Judging, Interviewing and Writing When I Can!

Another busy week flies past!

First, I had to plan a new story. Not easy, this, because it is based on a period I know very little about, but after Monday and Tuesday sitting with my head immersed in books, the period came to life for me. I fancy I’ll have the main plot finished today.

Today? A week later?

You bet. Last week I was working flat out, but I also had to conduct the latest BBC interview with Ruth Downie (the latest broadcast interview is with Rebecca Tope. You can find it here at about 1 hour 39 minutes in), and help the publisher Impress with their latest prize. That was great fun, but also very time-consuming. It’s difficult when you are presented with a shortlist of twelve books that can be entirely different. For example, I had two or three historicals, two non-fiction, and a wide variety of fiction stories. It’s difficult to compare such books, but the quality of writing, the strength of the outline or synopsis and other pointers can all help the poor judges.

I have to say a loud “THANKS” to Impress. They were unfailingly helpful and generous through the judging process, and their lunch on the day was wonderful! Even more importantly, they were good enough to let me thieve the latest Nicholas Orme book on The Churches of Medieval Exeter. Nicholas is a wonderful writer and researcher on medieval Exeter and the Church generally, and I’m looking forward to diving into that one.

New leather bottle

New leather bottle

That wasn’t all. I also had to read and review Wilbur Smith’s latest book, GOLDEN LION, which he wrote with Giles Kristian, the excellent author of the Viking series. A brilliant book, and I’ll just say, if you enjoyed the earlier books by Smith, you’ll like this one too.

It’ll go well with my Morris mug!

Apart from that, I had the enormous fun of picking up the brushes and painting a little picture – my first in months. That was good, and then I began a new little leather-working project, making my own leather flask to go with my leather Morris dancing mug. As you can see, I’ve managed to cut out, stitch, and begin the shaping process to convert soft leather into cuir bouilli, hardened leather that will (hopefully) be entirely waterproof. My only doubt is, whether I got the water hot enough for the leather to take on the shape I want. With luck the flask will dry very hard. If not, I may have to drop it into hot water again and have another go at shaping it.

And as well as all that excitement, while we went to the presentation of awards at the cricket club, there was a football match. Which was all right (I didn’t have to watch it) until one of the managers came into the awards ceremony to ask who had the green car. We did. And now I’m waiting for a new lump of glass to arrive. Apparently footballs can cause a fair bit of damage to a car’s windscreen. wpid-dsc_0089.jpg

Right. And now, to type up the synopsis and crack on!

Have a great week!


7 Responses to “Judging, Interviewing and Writing When I Can!”
  1. Lindsey Russell says:

    I’m trying to work out how you get all this done in a day. Or do you work in your sleep as well?


  2. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    More from Michael ;)


  3. good grief you are the busiest person! I liked Kristen’s Viking series, will check out this collaboration with Wilbur Smith.


  4. isoltblog says:

    You must be exhausted. Though good to be productive on so many interesting projects (rather than a boring day job). Any tips for how to focus research so as not to get bogged down/ distracted and spending too long on it instead of actually writing?


  5. D.G.Kaye says:

    Aren’t you quite the marvel. How on earth can you get so much accomplished? :)


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