Hello from North Devon. Yes, the family is back where we started, and glad to be here. To be honest (making friends here) Yeovil is a pretty grotty town. It's really just brick boxes in one suburban avenue after another. Worse, even though it's home to a prestigious writing competition, the Yeovil Prize, there's not even a writers' group at the town's library. I asked and they suggested I talk to staff at Waterstone's.
Anyway, we're glad to be out. I've found my feet in my new job, which in honesty wasn't hard, since it's almost exactly the same as my old job only without the stress and with only half as much frenetic work. The problem is that though I'm contracted for two days a week, I was told at interview there would be more hours available covering other stores, and that turns out not to be true. The company doesn't want to pay for overtime at all. I could have made three days' pay work, I can't make two days' work. Time to look around.
Meanwhile, I've still not heard from Angry Robot. It's three months since their open submissions period ended, so by now they must surely have reviewed at least one of the three novels I emailed in. They're planning another open door period in 2017, which means they must have all the submissions from this last period dealt with by then, and the successful ones published. So they can't waste time wiffling about . I must admit I'm becoming hopeful. We'll see.
I now have to ready an entry for the Yeovil Prize (horrible town though it is). I don't want to use one of the Angry Robot submissions, so I'm thinking I might use The Playground of Fawns. This is a novel set in a culture like ancient China, a place full of magics both real and imagined, and also packed with ambition and treachery. The story follows people caught up in a civil war after the Emperor is assassinated, and has lots of strong characters. Kun is an ex-army man who lucked his way into lands and titles, Lian a woman sold by her parents so they could feed their younger children, and Xiao an expert warrior who can't find commissions because he's an albino. I think there's a thumping good tale in there. I haven't been working on it because I have twelve million other things to write (slight exaggeration), plus enough events in the real world to fill five lifetimes (not an exaggeration at all).
Some of those events now call me. By which I mean I want to read Zookeeper Zoe to my daughter again. It's the umpty-dozenth time and I would pretend to be weary of it... but I'm not really.
Bye for now.