January is nearly over, thankfully I've managed to finish certain reading books this month. I know many people dislike January after the lively buzz of December but personally, I love it. For me, January is a time of new beginnings and goal setting. This year, one goal is to share my reading books with my readers.
David Copperfield - Charles `Dickens
This book has taken me a couple of months to read given that I've only dedicated a small portion of reading time each day. I do love Dickens so, tend to read him aloud to enjoy the syntax, rhythms and assonance of his written word. Thankfully, my dog simply curls up and listens to me chuntering away page after page. This book had been on my TBR pile for years. I'd avoided it due to the mixed option of others. I admit, I was wrong. I loved it. And, should have read it before now. Typical Dickens, with a huge cast of characters, lengthy descriptions and entwining conflicts, holds your interest throughout.
Dumb Witness & The Mysterious Affair At Styles - Agatha Christie
Those who have followed me for numerous years know I adore Agatha Christie. Her crime books transport me back to quiet Saturday afternoons when I'd lie on my bed as a teenager and read all day. Dumb Witness was my first read of hers and so, I reread it on New year's day to begin my challenge. I'd remembered who the murder was but not the method or means so, it was lovely to immerse myself for the day.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles - was first published in 1920 so, it seemed apt to choose it. Not my favourite Christie book but entertaining with the introduction of Hasting's narrative and Poirot's 'little grey cells'. I have been tweeting whilst reading the crime books as part of the #ReadingChristie 2020 challenge organised by @AgathaChristie group on Twitter.
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
My paternal grandmother would have celebrated her 100th birthday this month so, I decided to reread her favourite book. She gave me her actual copy during my twenties so, I felt it was a fitting tribute. It has been many years since my initial read and I'd forgotten how suave and sophisticated Jay Gatsby's parties were.
You've probably realised that I have several books on the go at the same time. I'd started another book Victoria: a life by A. N Wilson but I didn't manage to finish it this month - it'll overflow into my February's reads.
Thursday, 23rd January was publication day for my fifth novel 'Taking A Chance On Love' and I had the joy of attending the studios of Radio Tamworth 106.8fm to chat with the gorgeous Kiran Parmar.
If you missed the radio broadcast but wish to listen to our book banter for two hours please use the links below.
Grab a cuppa and settle back. Link to listen: Press here
I've packed my notes, my laptop plus, my imagination and I'm out of the office for the weekend at a writing retreat. I know, it sounds indulgent but they work for me. Having spent many hours planning and plotting it is now time to write, write, write. And, so I shall.
I'd like to achieve a ten thousand word count whilst away. I'll blog as I go along and we'll see what the end result is come Sunday afternoon.
Friday afternoon: I arrived, unpacked and was greeted with the customary glass of Prosecco from my lovely host. There are five authors and one editor attending the retreat, each of us has our own agenda, goals and current project. It goes without saying that we each work in various manners and as we feel inclined. I have pitched myself in the reading room, the same spot that I occupied just three months ago whilst attending a previous retreat. I took the customary word count photo once settled and away I go!
Friday evening: after a hearty evening meal we resumed our writing. I managed to achieve 3,175 words as a daily word count which was a decent amount given that I hadn't written this morning. I tend to write more in the morning than late at night. I wrapped it up at ten o'clock so I could read before calling it a day.
Saturday: an early was my aim for this mirroring so, it was quick breakfast with the other authors and away I dashed. I have spent eight hours tip tapping away but the results are reflected in my word count, yay!
Sunday morning: Woohoo! By midday, I had achieved my goal of 10,000 words. This is why writing retreats work for me! They give me a focus for the weekend, amongst like minded people, where the only thing I need to think about is my writing project. I have a couple more hours in which to write until I leave for home. But the momentum of this weekend remains long after I've arrived home. Tomorrow's writing will be energised by this weekend's achievement helping to boost my productivity and efficiency over the coming days.