Well, that was 2016. Not the best year all round for current affairs and celeb deaths, eh? On balance, though, it’s been a good year for my writing, so here’s my annual State of the Laura for your delectation. Stick on the live top 250 Eurovision tracks, grab some bubbly, and read on…
I’m quite pleased that every year since I moved to Edinburgh, I’ve had more writing achievements, and 2016 has frankly been the best yet. So, partly to bolster my ego, here’s what went down:
I was picked for the LitLong workshop back in the spring, which was so much fun and reminded me why I love Edinburgh. Even more fun was my story, A Beltane Prayer, getting chosen for publication by Freight in the Umbrellas of Edinburgh anthology in November. I was in the good company of Edinburgh Makar Christine de Luca, New Writers Award winner Pippa Goldschmidt, fellow Story Shopper Viccy Adams, and Interrobang creator and all-round nice guy Ricky Monahan Brown. Quite nice to be published by one of The List’s Hot 100 presses, too.
The lovely 26 folk let me contribute to The 26 Steps, which involved a lovely if cold walk from Edinburgh to Fife. You can read my piece Maggie and Malcolm on the 26 steps website, with a photo and sketch map of my route.
I bit the bullet and self-published some short stories on Amazon, which are now available in a variety of places. Particularly proud that I got it into Blackwell’s – please do pick up a copy if you’re in that part of town. I’ll love you forever ❤
Last month, my non-fiction piece, What A Way To Make A Living, was published as part of the Dangerous Women project, which now features fellow Story Shoppers Jonatha Kottler and Beth Cochrane. So proud of Team Story Shop.
Finally, I joined SCBWI alongside Story Shop’s Sarah Broadley and Caroline Deacon, and it’s been one lovely big welcoming family. (And one of the SCBWI ladies assessed my Dangerous Women piece, because the literary world is THIS small.)
Suppose this is where you’d normally put 2017 resolutions. To be honest, I haven’t had much time to think about them. Illness struck during NaNoWriMo and it’s back this week, making for a very boring Hogmanay of mostly being in bed. On the other hand, it means I’ve slowed down. Have noted some ideas, but I’ve done no writing, just catching up on the reading pile.
I guess, having met a whole bunch of wonderful people this year, Resolution 1 would be to keep those contacts strong. There’s nothing like other writers to pick you up when you’re feeling low. And if there’s folk in your life that don’t do that and just spread toxicity, ditch them like a sack of burning shit, my friend.
I’d also like to be healthier in 2017, so I might… *drumroll* go to the gym and get someone to shout at me while I lift heavy things. I always feel better mentally as well as physically after exercise, so it’s time to keep that up. *flexes arms*
And, of course, I still have a manuscript looking for a home. Well, several, but there’s lots of edits to be done next year before the rest are ready. Let’s see if I can make 2017 even better than 2016 and get my novel into the world. May the words flow freely for you too, and I hope 2017 is full of successes and unruly new characters running about all over the place generating plot chaos. *raises glass*