Sunday, July 01, 2012

What I'm Doing On My 'Holidays' by Kate Walker

We used to get the essay topic every time – did you? On the first week back after the school holidays, usually around the end of August,  we used to have to write on the topic of ‘What I did on my holidays.’    It was supposed to be an easy subject, something we would all be Able to find something to say about.  Except that I didn’t.

As one of five daughters in a single parent family,  I  very rarely had anything to say about ‘what I did on my holidays’. There wasn’t the money to go anywhere.  We didn’t even have a car so outings were rare. I can’t say I minded  that much – I was perfectly happy  with a trip to the local library to select something I wanted to read,  and then a chance to sit and enjoy my books – in the garden if there was sunshine or curled up in a chair if it was raining.  But it did means that there wasn’t much I could write about when I got back to school:

Monday – I went to the library and  then  when I came home I read my books

Tuesday  - I went to the library and then  when I came home  I read my  books.

Wednesday . . .

It’s funny, looking back, because now that I’m a published writer, I often think of those long, lazy summer days – and all those books – and wish I could have them back again.  Specially now it’s the 1st of July and the ‘holiday’ period has begun for me.

Most of the year I’m working-  and working means writing – and that means staying at home, at my desk, and creating new stories. But July –August is the time that I get out and about and travel  and meet people.   For a start, July is the Conference season. The  Romantic Novelists’ Association has their conference from  July 13th to 16th. I’m going to be there, and I’m running a workshop on putting the emotion into  your romance novel.   Romance Writers of America have theirs July 25th – 28th. In the past, I’ve managed to do both, but this year I’d find that impossible. Because the other thing I  always have to do in July is to travel to  South  Wales – to Caerleon  near Newport  where I spend a week at the wonderful Writers’ Holiday there.   But Caerleon takes place  2nd – 27th July. So after the RNA Conference I’m home with just enough time to  do the laundry, dry it (well – I can hope. The way the weather has been this ‘summer’ it’s more likely to get drenched all over again while out on the line.) And then I’ll set off again. Most times I teach a course – this year it’s  A Complete Introduction to Writing Romance -  but that’s only for half the week (five one hour sessions). The rest of my time I can go to other  given by so many fascinating writers my DH is giving on this year) , talk about writing,  or even attend one of the other courses.   

Then it’s home -  do the laundry again!  My husband has a book signing for Yorkshire Day  and then we’ll snatch a breath before travelling to the seaside. But this still isn’t a holiday, I’m doing another workshop in Bridlington at the beginning of August. But at least I’ll get a moment or two to see the sea – I  love to watch the waves and feel deprived if I don’t get to see them.

Phew! After that, I think I manage to stay at home for a couple of weeks -  and by then it will be time to get back to my desk again.  It’s no wonder  I feel nostalgic for those ‘and when I came home, I read my books’  days.  I’d love to grab a week or two to do nothing but read.

Still, this hectic time  in July is always a lot of fun – and I get to meet up with so many friends, make new ones, and to talk about writing  (and the fantastic food at Caerleon helps a bit too!)

So that’s what’s going to be happening to me between now and the next time I post  on the first Sunday in August. What about you?  Do you have any interesting plans for your holidays? Are you going anywhere exciting  - or do you just plan to stay at home and read? (Guess which one I envy you for most!)

As I know that  people love to have new books to take with them on holiday (or to read at home) I’m offering a giveaway of one of my books – my most recent title The Devil and Miss Jones which is still for sale in paperback or ebooks. Or something from my back list if you've already read this one.   Just tell me what you’re up to this summer, and I’ll get Charlie the Maine Coon to pick the name of  a winner – when he comes in from the garden. It’s actually stopped raining today so he’s outside enjoying the sunshine.

And I’ll be back in August , when I’ll be glad to stay still for a while!

You can keep up with all my news on my web site  or the most up to date details are on my blog 

And the winner is Michele!
Michele please email kate AT  with your postal address and I'll get your prize in the mail to you.  I'd email you direct but I can't find an address for you


Michele L. said...

Hey Kate, I love to read! Your summer's spent reading sure are close to what I did in the summer time as a kid. My hubby and I are planning on going to a huge flea market on Wednesday in Shipshewana, Indiana. It is about a 3 hour drive from my house. We are thinking of spending the night somewhere too. Your new book looks great! I can't wait to read it!

Di said...

This summer I'm finishing off some home renovations (which have been going on forever!). And doing some family visiting - including a baby shower for the newest expected family member. Don't have any other travel planned - summer travel can be too hot for me.

Sonali said...

Hi Kate,

This summer is not at all interesting for me. Unfortunately i will be working all through summer. :( . I have read The Devil and Miss Jones and loved it. Its a fabulous read.

Lil said...

I am trying to plant a fruit and vegetable garden that does not need replanting, things like a raspberry patch, currant bushes, blueberry bushes, strawberry plants, lingonberry for the partial shade areas, swiss chard, walking onion, and rhubarb have already been placed along with rosemary and thyme.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Pat Cochran said...

Goodness, I'm tired just from reading about
your July schedule! We don't really have
anything on the calendar for this summer,
as yet. With the triple digit temperatures
hitting us recently and predicted for the
upcoming weeks, staying at home with our
beloved AC and a good book sounds heavenly!

Pat Cochran

Laney4 said...

Hey there, Kate!

I keep toodling away on my scrapbooking pages - every day, if possible - and occasionally I work on my mending pile.

The "big ticket item" this year, though, would be re-shingling our roofs - hopefully when my sister and her husband visit for a few weeks in the fall, so that my BIL can help guide us in the right direction to save on labour bills. They stayed with us for five weeks two years ago in order to help re-side our garage (and back of our house to match), so fingers are crossed that they'll help us again. My BIL is now 74 and has hip problems, so I'm hoping he can still "direct" my husband, son, and neighbours to do the majority of the work.

Other than that, we have an annual party in two weeks' time that I probably should start working on now. Last year, I invited people six weeks ahead of time but found they didn't write it on their calendars and tried to "remember" instead; this year, I'm calling/emailing them just less than two weeks before the party (even though many have heard about it throughout the year as well). I'm not worried about the numbers, as it's a potluck; we usually have between 30 and 75 people attend. I probably should be worried about the state of my house, but surprisingly, I am not. I'm at a stage in life where it is "good enough".

Kate Walker said...

Hi Michele - I do miss those summers spent just reading. I have to say that the huge flea market sounds fascinating - that's another thing I love to do - wander round junk shops/antique markets just looking around. And if you can combine that with a nigth away too that will be so relaxing. Enjoy!

Kate Walker said...

Di - I've just been through the renovations on the house thing and I'm so glad to seee the back of them, but also so glad to see the results! I hope you end up feeling the same. The arrival of a new family member sounds very special to - I hope you have a lovely time and he/she arrives safe and well in due course

Kate Walker said...

Hello Sonali - Oh dear - but I supppose some of us have to wrok in the summer! My July will be work and fun. Thank you for saying how much you enjoyed The Devil and Miss Jones. You made my day

Kate Walker said...

Lil, I love the idea of your fruit and vegetable garden - all those berries will be delicious! I have strawberries and raspberries in my garden and I'm hoping that the non stop rain won't have spoiled my chances of a good crop - we need some sunshine now.

Kate Walker said...

Good morning Pat! Oh dear - triple digit temperatures! That would finish me off and I'd be like you, heading indoors for the AC and a book! I'm not good with the heat in summer.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Laney - good luck with getting the roof done, that sounds like a major project and you'll need the good weather for that. Your big party sounds lovely and you are quite right to just consider your home 'good enough' - people are coming to see you and not examine your home!

marybelle said...

I'm actually in the middle of Winter here in QLD. We've had a few beautiful days & then this morning BAM. The winds are blowing up from the Antarctic. I am basically just trying to stay warm today.

host said...

Like you, I'll work most of the summer but I think I'll manage a week at the seaside, swimming and reading :)

Eli Yanti said...

Hi Kate,

i'm planning to stay at home and read :)

Kate Walker said...

Hi Mary - of course, bveing on the other side of the world, you'll be in winter now. It seems so strange to think of July as a winter month! But at least with keeping warm you have the excuse to stay indoors - and read!

Kate Walker said...

Oh host - a week by the sea, swimming and reading - I'd love that. Can I come along?

Kate Walker said...

Hi Eli - you're someone after my own heart. Straying home and reading would be just great. Once I get jhome from all my travelling I think that will be what I'd love to do.

Now I need to get Charlie to pick a winner - it's raining again so he's come inside

Kate Walker said...

And the winner is Michele!

Michele please email kate AT with your postal address and I'll get your prize in the mail to you. I'd email you direct but I can't find an address for you

Michele L. said...

Hi Kate,
Thank you so much! I sent you an e-mail with my address. I hope your received the info. Have a great week!