Writers in real life …

Vintage, retro, call-it-what-you-will

Last week I so liked Debbie Young’s piece on her lovely Village Shop that I re-blogged it. The story of the warm sheltering shop for the kids waiting for the school bus; the concept of a shop serving a small community; a place people can meet and connect with others without travelling there first; the delicious display of new bread … The very fact that Hawkesbury Upton, unlike many, is a village which has a shop where residents can not only buy useful items but chat and relate … Too tempting to compare that with living on the outskirts of a city with appalling traffic,  more estate agents than most people know what to do with, and franchised coffee shops …

When there was room for a cat

Can’t have it all ways

However … back then, in retro-land, and for decades of the past, ordinary women did not, (on the whole) figure much in the creative arts.  (Who knows what wonderful stories of daily life we’d otherwise have, by people who didn’t live in grand houses, travel by carriage, or attend balls at the Assembly Rooms?) We are in the age of  ‘thing-led’ modern living. The almost-universal ownership of household appliances has freed  us as much as any Equality Acts. With the laundry spinning away in a machine I multi-task daily at my computer … writing, relating, researching … Having that satisfying feeling of the Good Housekeeper as well, as the load flaps later on the line … a writer and a painter …

Until something happens that demonstrates our utter dependence on electricity, on-line shopping, deliverymen, and worst of all the computer! I am now without a washing machine. Ours ended the wash Saturday a week ago, with a drum of soaking wet clothes and an “F-21” display on it digital face. (Along with an ironic smile perhaps?) Just as we were about to go walking with friends.

Off at last!
Me behind the camera as ever!

So now, piles of washing in the basket … no space for the cat! And the store just rang today to say due to computer problems, they now can’t deliver the (abundantly necessary) new machine t ill April 1st …March 14 – April 1st in old money, washing-wise.

Thankfully, I know how to hand-wash, I only had to watch my Mum throughout my childhood.

Simple technology…

And I don’t throw things away … we love this, even though it’s ancient, hideous, and clutters up the utility room. It’s a spin dryer, circa 1973 …

And then there’s been the kindness of friends, the load done in the neighbour’s machine … a blessing, (though maybe less amicable than down by a river, bashing the clothes on a stone?)

The ‘too busy’ that we all are

Looking back, how’ve I confidently become so busy? Middle of trying to promote Baby, Baby and The Labyrinth Year, my 2 Indie-

Two colourful Book Covers
Two colourful Book Covers

published novels, (getting the hang of Amazon and Goodreads’ more obtuse and hidden-away pages, where you the author can promote your writing …); making notes about number 3 in the series. Then the family remember there’s an unpublished one, and in an area which has become a hot topic now. We rescue it from the attic: it’s good. It’s well written in a previous style and comes with positive comments from my creative writing teacher of many years ago. (A short course I’d forgotten about.) It’s highly controversial. It’ll need to be published under a different name.

For a few days, it is horribly tempting …  it needs a revised ending … but …

Sticking to the plan

Whatever: I’ve also committed myself to the Indie Author Fair at Foyleshttp://allianceindependentauthors.org/  – time to also meet other ALLi authors).

HawkesburyUpton advert
http://hulitfest.com/

And to the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival. Beguiled not only by the chance for publicity and to read from my books but … the concept. A LitFest in a rural setting, run by locals, small enough to really meet other authors and even potential readers.

One of life’s puzzles …

2 of life's puzzles
2 of life’s puzzles

With all the automated living in the world, choices still have to be made. I’ve chosen IAF and Hawkesbury Upton …

What would you chose … if your old novel found in the attic might’ve hit the headlines, but at the expense of destroying relations with readers of your first two? Just not ruthless enough, I guess

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