Out and About…

Since September, I’ve been getting out from home more often- still wearing my face shield and using hand sanitiser.

Many of the regular writer meetings that were part of my life before the pandemic have resumed; Nottingham Writers’ Club, the Nottingham Story Weavers (Nottingham Chapter of the Romantic Novelists Association) and last Friday the Leicester RNA chapter, the Belmont Belles and Beaux, met up.

I’ve not been to Leicester for almost two years, nor on a train for that amount of time. I was a little apprehensive about travelling on the service heading for London, even though I was only going four stops on the quicker journey. So I opted for first class- an unfamiliar experience.

I’d also also forgotten how long the station platforms are!

At Leicester, it’s a short walk to the Belmont, and apart from a couple of shop fronts being revamped, and the cycle track now in action, everything was familiar.

The Belmont- from summer 2019

It was wonderful to all be together again. Chatting and catching up on how our writing is going, new books and more. You could feel the energy in the airy room.

Members of The Belmont Belles & Beaux RNA chapter – November 5th 2021

And if you’re wondering what the book titles are, here’s another image so you can put them on your to-buy list…

Books by the Belles…

I returned home with renewed enthusiasm for my novel, and looking forward to the next gathering in 2022…

Working on New Projects…

While I await the reader’s report on my contemporary romance, I’ve been catching up on all those tasks I put to one side while I concentrated on editing.

I hope to share the news on one particular project in the next week- if all goes well.

Photo by on

With the approach of #NaNoWriMo in November, I’ve decided to do an unofficial version. I have a number of novels in various stages from a synopsis and five chapters, to first drafts- some will be under my Serena Lake pseudonym, others my own name.

I’ve decided I’ll use this year’s #NaNo to write out the random scenes and plot ideas that have been lurking in my mind for a while. There’s two or three that I can make progress on.

It’s going to be a challenge, as I prefer to write sequentially. But, I want to make progress so I’m willing to try writing scenes out of order.

There’s further research to do- my reading list is growing, and a few journeys probably won’t happen until next year.

With winter approaching I’m determined to speed up…

An autumn update…

I’ve been busy, concentrating on my contemporary romance novel…

During the summer I was…

Working hard.

I’ve been concentrating on the middle of my contemporary romance novel this year.

My partial manuscript submission went into the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme on the 31st August- with 45 minutes to spare before the deadline. It would have been in an hour earlier, but I experienced that moment all writers dread, the document had corrupted and couldn’t be opened

Adrenaline rushed around my bloodstream as disaster unfolded before my eyes.

Fortunately, I remembered I’d saved another copy in an alternative format. When it opened, I cheered, until I looked at the time I had left to submit.

I wasn’t glued to my desk all summer. I worked in the afternoon after taking a couple of hours out in the sunshine growing vegetables and flowers in the part of the garden we redesigned earlier this year.

Coming up…

There’s going to be a couple of changes to the website.

I’m adding a non-fiction page- more about that in a future post- and a slight redesign- before I return to the novel.

I also have a research reading list to begin working through for the follow-up book to the current one I’m writing.

This month face-to-face meetings at Nottingham Writers’ Club resume, so my free days are filling up once more. But, it will be good to reconnect with familiar faces.

It’s also time to put my next newsletter together ready to go out early October. If you’d like to sign up to receive it, there’s a pop-up form you can fill in to join my newsletter list…

It’s going to be a busy autumn.