rowan tree blossom

November 2017

Competition time. I don't why it is that November and December are the times for entering historical novels in competitions. I have two competitions to enter for 'Bittersweet' and hope to make long lists if possible as readers do like the extra reassurance that important others have found the book they are considering worth an accolade or even an award.

The Iceland Writers' Retreat offered a scholarship this year for next April's Retreat. I did apply but am not hopeful as the organisers I've 'seen' are all young and keen on Americans and American literary literature. They won't want an old trout getting a scholarship when youngsters have more years to benefit from it. Sigh! There's a competition to win a place too so I might try writing an essay but they are not really my forte. I do so want to get to Iceland because it's such a different group of writers to the ones I've managed to hear in New Zealand or Australia. I am also haunted by the Norns and the landscape and a weird scary idea for a novel.

I have, knowing it's a waste of time, applied to Creative New Zealand for a grant to go to the Retreat. As the Bool Council won't countenance me as a New Zealand writer (She's Indie published you know! Not a real writer!) and the NZSA and I do not see eye to eye I haven't a hope. It's all such an inbred clique system. Now we've Vic university churning out the chosen few writers who are obviously fast tracked for NZ writers' glory the rest of us can whistle for grants or retreats or scholarships. If our Writer's Choice prize winning work is rejected because we are self published it really is ridiculous.

The novel is on track and flying again. Phew! Thank the Lord. Now I just need time to concentrate on getting the first draft done. But it's hospital next week and then misery until my new knee takes hold.

The short stories in the competitions are not doing well. No placings alas. Those out to editors are selling which is cheery news. I want to put the stick man ones out in an ebook later.

The weather has been good with sunny days and rainy nights. I manage to sit out under my verandah and write. It's very pleasant. My flowers in their tubs are glorious. The wild flowers on my verge in front of the house are rampant red poppies and screaming orange marigolds plus hundreds more colourful ones. The bees are happy which is my intention. It looks like we are in for a drought summer.





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