion. Yet writing responsibilities forever take precedence, of course.

So, first, I should report that my interviews with the astonishingly creative cake designer, Tracey Mann, and Olympic athlete, Greg Rutherford, have been featured in Buckinghamshire Life. But just to prove my eclectic affiliations, my book review of Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co was published in Hertfordshire Life and two further book reviews have appeared in The Lady. Oh, and I ventured over to the Ashmolean again in order to review the Stradivarius exhibition for the latter magazine, too. 

Meanwhile I have recently met and tutored some charmingly enthusiastic writers and only the other week my Regular Writing group overflowed with gusto after our session on plotting. 

This month’s Chiltern Writers meeting gave me the opportunity to catch up with speaker, Clare MacKintosh, whom I first encountered when running a workshop at the inaugural Chipping Norton Literary Festival. Apparently this year the event welcomed 3,000 visitors. Quite a success story and a stimulating evening from the effusive Clare.

Plans are already afoot for next year’s Berkhamsted Short Story Competition, by the way. Frankly, I can’t wait to read those entries and raise more money for the wonderful St Francis Hospice.

Now, please excuse me. I have pitches to chase and ideas to brainstorm. There again, the sunshine is tempting . . .

Monday, 3 June 2013

A Plethora of Features

I am freshly returned from walking the hound and eager to update my readers before working my laptop to a frenzy of literary activity.

My association with Buckinghamshire Life is such that the magazine includes an interview with the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in the May edition and a feature about SilverTree Therapies in the June issue. My work has also travelled further afield, however, with Hampshire Life this month including my interview with artist Simon Harmer. I have also undertaken further interviews and details of those features will be announced at the appropriate publication time. 

Networking is such a valuable commodity for a writer. Back in February I happened to be at a Guild of Security Professionals dinner in the Tower of London when I chanced upon a vivacious character who used to be in the Intelligence Corps. Not only that, she lives not too far away so, of course, I arranged to interview her about her latest venture, the Women’s Security Society. The editor of Professional Security magazine was only too pleased to accept the resulting article. 

Meanwhile a list of commissions rests aside my diary and a glance reminds me that I need to crack on with another couple of articles. So please excuse me, duty calls . . .

Monday, 22 April 2013

A Break from Duties

I am writing this during a brief break from Berkhamsted Writing Competition duties where the breadth of topic and style of the hundreds of entries leaves me quite breathless. Indeed, imagination is such a blessing. Not that I can say any more until the judging is complete so I must ask for your patience until the prize giving ceremony in June.

Yet numerous other duties and events have been occupying my attention of late. Only last week I attended a book launch where Chiltern Writers member, Teri Terry, talked about the second of her immensely successful trilogy, Fractured. She will be appearing at the June meeting of Chiltern Writers and anyone interested in writing for teenagers is welcome to come along.

On the subject of CW, I have now discharged my 3 year secondment as Chair and, with 6 years of Committee duties behind me, rescinded my responsibilities at the recent AGM. I confess, I’m rather looking forward to turning up to meetings without a care or forethought.

Now, what else? Oh yes, my feature about St Mary’s, Wendover, along with the delightful series of annual concerts, Wendover Music, was featured in the April edition of Buckinghamshire Life magazine. My blogs for Hertfordshire Life and Hampshire Life continue to offer a splattering of mirth and I have a number of imminent interviews. Actually, one is very imminent so please excuse me while I grab my notebook and a brace of HB’s . . .