I’m sorry I haven’t blogged for a while. It’s been a strange and distressing year and I have to admit, at the beginning of Lockdown, my mind was not in a good place. The ‘what if’ worries were siren calling.
I couldn’t even read or write, which are my go-to things in times of crisis. I couldn’t concentrate enough to read and writing seemed somehow trivial in the face of the Covid-19 storm.
After the first two or three weeks things settled down, to use that ominous phrase, into the ‘new normal’ and I began to work again. I also began to read. And boy, did I discover my reading mojo. After months of not wanting to read anything, I’ve got through about twenty books.
One of the lovely things about existing in a writerly world is knowing other writers whose books you want to read and recommend. I have to confess to downloading a lot of books onto the old Kindle where they sit unread for months. There’s always the pressure to like them as much as you like your writing friend – and sometimes that isn’t the case. Awkward!
One book which I’ve absolutely loved is Laura Bambrey’s The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness. I know Laura through the Devon writing group we both attend. We’ve only met a few times but, despite being very different people, we got on instantly. She’s one of the good guys. When her book was accepted by Simon and Schuster’s #OneDay Twitter submission event, I was thrilled for her. As a good writing pal should, I downloaded. I’ve been reading a lot of Rosanna Ley, Nicola Cornick, Lorna Cook and was about to start Jane Cable’s Another You. All fabulous authors and firm favourites. It was Monday morning and I’d let the dogs out, made a cup of tea and settled down to enjoy cuddles with the pooches and a quiet read. However, I’d left the paperback upstairs and was too idle to go and get it. Plus, it was early and rescue dog Ralph gets whiny and noisy if left alone. As hubs was still asleep, I browsed my Kindle and began Laura’s book. Eight hours later I finished it. In tears. I can’t recommend it enough.
It’s about damaged soul Tori and her experiences at The Farm, a wellness retreat in Wales. Tori writes a blog about loneliness and her only friends are those online in a chat forum. One handle was HughTypesLikeAFlamingo which made me laugh every time it cropped up. I won’t do spoilers except to say I’m a sucker for any book which features a dog and a brooding man. I also loved Rowan, the world-weary teenager, running a savvy business on the side. And I really wanted to rescue those trees. Want to know what I’m on about? Read the book!
Find out more about Laura and #OneDay by following these Twitter feeds:
Hope you’re all keeping well.