Thursday 29 October 2015

Three Months Later...

With Halloween just a few days away I know it's really not the right time to be getting rid of cobwebs, but I thought I'd neglected my blog for long enough. To me, it seems like a lot longer than three months since I last had the time to put together even a quick round-up of what I'd been doing. So why haven't I posted anything since mid-July? It's partly because life in general got pretty hectic, and is only just starting to calm down, and partly because not a lot has happened to me writing-wise since the Cornbury Festival in my last post.
Admittedly, I'm writing this so post to try to get back in the habit of blogging, so its contents may well be of interest to no-one but myself. I'll return to material with a broader appeal as soon as I can, I promise!

Anyway, without further ado, here's a brief summary of the most significant things that have happened to me in the last few months:

I got married. Okay, so this is a pretty big deal, and anybody who's got hitched in recent years will know how much time and effort goes into organising even the smallest of Big Days. Beth and I tried to do away with a lot of the stuff that exists for tradition's sake and tried to focus on the details that meant the most to us, but it still involved a lot of work. We tried to do as much of it ourselves (with loads of help from family and friends, too, of course). And we'd made things hard for ourselves by only deciding we were, after all, the marrying type in mid-April and then finding the perfect venue that turned out to availability at the end of August. All the build-up was enjoyable, in a stressful kind of way, and the day itself was wonderful.

We had a literary theme, and it was fun thinking up ways to incorporate this into the various decorations and phases of the day.

Book Centrepieces

Book Cocktails!

I got a bit carried away with the wedding programme, and essentially ended up putting together a small magazine - it tipped the scales at 16 pages, including the covers. It was very rewarding, though, and was a nice excuse to employ skills I don't often get to use in combination - writing, photography, and graphic design. The result, in my opinion, was well worth the effort, and our guests seemed to enjoy it too.

I went on honeymoon(s). My wife had a business trip booked a couple of weeks into September, so we couldn't go away straight after the wedding. Also, with the rush to get everything sorted for the wedding, we hadn't actually had a chance to work out where we wanted to go. To mark the start of our new lives together, we had a weekend break in the Cotswolds, then set about deciding where our 'proper' honeymoon would be. In the end, we went for Costa Rica, which was fantastic. I might go into more detail in a later post, but suffice to say it's an amazing country with wonderfully friendly people, great food, and some astonishing wildlife.

I hardly did any writing. Something had to give. The day-job and wedding organisation seemed to expand to fill every available moment, and even when I did get a free minute or two, my brain was too fried to come up with anything useful in the way of fiction. It's good to take a break, I guess, and probably healthy too. I did feel a bit anxious about not getting any more novel editing done, or working on a short story, but it's left me excited about picking it back up again.

I got published. My story, The Four Funerals of Augustus Black, was published in issue 166 (the August edition, approximately) of Writers' Forum, after scooping 3rd prize in their monthly competition. With so much else going on at the time I didn't really take the time to register it, but I'm very pleased to get another story into the magazine (the last time was in January). I've now won two 2nds and a 3rd - I'm tempted to give the top spot another go, maybe in the New Year.

I've been shortlisted. One of my flash pieces is currently on the shortlist at Flash 500. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

So, that's you up to date. Hopefully my blogging will be a little less erratic from now on, although real life isn't settling down quite as quickly as I thought it might after the wedding.


Nik Perring said...

Congrats, Dan!

Chloe said...

Congratulations! Your wedding looks amazing and your wife is beautiful! If was getting married again I'd definitely go for a literary theme, but I'm hoping that never has to happen! Bless you two all the days of a long and happy marriage :)

Dan Purdue said...

Many thanks, Nik and Chloe!

I hope you never need to get married again, Chloe, but maybe at some point you can renew your vows or celebrate a big anniversary with a literary-themed party. It's funny how having a theme makes things simultaneously much easier and far more complicated. Either way, we wouldn't have changed a thing.

Anonymous said...

Massive Congratulations on your momentous day Dan - must have been great to hear you've got another story in Writers Forum!

No, seriously. Congratulations on getting married - looks like it was a great day, and all the best for the future together.

Dan Purdue said...

Thanks, Ric. You're right - I'll never forget that day when, dressed in my finest suit and with my heart in my mouth, I turned, looked down the aisle and saw that month's edition of the magazine waiting for me there on the newsagent's shelf.

Many thanks for the well-wishes on the marriage stuff, too.

It's good to hear from you. I thought you'd gone very quiet of late, but it seems that for some reason Digestive Press had fallen off my blogroll. I'm not sure why this is, but it's highly unacceptable. I've corrected the omission and will try to catch up as soon as I can. Apologies!

Lindsay said...

Congratulations Dan, on your marriage and your publication. Your wedding sounds lovely (my daughter is getting married next May so I appreciate the organisation!) Costa Rica is fabulous isn't it?
Keep writing and may more success come your way very soon.

Dan Purdue said...

Many thanks, Lindsay. Yes, we were very lucky to have such a wonderful day and a honeymoon that we'll remember forever. I hope all's going well with your daughter's preparations!