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Writing life

Planet Kate 20 August 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: Finishing revisions on book 84 then working on writing M&B #85 (Medical Romance set in a GP surgery with a PAT dog); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (reread for Chloe so she can bounce ideas off me for her long essay – I didn’t enjoy it this time round, either, although some of the writing was beautiful – I couldn’t warm to the central character); Louisa George, The Secret Art of Forgiveness (really enjoyed); Sophia Jenkins, The Forgotten Guide to Happiness (enjoyed); Jan Jones, A Question of Thyme (fantastic)
  • Looking forward to: a quiet week, working
  • Workouts: I must get back to the gym!
  • Planet Kate last week: revisions, revisions, and sneaky trips to the seaside to clear my head. And starting soya isoflavones and sage tablets for hot flushes as they’re becoming miserable. (So far, not working… but I need to give it a couple of weeks.) Also had a trip to Jimmy’s for a family meet-up which was utterly lovely. Chloe was going to drive – but her L-plates blew away so she had to pull into the next lay by and swap with me.
  • Fave pic from the last week: an owl butterfly (which is massive), Archie  under my desk, and the sunset at Brancaster
Writing life

Planet Kate 13 August 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: revisions to M&B #84 (Florence, art world); writing M&B #85 (Medical Romance set in a GP surgery with a PAT dog); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: The Zig-Zag Girl, Elly Griffiths (enjoyed); The Woman who Met Her Match, Fiona Gibson (enjoyed); started three others but they didn’t grab me and I’ve given myself permission not to slog through them as life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying
  • Looking forward to: a quiet week
  • Workouts: dog-walking, last week – wayyyyy too hot to go to the gym
  • Planet Kate last week: High point was seeing King Lear on Wednesday – the best Shakespeare performance I’ve seen in the last 35 years. Strong cast, good staging, and Ian McKellen was utterly amazing – really nuanced portrayal. Also visited Leighton’s house in Kensington (amazing interiors), had a quick trip into the National (useful for revisions as there’s a scene set there) and an exhibition at the Design Museum.
  • Fave pic from the last week:image.jpeg
Writing life

Planet Kate, 6 August 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #85 (Medical Romance set in a GP surgery with a PAT dog); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: CJ Sansom, Lamentation (enjoyed); Sarah Morgan, How to Keep a Secret (think this is her best one to date – really enjoyed it);
  • Looking forward to: King Lear at the Duke of York Theatre (Ian McKellen)
  • Workouts: dog walking, and lots of walking in Bath and Bristol
  • Planet Kate last week: mainly working; took Chloe out in my car for the first time; took Chloe to Bristol for a look round the uni and then stayed overnight (it’s a long way!) and had a bucket-list day in Bath. Was fabulous to visit the Abbey, the Baths (the curse tablets have been on my wishlist for a very long time), trying the spa water (quite sulphurous and WARM!), lunch in a nice indie veggie cafe, a general wander to soak up the architecture, and a visit to Herschel’s house (amazing to stand in the very garden where Uranus was discovered).
  • Fave pic from the last week – difficult to choose! So here is the Roman bath; a lead tablet which has the only surviving example of Celtic writing (in Latin letters); William Herschel’s garden, where he discovered Uranus (and Caroline discovered a comet and also corrected Flamsteed’s tables); Caroline Herschel’s dress (she was so tiny, bless her); a night watchman’s sentry box from 1810;  and Norfolk Terrace (my son took his first steps on the grass outside here, 20 years ago)

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Uncategorised

Planet Kate, 30 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #85 (Medical Romance set in a GP surgery with a PAT dog); updating my website one backlist book per day; and starting my Big Book;
  • Reading: The Last Days of summer, Sophie Pembroke (enjoyed); The Final Echoes, Shirley Wells (enjoyed); Random, Craig Robertson (intrigued by the format – unusual for a crime novel to be written from the villain’s POV, but had to skip a few pages because I can’t cope with mega violence); The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (re-read and last time I read it was pre-kids, so was interesting to see how my response to the text had changed – still made me angry but for different reasons, and the writing was still fabulous)
  • Looking forward to: uni visits – Bristol, this week
  • Workouts: dog-walking (I’m struggling in the heat and a hard workout would probably put me in heat exhaustion, so I’m being kind to myself);
  • Planet Kate last week: Yay, finally finished putting M&B #84 back together and sent it to my editor. Had a quick London trip with Chloe – took her to see Othello at the Globe (Mark Rylance was fantastic as Iago; Emilia was also very strong) and then we had a trip to Primrose Hill. So pretty (I took a lot of location pics for a future book). We also saw Yeats’s house and Plath’s house, went book shopping, and I discovered the delights of iced coffee. And then on Sunday I went to see Danny Baker with Gerry at the Theatre Royal in Norwich – great show, very entertaining.
  • Fave pic from the last week: View from the south bank when the rain had stopped; Chalfont Square; and the gas holders in King’s Cross which have been turned into flats

Writing life

Planet Kate, 23 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: finishing M&B #84 (True Love Romance set in Florence/art world); feeling guilty about not updating my website one backlist book per day; and pretty much ignoring my Big Book;
  • Reading: The Flower Arrangement, Ella Griffin (enjoyed); Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Miranda Dickinson (enjoyed)
  • Looking forward to: Othello at the Globe on Friday
  • Workouts: big fat failure – I am out of time, and the scales this morning were not nice so I need to try harder
  • Planet Kate last week: a few days away in Buckinghamshire – visited Waddesdon Manor (where I loved the fountain and was intrigued by the Sèvres ice cream cups), Stowe (fabulous gardens) and Bletchley Park (really, really interesting); also The Mystery Plays at the Cathedral, which were very well done indeed (and I throughly enjoyed the Norwich accents in Cain and Abel).
  • Fave pic from the last week: the fountain at Waddesdon, one of the lakes at Stowe, and an Enigma machine from Bletchley.

 

Uncategorised

Planet Kate, 16 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (after realising I have got it totally wrong and shredding it); updating my website one backlist book per day (well, I was until I got the White Screen problem); and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: All the Missing Girls, Megan Miranda (really interesting structure- told backwards – good read); Her Last Lie, Amanda Brittany (didn’t see the twist coming)
  • Looking forward to: a couple of days in Buckingham
  • Workouts: hopeless – too hot – early morning dog walks only
  • Planet Kate last week: The Tempest at the Cathedral – fabulous performance
  • Fave pic from the last week: the cathedralC791113E-1788-471F-AFA0-D19458D5077D
Writing life

Planet Kate, 9 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: Rowan Coleman, The Summer of Impossible Things (enjoyed); Tracy Rees, Amy Snow (absolutely EXCELLENT and I will look out for more by her)
  • Looking forward to: The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral
  • Workouts: too hot to do the gym – dog walks early, so Archie’s paws are safe on the pavement
  • Planet Kate last week: Melting in the heat (I prefer cool weather!); Uni of Sheffield open day, and thoroughly enjoyed the English department’s presentation (loved the fact that their lecture theatre is a converted church). I also have another big book brewing in my head, which involves opera; as a result. I have tickets to La Traviata (plus a ‘behind the curtain’ performance later in the year) and tickets to The Magic Flute in London next year (!)
  • Fave pic from the last week: a summery sky, an early morning sniff of lavender (aka my beautiful dog posing) and a petunia in my neighbour’s hanging basket that I thought was just gorgeous.
Writing life

Planet Kate, 2 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book;
  • Reading: The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell; It Had to Be You, Susan Elizabeth Phillips; Dear Dad, Giselle Green (really enjoyed); The Things We Never Said, Susan Elliot Wright (absolutely brilliant – couldn’t put it down and I’m going to keep an eye out for future ones)
  • Looking forward to: open day at the University of Sheffield
  • Workouts: dogwalking, last week
  • Planet Kate last week: Work, work and more work – but I did finish the revisions! Uni of Nottingham open day on Saturday – Chloe loved the campus (and I enjoyed the talk – great attitude towards students) but the course isn’t right for her. Went to the seaside on the way home. And more work. And melting in the heat. And too many barbecues (even though I’m being sensible and sticking to salmon or tuna steaks).
  • Fave pic from the last week: a spaniel waiting for his share of barbecued salmon; the University of Nottingham; and a day at Cromer where you could really see where the depth of the water changed.
Writing life

Planet Kate, 25 June 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); revising M&B #83; updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book; and I thought it was publication day this week for my 80th M&B, but that turned out to be last week…
  • Reading: Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres
  • Looking forward to: open day at the University of Nottingham on Saturday
  • Workouts: managed one last week at the gym along with dogwalking…
  • Planet Kate last week: Revisions, but I did have some outings – Travis on 21 June in Ipswich (great and enjoyed hugely) and Sheryl Crow on 22 June in Nottingham (one of my all-time top 10 gigs – fantastic); Belvoir Castle on the way home on 23 June (gorgeous rose garden) and Wells-next-the-Sea on Sunday. Also new hair (Chloe had hers dyed green!) and a brief trip out to find a field of poppies in the middle of the week because the world got a bit much mid-week. (I do think we need more kindness in the world.)
  • Fave pic from the last week: LTR: top row – Poppies at Caistor St Edmund, roses and alliums at Belvoir Castle, and lovely Sheryl Crow; bottom row Travis, a mackerel sky over our back garden, and Book 80 on the beach where it’s set 🙂
Writing life

Planet Kate, 18 June 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: revising M&B #83 (Medical romance, Marriage of Convenience); writing M&B #84 (True Love romance set in the world of art, partly in Florence); updating my website one backlist book per day; and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: Small Town Love, Susan Meier (enjoyed); Vinegar Girl, Anne Tyler (enjoyed – very, very clever retelling of Shrew)
  • Looking forward to: Travis at Ipswich on Thursday (they’re doing the whole of The Man Who, so that will be great) and Sheryl Crow in Nottingham on Friday (bucket list – I’ve adored Sheryl ever since I first heard ‘All I Want to Do’ – and we share a birthday).
  • Workouts: two gym sessions last week, plus dogwalking; intend to be good this week, too…
  • Planet Kate last week: plotting my book; taking Archie for his first haircut (which ended up with me being soaked and covered in hair while wussy spaniel leaned on me); going to Mannington Hall for a writery day with my good friend Rosie Hendry on Friday (inspirational place and I’ve kind of sorted out location inspiration for a couple of books, plus sorted out a knot in my Big Book); off to London on Saturday to meet my friend Ali Williams to see Two Noble Kinsmen at the Globe (sorted out another book knot, and also I really recommend Tas Pide, which is opposite the Globe, as the staff are lovely and the food is fantastic); and off to Norwich for breakfast out with my daughter on Sunday and some photographs to help with the publicity for my 80th M&B – which I thought was out at the end of the month, but it seems that publication day is flexible and it’s already out. There might also have been an accidental foray into bookshops and accidental purchases (all right, a signed copy of a Terry Jones medieval book and a facsimile of the manuscript of The Wasteland and a few other things – this is why I’m not allowed in second-hand bookshops without adult supervision, and I think my daughter might fall under the label of Bad Influence rather than Responsible Adult). Also my son came home for the summer on Sunday afternoon, and it’s lovely to have a full complement in the house. Archie is particularly pleased to have Eldest back.
  • Fave pic from the last week  – I was going to include some faces in here as well, but for some reason WordPress tipped them upside down and I couldn’t get them to tip the right way up again! Anyway. Mannington Hall chapel ruins; Mannington Hall moat; and the Globe stage.