The highly predictable review of the year, and a preview of 2013

With one mince pie and a heel of stollen left in the tin, it’s time to turn our attention to the changing of the calendar. A moment to pause and reflect on the twelve months behind, and start planning the next batch.

2012 saw the release of my first novel Wasted Years, as an e-book costing £1.99. It also saw, back in January, the free electronic release of the graphic novel I wrote a few years ago, Boys Don’t Cry. If you’ve read those and are eager for further output, you might not have to wait too long: plans are afoot for a small collection of my short stories (I would call it a slim volume, but it’ll be an e-book), mostly unpublished ones, to be called The Little Book of Northern Women. I’ve been designing the cover this very morning.

In case anyone’s interested, my submission level for 2012 was higher than ever before, but since it mostly consisted of competition entries I have very little to show for it, at least in the way of publications. In the way of fun, friendships, silliness, and mentions in the Telegraph (here and here), there’s been quite a bit, thanks to Louise Doughty and the SSC. Apart from Kelvin and JulieT, I don’t think I can point you at any of my SSC comrades, I don’t even know most of their names, but I can point you at one of the best stories to win the monthly competition, which happens to have been written by possibly the most active member of the SSC: go read ’76 by Kipples, I’ll be here when you get back.

I hope you enjoyed that story, I did. Anyway, apart from SSC output, I’ve been reading the usual mix of Doctor Who novels, crime, fantasy, sci-fi, writing manuals, and literary fiction this year (and a history of British trade unionism). I got an e-reader for Christmas (Kobo mini, since you asked) and I’ve already started filling it with Anthony Trollope novels I haven’t yet enjoyed (he did write an awful lot of books). So many books, so little time, as ever.

May you all have a year filled with all the books you most want to read, all the story acceptances you warrant, and some understanding relatives for when the deadlines are looming. See you on the other side of midnight.


  1. Always like reading your “Posts”. Your Novel Wasted Years – I really enjoyed; and have recommended this novel to my friends.

    Look forward to reading your Little Book of Northern Women.


  2. Jacqueline, I agree with you about ’76 by kipples on the SSC. It is the best story so far, one left to go, though. Fingers crossed.

    I liked your post on the SSC about photos and expectations. It is curious, is it not, how we have all been communicating for a year, without knowing what the other looks like, or what their real name is, or how they speak, the body language they use – vital components for effective communication. What was it Mehribian said about his communication circle, body language (facial features etc) make up 89% of effective comms?

    I could be wrong. I frequently am, about Bay’s gender for example, and, cough, yours (back in the early days), however, after you so politely corrected me, and having now seen a photo of you, might I just say, you are how I envisaged you. Of course, I have never had the pleasure of a face to face chat. One day, hopefully.

    Have a grand 2013, tm. Remember my promise about your new anthology.

    1. Don’t worry, I will take you up on the offer. I wasn’t joking about casting another eye over my punctuation first though… I’m also looking forward to the prospect of the Kelvin Kollection.

      I wonder if we would all have ended up friends if we’d met in person first? If the body language, the accent, the age even, had been present from the off. I would love the SSC regulars to meet up, I think it’d be great if at least some of us managed it this year, say at a litfest of some sort (or just down the pub, of course. Mine’s a pint of Sneck Lifter).

      Have a good 2013 yourself; enjoy the further adventures of the MA.

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