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What I read in June 2018 (Part 2)

A publisher I follow on Twitter put out an appeal for people to buy books. I had a look through the catalogue and selected two books, which looked interesting. They were novels by women. They were light reading. I found them interesting, but wouldn’t be inclined to read any more by either author. This is a matter of personal taste. There was some very good writing, especially in the first book, A Place to Stop by Susan Wicks. I found the ending unsatisfactory. It was ambiguous (unless I failed to understand it). I like all the ends tied up neatly. (The books arrived with a hand-written note on a postcard, which was a lovely personal touch.)

The second book was He Wants by Alison Moore. The plot here was more structured than the other book. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (which I have not read) was referred to in the book, which includes similar subject matter. There was an episode, in which some people went to a Billy Graham crusade meeting. This seemed to be written from the point of view of an onlooker rather than a person, who was involved and committed. It didn’t appear to make any lasting difference to the characters in the story. This does not reflect the experiences of people I know. A bookshop proprietor I follow on Twitter had recommended the author.

The third book of this group is the only one I would recommend to other people. I found it in the library at Scargill House. I had seen the series recommended by a different publisher I follow on social media. It is a book for girls of secondary school age. Beech Bank Girls: Every girl has a story by Eleanor Watkins uses fiction to highlight many issues, which affect young people in the modern world. This book is well-written in a style accessible to the target readership. I managed to read it from cover to cover in the free time over the weekend. I have already recommended it as ideal for the only girl I know in the age group for which it was written. I reviewed another book by Eleanor Watkins here.

Beech Bank Girls

I can now say that there will be two more posts in this series, making four in total.

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Why it is good to meet up with other writers

Last weekend I attended a writers’ conference. The main theme was short story writing.

The weather was perfect – dry but not too hot. There was plenty of good food, beautiful scenery, birds to watch and more besides.

The speakers and most of those attending the sessions are members of the Association of Christian Writers (ACW), which has a new website. There is a link to its daily blog to which I contribute seven times a year.

The first time I attended one of these weekends I wrote a post about how over-stimulated I was afterwards. Now that I have met many of the people before, it is not so overwhelming. They are the sort of people with whom one resumes a friendship as if we met more frequently. The phrase, picking up where we left off, springs to mind. Quite a few of us keep in touch on Facebook.

I had been feeling short of writing inspiration and enthusiasm for blogging before I went. The writing exercises and conversations with other people helped me write a short story and two poems on the Saturday. I also decided what to write about for my next More than Writers blog post.

Because I was still bruised from a fall in our garden over a week earlier, I didn’t venture on a long walk on the Saturday afternoon, but stayed in, putting a few pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. It had only been started by our group and had 1000 pieces. The usual comment from passers-by was, “Have you finished it yet?”

I also borrowed a children’s book from the library at Scargill House and read it from cover to cover during the weekend. My next post here should be about books. I have been reading more than writing this month.

The weekend ended with a service of Holy Communion in the beautiful chapel and Sunday lunch. The leaders gave the talk in the service, encouraging us in life as well as in writing.

 

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The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Road Trip

Each year after the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge there is a so-called Road Trip. This is for participants and supporters to visit more of the blogs, which took part in the challenge.

This year I have decided not to sign up for it.

In previous years I have signed up and failed to visit many more blogs than I followed during the challenge itself. This year the terms of signing up are particularly stringent. It is a commitment to visit all the other blog, with the possible exception of those with adult content.

Bloggers are invited to link their favourite post on their own blog from the challenge.

I have a few favourites on mine.

A is for Architect attempted to set the tone.

B is for Bank robber was a bit cheeky. I had in mind a couple of books I have read, which I didn’t include in the post: From Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers and Jonathan Aitken’s book Pride and Perjury: An Autobiography. Both autobiographical books tell of how the writer’s time in prison led them to faith in Christ.

H is for Horticulturalist gave me the encouragement to continue writing, when I discovered that a name I had chosen was particularly appropriate to the subject matter. It is also the only post, which I illustrated with one of my photos.

X is for Xylophonist has a link to a Youtube video of a very talented musician, who happens to be deaf.

Z is for Zoologist mentions my concern for environmental issues.

If you wish to comment on any of my A to Z posts, my About page is still open to comments.