It's March already, but what a very exciting March it is!
Firstly, and most importantly, the birth of my first grandchild, Penelope Vincent. Here she is with me, and even at just one day old she is looking absolutely beautiful.
Grandmothers have always been prominent characters in my short stories, and I'm sure they will feature even more frequently now that I am one myself!
But, back to the writing: March has again seen my work published in four of my favourite magazines:
In Nursery World, 23 Feb-8 March issue, I visit a wonderful bug hotel at a Children's Centre in Uxbridge. Don't know what a bug hotel is? Well, it's a fantastic structure made from wooden pallets, straw, twigs, flowerpots, dry leaves, sawdust... anything that will make little hidey holes and warm crevices for insects to find a temporary and safe home during the cold of winter. A great project that gets kids, parents and school or nursery staff working together in the garden and thinking about wildlife, recycling and the environment. The magazine used lots of my own photos too.
In March's Practical Pre-School I suggest ways that young children can learn by listening. Taking a walk and noticing all the sounds they encounter outside, maybe even taking a tape recorder with them so they can be listened to again and again, brings the weather, birds, leaves, machinery, planes, and lots more vividly to life.
But I've been busy with my fiction too, with two stories in The People's Friend this month, both tagged by the editor as 'inspiring'.
In the Spring Special (number 103), a single mum takes a faulty blender back to the shop and unexpectedly meets up with an old flame, stirring up memories, not all of them good! How different might her life have been? But how lucky is she to have the wonderful life she found after he was gone?
The second People's Friend story, 'Rambling Rose', is in the weekly magazine dated 14 March. Rose loves flowers and the outdoor early morning life. She doesn't enjoy late-night clubbing like her friends, who despair of her - However will she meet a man if she doesn't go out to the 'right' places? But, of course, she does meet a man - while walking at the top of the cliffs and looking out over the sea, enjoying what she loves doing best.
And, still to look forward to - the Romantic Novelists' Association Awards night on 16th March at the beautiful Gladstone Library at the National Liberal Club, with chandeliers, white flower-bedecked tablecloths, nibbles and drinks, wonderful views over the Thames at night - and the presentation of the awards, in several genre categories, for the very best romantic novels of the year. I had expected to miss out on being there this year as my daughter was due to have her baby the very next day, so thank you Vicky for doing it ten days early, so I can go after all! Hoping to see some of you there.
Best wishes and happy writing