Coming back home from another great writers holiday at Caerleon, I felt I was missing out - others there had their own books and pamphlets for sale, even if only self-published or self-produced. I want one! But not just a general one. I needed a theme to hold it together. So I have gathered together all my previously published stories about grandmas (grans seem to pop up a lot in my fiction), added a few poems, some written specially for this project, and I have compiled a little A5 size book, to be professionally printed, and for me to sell - hopefully a great Xmas present for people/kids to give to their grannies, as it's small, sentimental, and only costs £3. I took the cover photo myself, and my daughter is doing all the illustrations - a real family affair. And the theme is timeless, so I can take my time selling them, and hopefully will be able to take a few (the last few!) copies to next year's Welsh holiday.
On the more usual commercial front, I have had several more fiction successes with submissions to the Peoples Friend and Womans Weekly, so more stories are due for publication soon. And all my recent ideas for articles in my specialist area of pre-school and childcare (everything from magnets, hoops, 'walking backward' games, and road safety, to the history of panto) have been accepted, so I have a steady stream of paid pieces to work on right up to Xmas.
I am also still loving the regular Saturday half-hour challenge that is Write- Invite.com - and, having won it three times this year already, I have settled in at a fairly constant 3rd in their league table of entrants' successes. This competition really does challenge the brain to think, plan and write quickly, with no time to dither or change your mind, and hardly even time to check for spelling mistakes! If you haven't tried it yet, give it a go. It only costs £3 to enter, with 3 new themes to pick from every Saturday at 5.30pm.
The Mail on Sunday announced their annual opening to a novel winner today, plus details of the next competition, to write the opening 50-150 words of a novel to include the word SET. I didn't make the final 6 this year, but it's free to enter, and great publicity and a wonderful confidence/ego boost if you win (which I did , way back in 1993/4), so I will be having another try. There's nothing to lose, but then that's true of so many writing opportunities - you can't get published if you don't send stuff out there! I just can't understand those writers who are too scared to give it a go. Fear of rejection? We've all had them, and still do - but the first success makes all the earlier disappointments worthwhile, and every career has to start with those first few nervously placed faltering steps. I am so glad I never gave up! My Granny would have been proud of me - so my little book is dedicated to her memory.