Good evening, morning or afternoon to you all. I know that people from all the different time zones follow my blog so wherever you are I hope you’re having a great day and that the sky has been as blue for you as it has been for us here in Manchester. We seem to have had an inordinately large number of blue skies here ‘oop north’ among the dark satanic Mills of the North West in a city that is known as the rainy city. But happily that hasn’t been the case recently and I find that the good weather has lightened my mood and made me feel more positive from the inside out. We English are known for being obsessed with the weather but it really does affect your mood and well being.
My only frustration today was that my Writing room DIY project has been held up because of the cold weather. Have I told you guys about that yet? Well the short version of it is that my spare bedroom has been stripped, the carpet taken to the tip, the holes in the wall filled and the frame around the window resealed. All the preparation has been completed, the ceiling has been painted by yours truly, the first coat of paint has been put on the walls and all I need to do is paint the walls with a second coat and pick out some new flooring. I’m dithering at the moment between some thick lush carpet and some sleek, minimalist hardwood flooring. Unfortunately the paint can’t be put on while the heating is on, and without the heating on the room temperature is well below 10 degrees. You can’t use paint at temperatures below that. Very frustrating. However, once it is completed it will be my writing room and will be adorned with a large writing desk, a whiteboard/chalkboard wall to plot and keep track of character development and jot down new story ideas and the other walls neutral base colour be brightened by secondary layering decoration. Once it’s complete I promise to post some pictures.
As well as being a writer, I’m also an avid reader and have a strange and not unpleasant dilemma to resolve. I’m currently reading Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, a stunning little novel that was a best-seller on it’s release. It was both widely embraced and vilified for it’s deconstruction of the the lies, secrets and unpleasantness that underlies the respectability of small town New England. It was seen as been so salacious and scurrilous when it was released it was even banned from being sold in some parts. I’m loving this book as you may have gathered. However, I’m already well over a third of the way through reading it which means I need to have the next book ready to read. My dilemma? I have so many good book in my to be read pile both already bought and on my list that I can’t choose which one to read next.
So I came up with an idea, why not create a Willow short-list (think of the Booker prize short-list but with more interesting novels) and let you guys have your say on which book you would choose to read next and why. I’ve created a short-list of fourteen books divided randomly into two groups. So your first task is to choose which book group will you pick for the short, short-list?
Group 1: The Fiction/non Fiction selection.
- The Lost Throne – Chris Kuzneski
- Dreamwalker – J.D Oswald
- Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
- She Wolves: The women that ruled England before Elizabeth – Helen Castor
- The Son –
- The Lowlands – Jhumpa Lahiri
- The little old lady that broke all the Rules –
Group 2: The Science Fiction and Classics selection.
- Dune – Frank Herbert
- The Ocean at the end of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
- The Bees – Laline Paull
- The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
- The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
- Batman RIP – Grant Morrison & Tony Daniel
There is a hyper link on the author’s name for each of the books if you’d like to go and find out a little more about each of them before you vote, or if you’re interested in reading an extract from one or all of the books on the list most of them have the ‘look inside’ function. As I’ve read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, group two only has six rather than seven books in the selection but that’s of no matter. These are all books I’ll be reading at some point it’s just a matter of when, so get voting and commenting and let me know what you choice is.
Happy reading and writing everyone.