25 years

25 years ago I was best man at a wedding in Co. Laois and with all that has happened in the intervening years and the fact that the divorce rate is frighteningly high, it gave me great pleasure to go out on Tuesday night to celebrate the silver wedding of my friends who I stood duty for back in 1988.  (OK from this you can kinda guess my age, but since there’s a picture of me published with the blog you already knew right?). We had an incredibly expensive meal out at L’Ortolan, a famous Michelin-stared restaurant which made me wish I earned about five times what I do so we could afford to eat there monthly instead of super-special occasions only.

Obviously no writing got done that night, nor on Wednesday as that was the meeting of my local writers circle (had to go, I’m chairman) and Thursday was quiz night (lost by one highly contentious point), and Friday nights I don’t write anyway. So the sequel hasn’t advanced, but then I haven’t heard any responses about the novel on submission. I should get some done next week though.

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It ain’t broke so….

Yesterday I attended the AGM of the T-Party, the London-based semi-pro writing group I’ve been going to for ages and I’m happy to report that they are in good health. Members are getting published and gaining agents so we must be doing something right. The only downside is that the published writers now have less time for critiquing and attending workshops. 14 people applied to join last year, 10 of these were successful so word seems to be spreading. As the group’s publicity officer all this makes me happy as I believe this is a great group to be a member of; they certainly made a great difference to my writing.

Tuesday was good evening, not only did Wigan lose at Arsenal removing any threat to Southampton’s Premier League status, but my quiz team won the pub quiz AND chose the right envelope winning £174.

I went to St Mary’s for Southampton’s last match of the season today. They drew 1-1 with Stoke but had more than enough chances to win. As a result they finished 14th – a great result for the first season back in the Premier League, but next season they need to be beating teams like Stoke. It will be very interesting to see what moves they make in the transfer market over the summer.

May arrives… and retreats

Feels like we’ve gone back two months. Last weekend the sun shone and I wore a t-shirt out in the garden. This weekend its back to winter jumpers. 

Not much got written last week, partly due to laziness and partly due to other stuff filling up my writing time. Sequel has only advanced by a few hundred words and there’s still no news of the novel on submission.

Southampton got a point at Sunderland on Sunday which means they are effectively safe from relegation,and it sounded like there should have taken all three. This is a familiar theme; they dominate the game but don’t create enough chances. If they’re going to progress next season then they need to acquire a sharper edge in the last third of the field.

Kudos to Wigan Athletic for winning the FA Cup. I didn’t give them much chance against Man City and, truth be told, their keeper kept them in it, but they kept scrapping and got their reward. I think it is good for football for the someone other than one of the ‘name’ teams to win the Cup. I still think Wigan are going down though.  

May arrives

The beginning of a new month always mean the same thing to me – quiz night on the first Sunday of the month. This month is a little different as the May Bank Holiday gives a long weekend with the opportunity for people stay up a little later knowing they haven’t got work on Monday. This gave me the chance to bring my family quiz team along to compete in my quiz as I’ve been threatening my quiz regulars to do for months. And they delivered, winning by four points (and no, the quizmaster did not help them any more than he helps the other teams). Well done folks, especially my 13 y.o nephew who has now had two outings with the family quiz team and has won both times. 

I also had the opportunity to have an editor from a major London publisher have a look over my the list of UK agents for SF/F that lives on my website (www.martinowton.com) and is mirrored on the T-Party site. As a result I’ve put up a new version with a few more names added. I’ve tried to make it comprehensive and I hope people find it useful.

The novel sequel grew a bit more to 9k this week, and no, I’ve had no news about the novel.