Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Saturday 24 January 2015

Willow in winter

My thumbs are just about working: the above is a willow hurdle fence that half a dozen or so of us were working on in the ice today: gorgeous winter sunshine in our eyes, frost on our boots, but we soon warmed up and the fellowship was excellent. We harvested the willow before Christmas and used it today to reinforce our boundaries. Lots more work to do, but hammering the posts into frozen ground took it out of us! Thanks to Liz for the photograph.

It made a change from writing: after my 4,000 word stint last Thursday, I managed 8,500 on Friday until I made it to the end of the Battle of Waterloo, not sure where I was or what I was doing. It all just spilled out! It was almost a relief. Then I wrote another chapter this week, so I'm still up to speed - in fact, I'm now very slightly ahead as I've done 500 words of next week's chapter just now! So the plan to finish the first draft by the end of February is still in sight. There'll then be a good deal of tidying up to be done before it can go to anyone.

I've just published my three short stories which have previously appeared here on Wattpad - interesting. The software is a bit dodgy, I think, but the second two had only been up fifteen minutes when they had both been read. Not sure where that's going to go but it might be interesting. I've been reading the Indie Publishing Power Pack starting with Write, Publish, Repeat, which is rather making me see the world in a different way: I'm  now looking for 'funnels' to keep volunteers interested in some of our allotment projects, as well as thinking about more useful marketing for books.

And if you're toasting the Bard tonight, have a dram and a bite of haggis with me!


Thursday 15 January 2015

A day of frantic writing

I've spent the best part of two weeks intensively reading about this battle and the lead up to it, and today (after actually dreaming I was there last night) I managed to spill 4,000 words on to the page in the first part of my account of it in Death of an Officer's Lady. Given that I also managed to go swimming and to a Pilates class today (both rather more unusual achievements for me!) I'm now feeling very smug, but am unlikely to be able to move tomorrow!

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Happy New Year!

It's Little Christmas Day, or Epiphany, so the Christmas decorations (and blog post) come down and in our household there's a final celebratory meal with the good china and decent linen and shiny silver cutlery. However, it's all back to work at the same time and despite my rigorously designed New Year timetable, which slots writing in between various paid work and unpaid work and family commitments and exercise (yes, I know, but it's New Year - I might as well seize the opportunity!), I'm still a week behind, possibly two, on Death of an Officer's Lady. Lots of fun reading military history books again, but due to some work I have on at present I've been struck with a great idea for the book two after Death of an Officer's Lady and I have to be strict with myself and ignore that (while collecting research notes I might not be able to get in two years' time), and get on with Waterloo.

And the seed catalogues have come in, so even as I type I'm being tempted by luscious courgettes of at least ten varieties. Will I get beans to grow this year? Will the slugs eat my onions again? Will the voles eat my sunflower seeds? The more disheartened I feel, the more I try to remember that actually, we ate our own home grown potatoes on Christmas Day, despite the blight! And they were the best roast potatoes I've ever had the luck to cook.

Greetings to readers who have strayed in from Poland, India, Taiwan and Ukraine - welcome! I hope the British climate doesn't put you off, and that you will stay for a little, even if you arrived by accident!