Eurovision, A New Brenda Novak!, Insecure Writer's Support Group Day, and ROW80


The annual song contest is now accepting entries in one of the very preliminary rounds: selection of the national song that will go on to the official contest.

Switzerland has a brilliant option this year: Meant to Be by Swiss Army. Click on the link to have a listen, add it to your favourites (no need to log in! Clicking on "favourite" simply helps keep it at the top of the list on the songs page) and stay tuned for updates regarding voting!

When are we not insecure? I was drawing up a weekly schedule for myself as part of the latest round of ROW80, and after work and family time, it looks like I have one hour each night (between 9 and 10, if I go to sleep at 10, and I should, to keep up my energy and get a proper rest!) to Do Things. Things = writing, editing, reading, blogging, knitting, the Compuserve Forum, Twitter, etc. The same hour on weekends, plus anywhere from 1 to 4 hours during the day while baby naps. This is Not Enough Time. If I edit during my commute, that means I lose reading time, unless I read between 9 and 10, in which case I lose Twitter and personal email time (hello, overseas family and friends!).

For instance, this weekend I gave up reading and writing to knit!

 Winter tuque for baby

All of which leads me to say that IWSG Day is a good day to remember to stop feeling guilty! We can't add hours to the day or survive on no sleep. Best to appreciate each project as it comes!

Speaking of projects, our IWSG hosts are holding a contest:

"The IWSG Short Story Contest 2015
After the success of last year's IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, we decided to create another book. This time it's a short story competition with the top ten stories getting published in an anthology. (Authors will also receive royalties on sales.)
Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.
Word count: 5000-6000
Theme: Alternate History/Parallel Universe. That's right, we've decided to go the speculative route. This theme has plenty of scope and we're open to pretty much anything along these lines, except erotica or graphic violence.
Story deadline: November 1st 2015
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to TheIWSG at gmail dot com before the deadline passes. Make sure to include your contact details.
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges."

And speaking of reading during my commute, this week I read Brenda Novak's A Winter Wedding!

A Winter Wedding (Book 9: Whiskey Creek Series)

One Christmas can change your life...
Kyle Houseman believes he'll never find anyone he could love as much as Olivia Arnold, who's now married to his stepbrother. Not only did he lose her, he's been through one divorce and has no desire to go through another. He's determined to be extra careful about the next woman he gets involved with -- which is why he fights his attraction to the beautiful stranger who rents his extra house for the Christmas holiday.
Lourdes Bennett is a country music artist. She's only planning to stay in Whiskey Creek long enough to write the songs for her next album -- the album that's going to put her back on top. Her dreams don't include settling in a town even smaller than the one she escaped. But as she comes to know Kyle, she begins to wonder if she'd be making a terrible mistake to leave him behind...

I think this is the most...gradual...romance I've ever read. I mean that as a compliment! The story moves very smoothly, and the build up is both believable and realistic. Really, though, my word choices are doing nothing to help me praise the flow of A Winter Wedding. In a way, I think it's because commenting on Kyle and Lourdes' thoughts and emotions would be like commenting on those of friends; not just because I've read all the Whiskey Creek books and know the main residents of the town quite well, but because Kyle and Lourdes are both well-drawn. Their backgrounds, their motivations, their reactions to each other, all make their love-at-first-sight not just possible but inevitable.

Of course, there's the unavoidable tension and obstacles. The inner tensions are described really well, with a great balance of show and tell. As for the obstacles, in the form of a vengeful ex on one side and a conniving ex on the other...I don't want to reveal too much. But the resolution is very satisfying.

Oddly enough, if I had to recommend a Whiskey Creek book for those who don't want to read them in order, I think I'd recommend this one. Though Ted and Sophia's story and Phoenix and Riley's... Who am I kidding, the latest one is always the one that gets recommended. Start in order and read them all! Or read the holiday ones over the winter, maybe...

And, finally, speaking of the holidays, look what's coming!

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland

What are you reading at the moment?
Would you rather read winter holiday or summer holiday stories?
What're you dressing up as for Hallowe'en?


USNessie said…
I'm a crocheter (AKA hooker) not a knitter. But I'm terrible at getting anything done. I want to take all my unfinished projects, join them with black yarn, and make one big afghan.

I wonder if that would also work for stories on the shelf?
TBM said…
Guilt is such a nasty feeling and it should be banished from this world. We can only do so much in one day.
Deniz Bevan said…
That's an awesome idea! I'd like to knit together all my unfinished objects into one looooong scarf.

Yes, guilt is holding us back!
We only have so many hours in the day and just have to juggle the best we can. Thanks for plugging the IWSG Anthology Contest!
Hi Deniz - can't get hooked to the Eurovision Contest ... but definitely can understand why you have so little 'free' time ... but how lovely that you took time out to knit this weekend ... you've got a good balance going on .. cheers Hilary
Crystal Collier said…
I feel your pain. I find if I parcel my time into specific day/assignments I get things done. Wednesday is blogging day. Monday is writing/social media. Tuesday is writing. Thursday is errand day. Friday is sweep up day. I live by my calendar or I would never get anything done.
dolorah said…
Wow, I think your time is way to scheduled. Of course, I can't even remember my appointments even when I put them in a calendar, so maybe I'm in need of a little more scheduling :)
Anonymous said…
Ah, Deniz, I SO understand those feelings of guilt at the moment.

My kids are currently on two weeks of spring vacation and I've left them entirely to their own devices while I've been finishing up writing my book. My teenage boys don't mind so much but thank goodness for the grandmothers who've taken my eleven year old daughter to the movies and to spend days with them sewing and playing cards and board games, and visiting baby cousins. The book is finally done and about to go out on submission (yay!) but ack, the mummy guilt!

Oh, I love Eurovision! For some reason it's insanely popular here in Australia. Such a huge TV audience for it, in fact, that we were allowed to enter a contestant (Guy Sebastian) in this year's contest. Crazy!

And I love the colours of the wool for baby's tuque. I imagine it will be very sweet. :-)
Diane Burton said…
You're smart to make sure you get enough sleep. Can't be productive without it. As most have mentioned, there are only 24 hours in a day. Make the best of them.

Best wishes,
IWSG #94
Abdeah Davis said…
It sound like your plate is rather full, but somehow we writers/bookworms tend to make it work! Tell me though, how does one go about joining the IWSG? I think it is really awesome that they're hosting a contest and that the theme is SF. Good luck with your goals!
We only have 24 hours in a day and have to make it work.
Sounds like you have a balance of sorts...
You can always adjust the schedule as you go along, maybe swop reading and knitting every alternate day/week?
Not forgetting that rest is important...
Nas said…
Oh my, Deniz. I used to crochet and do some tatting but no knitting...and now? I can't find time for any of my pleasures!

Talli's book sounds awesome!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks all!
I didn't mention the built in rest periods in the schedule :-)

Congratulations, Rachel!

Joining IWSG is easy Abdeah: visit the IWSG website and sign up on the Linky List!

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