This weekend has been a weekend of contrasts – I know that probably sounds a bit clichéd because it’s a phrase used so often by travel magazines ‘Paris is a city of contrasts’ or ‘Africa is a continent of contrasts’ they say. I mean, you can pretty much apply it to anything – Ealing is a London Borough of contrasts from the green of Ealing Common to the hustle and bustle of the A40 and the Hoover Building in Perivale...I’m digressing.
How was mine a weekend of contrasts?
Well, Friday night I typed The End on my WIP – the Ibiza story. It’s ended up at just short of 46,000 words, which I wrote in a month, over 18 days. I’m pleased with that, but soon I need to brave my crappy first draft and go back and fix all the things I didn’t bother with in first draft before it goes to my amazing beta readers and then it may just be ready for submission. So that was a good start to the weekend.
Saturday, after writing a couple of blog posts for my latest promo blog tour for Wrong Room, Right Guy, I jumped on the tube and arrived near Liverpool Street station at a pub for a mm romance meet – or I Can’t Believe We’re Not at GRL as I like to call it. This weekend was Gay Rom Lit – GRL, which is an almost week long conference about gay romance in America. For whatever reasons there were a lot of mm authors and readers who couldn’t attend, so instead we decided to meet in London.
The first man sat down accompanied by calming motions from his friend.
I gestured to indicate a fork and explained I was in the middle of my nachos and left.
The football match progressed, the cheers became louder, and some of the mm group were a bit disturbed by the noise.
Fortunately we decamped to a much quieter pub over the road where I drank lots of tea and told my fork story about four times. I’m an author, what makes you think I’m gonna miss out on an opportunity to tell an amusing story?
I got some free books from Aleks Voinov who was clearing out his living room. I talked writing technique, productivity and anxiety (about writing and life in general) with two author friends. I went over some details about the Clacton on Sea writing retreat weekend which is now this coming weekend, and I generally had a great time talking with my mm writing family.
I lent AE Ryecart my spare Neo – such has been my evangelical praising of it that her interest was piqued and she’s going to see how well she gets on with it. When I retrieved the spare Neo from under the bed I was sad to note that the battery was flat. Completely flat. It didn’t turn on. Blank screen flat. I also remember reading somewhere that with flat batteries they lose their memory so prepared myself for it losing everything that was stored on it. Fortunately, I knew I’d already backed up all the writing on it, but it was an interesting experiment. I fitted 3 new AA batteries in the pub (the last set had lasted a year, so not bad going overall) and was overjoyed to note that it had remembered everything. One more score to the Neo, as far as I’m concerned! I gave AE Ryecart a Neo driving lesson and handed it over.
On the tube home I tucked into my Mills & Boon Christmas romance, and very enjoyable it is too. The title, as is so often the case with these I’ve found, somewhat gives away the plot and ending, but the journey to that ending is a lovely fluffy festive happy place to be, so I’m continuing to read it. It’s getting me in the right mood for my next WIP which is a mm romance Christmas novel. So that was Saturday.
Essex isn’t all covered in concrete! And -whispering- I actually like the bits covered in concrete – I enjoy a new town, I love Harlow’s municipal slice of the soviet bloc in Essex and don’t even get me started on Basildon new town and its Hollywood style sign. So. Much. Fun. But again, I’m digressing...So after starter and tea in a pub to fortify us for the remaining 3 mile walk, we made our way home, baked a chocolate sponge then had dinner.
In other news, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve started Real People Write Books to run a workshop with fellow romantic novelist and ex-teacher, Virginia Heath, to run a Write That Novel Workshop on Saturday 21 January 2017, in London. It’s designed for people who don’t want the expense or time of a residential writing retreat and are done with reading books and websites about how to write. It’s interactive, activity-led and fun-filled with plenty of useful tools for you to take away and use on your own writing.
For details of what it includes, and how much it costs, see this page. I’d love to see you there,
Liam Livings xx