This is your annual reminder to make time for yourself over Christmas.
It is a great time of year (for many, not for everyone) to see friends and family, buy thoughtful gifts, decorate your house top to toe in tinsel or greenery: wrap, post, socialise, and eat, eat, eat.
It is a great time to stretch yourself to breaking and end up exhausted.
If you can, plan some days that are empty. Or some hours. Or some minutes. Force yourself to sit down. Or go to sleep. Or breathe.
It is OK to not have a wonderful time every moment of every day over Christmas. It is OK if your children do not have a wonderful time every moment of their school holiday. You get to be a person too.
tinylife will return on 12th January.
Delighted to announce that Lanterne Rouge: The Last is now available online!
The fabulous people at St Columba’s Hospice have added the anthology to their web store.
Lanterne Rouge: The Last is a collection of twenty poems on the theme of ‘the last.’ There are poems by Claire Askew, Catherine Simpson and Nadine Aisha Jassat, as well as two budding poets from the local Primary School.
All profits from the sale of the book – which is all money it makes from now on – will go direct to the Hospice, who provide free palliative care across Edinburgh and East Lothian. Thank you, again, to my Kickstarter supporters who made this possible. If you hadn’t paid the poets and the print fees, none of this would exist.
You can still buy books direct from me, or from the Lanterne Rouge Cafe, Gifford.
I was planning my next novel the other day (as you do). As many of you know, there are apparently two types of novel-writers, the pantsers and the planners.
I’m a planner.
I use the excellent ‘Save the Cat’ for story structure, mostly so I can use phrases like ‘break into Act 3.’ Ripping up little bits of paper for the required fifteen sections, I filled in what I could, hoping the blank sections would somehow become magically completed as I worked.
Number 12 is a story beat called ‘Dark Night of the Soul.’ By my calculations it occurs in Chapter 36 of 40.
When I looked over what I’d written, it said ‘main character realises she needs to be a fucking mum and get on with it,’ I realised this was exactly. It.
It’s now written on slip number 2: ‘Thematic Premise Stated.’
This is one of those weeks where 140 words won’t be enough.
I launched my first anthology this week: edited and printed in East Lothian, part of my residency of Lanterne Rouge, cycling cafe of the year UK(!) in Gifford, East Lothian.
The book has twenty poems, some from East Lothian, some from further afield. All proceeds from sales go to St Columba’s Hospice.
It was printed with excellence (a five star service) by East Lothian Council’s print unit. Wendy Neill is amazing!
We hosted a daytime and an evening event on launch day. Both were packed.
Many, many people told me how well I had done.
I am not used to hearing that.
There are copies of the book available at the cafe. I am working on getting them online so people further afield can purchase one. Watch this space!