October – It’s exciting, isn’t it?

Okay, so it’s grey and, in the UK at least, incessantly wet but there are still great things happening – prepping for NaNoWriMo, for instance. For the uninitiated, although it began as a national initiative, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is now an international community that provides friendship and support for writers around the world. The pinnacle of its year is November when writers can join in the challenge to write a novel in a month – or at least 50,000 words of it. October is the big planning phase. Think of it as the writer’s equivalent to the build up to Christmas – not the bit when you have to do all the hard work but the nice bit, before the frenzy sets in.

Last year I took the NaNoWriMo pledge and actually managed the first 60,000 words of my debut novel, The Netta Project. But last year I wasn’t quite ready to announce to the world my intention to be a proper writer, so I did it in secret. One year later, I am definitely ready to stand up and be counted, unapologetically, as a writer and poet. So, I’ve made my pledge public both here and on the official NaNoWriMo site. I’m aiming for at least the first 50,000 words of my sequel novel, The Edie Project.

Are you taking the challenge too? If so, good luck and if you’d like a NaNoWriMo buddy, look me up. https://nanowrimo.org/

The other fantastically fab thing this month is the launch of the Birmingham Writers’ Group’s second anthology, City of Hope (pictured). I’m hugely excited about it – not just because I’ve contributed a short story but also because it’s a great anthology and what’s more, we have a book launch on Wednesday 30th October at Bacchus Bar in Birmingham. It starts at 7.00 pm if you’re in the area. Even if you can’t make it, you can buy the book from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/City-Hope-anthology-Birmingham-writers/dp/1701084546/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=city+of+hope&qid=1572104292&s=books&sr=1-1

See, I told you October was exciting, didn’t I?

It’s Been a While

Hello world. I’m back.

How have you been?

I’ve been good, thanks for asking.

In case you’re wondering where I’ve been these past few years, I’ve been right here – just been a bit busy changing my life. You know how it is – so much to do, so little time.

So anyway, you may or not be interested to know that I am a full-time writer now and, as any self-respecting wordsmith knows, a website is essential for getting out there and speaking about what you do. With that in mind, I’m going to be giving this old thing a bit of a revamp over the next few months to try and knock it into a half decent state.  In the meantime, here’s a helicopter level sketch of what I’ve been up to since my last post all those years ago.

In 2017, after working for an energy company for over twenty years, I left my job as a regulatory manager to concentrate on writing. After several months of deciding whether or not to go freelance as an energy industry consultant, I decided to let it all go and embrace my creative side completely. To help me on the way, I took a course on fiction writing which proved to be extremely helpful.

I wrote a couple of short stories, on the course, about a character that I really fell in love with. I started to think about what her life story would look like and began to plan out my first novel. That novel, The Netta Project, is now nearing completion – more about it in later posts.

The other thing I realised was that writing is a rather solitary business and sometimes it’s good to get out there in the writing community. So, I joined the fabulous Birmingham Writers’ Group   http://www.birminghamwriters.org/  I can’t tell how wonderful it is to be part of such a supportive and friendly bunch of people. I can recommend it.

So, what else have I been doing? Well mainly writing; writing; writing and a fair amount of reading too. Aside from the novel, I’m working on a couple of poetry collections which may, at some point, see the light of day and also several short stories, one of which will appear in the Birmingham Writers’ Group soon to be published anthology City of Hope. The anthology will be launched on 30th October at our spoken word night, at the Bacchus Bar in Birmingham, UK.

Oh, and my other half and I have bought a motorhome and have spent a good deal of this year travelling about the country. Lot’s of pics on my Instagram account if you’re interested. https://www.instagram.com/hazel.ward/