It’s been so supremely busy recently, that I’ve not had the chance to blog.  I apologise. I’m sure you’ve missed me tremendously.

In between being busy, we’ve been on holiday to Marrakesh and it was pure magic.  And warm – dear heavens, it was warm and lush.  We loved our time there and I came away with some fabulous loot.  We stayed at Riad Miski and the hospitality was outstanding and I’d highly recommend it if you want to stay within the medina – the riad itself is not too big, the staff are too lovely for words and it’s quiet, very quiet, except maybe for the hundreds of birds that you hear and see during the day. Who knew!

I enjoyed the souks, once I got over my reluctance to haggle.  It’s something I did really well back in Egypt in Cairo and Luxor, but you unlearn it really quickly.

This link should take you to photos of our trip, should you be inclined to see any.

I read loads whilst away on holiday – it was great, but not as great as Mark who read around 3 more books than I did…not including the audiobooks he listened to.  Faugh – the cheater.

We’ve been to see Midsummer Night’s Dream in Regent’s Park – it was wet but it was glorious.  Just – the costumes, the actors, the whole set-up and the venue (regardless of getting wet) just works so incredibly well.  I was mesmerised, especially by the chap playing Oberon.  He was electric and the young lad playing Puck genuinely embodied the fool and the trickster so well.  I really would love to go and see it again…maybe sans the wetness. Check out the site here.

Last week I got to attend the Porgy and Bess show courtesy of Random House and author Michael Williams who wrote the superb Now is the time for running novel.  Michael is also the director to the Cape Town Opera, which is currently staging Porgy & Bess at the Coliseum.  It was an amazing experience – truly powerful but also down to earth, and honest and also sad.  The music, the talent, all of it, was just pulled together really well and we all left, at the end of the evening, on this complete high.  Genuinely a great production and one I’d recommend people to go and see.

How is my writing coming along, I hear you wonder!?  Well, dear friend, it’s done in the sense that it’s gone out to beta-readers and they’ve liked it enough to give me some great bits of feedback.  That feedback has been considered, merited and is incorporated and tidied into the last bits of line-edits I’m doing before biting the bullet and sending it out to agents…soonish. *starts biting nails*

On an even more personal note, I’ve been asked to talk at two different events about blogging and reviewing and digital media.  Last week Tuesday I attended the Society of Young Publishers event in Oxford and had the opportunity to meet Peter Kemp, the Chief Fiction Editor of The Sunday Times.  Peter gave this truly interesting and diverse talk about what it’s like being a fiction reviewer for a big national and how things have changed from their perspective in the years he’s been working as fiction reviewer.  I admit it, I was scared senseless but I had a SCBWI person (yay Nick!) and MG Harris and Susie Day in the audience to cheer me on.  I spoke about blogging, how when I started out blogging a good few years ago now, publishers didn’t know what to make of me,  but they caught on pretty quickly and the blog grew. I saw more bloggers show up on the scene  and soon we were this crowd of fans who were madly enthusiastic about books and reading.  I don’t think anyone actually expected the blogger-movement to take off the way it did.

Some great questions were asked, which I hope I fielded quite well – phew! Then, I jumped on the bus back home from Oxford and watched Wolverine on my iPod – cos that’s how I roll.  I’m so pleased I did not pass out or throw up on anyone !

Last night was the second event I got to trot myself out and talk about blogging.  The lovely Hooton gave a great write-up about the event and she even made me sound eloquent.  Word, innit!

We are hoping to get to Whitstable this weekend as they are hosting their annual Oyster Festival.  I’m going for one reason only, and it’s not fish-related at all.  I’m going to visit Oxford Street Books which is my personal Mecca.  Every year thus far that we’ve visited I’ve found untold treasures which I utterly love.  It makes me feel like I’m walking into a treasure trove.

Apart from all of this, which I admit sounds like a hectic schedule, we don’t have much on, apart from the upcoming Olympics (we have tickets to wrestling and the fencing) and a trip to The Globe for another Shakespeare play (such a chore) – this time Henry V.

Then, August will see me starting a new project.  Two are uppermost in my mind at the moment, so we see which takes precedence.  And of course, I’ll do my utmost not to let the poor blog die a death like I have recently.  Bad Liz!

PS: I apologise for lack of pictures on the blog – my wordpress for some reason isn’t allowing me to post any…


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