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I finally finished the second Germany trip book, only to find it didn’t finish!

Book 37 – Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. This book follows the life of Molly Gibson. She is the daughter of the widowed village GP, a quiet and well-behaved girl who has a close and fulfilling relationship with her father. But, as she grows up and a young man who Dr Gibson is training falls in love with her, the Dr realises things need to change. She is set to visit a nearby invalid lady who has no children of her own, and Dr Gibson proposes to a seemingly suitable woman.

As the story develops, Molly’s life changes remarkably. Gone is the warm closeness of her home life and instead she lives with daily irritations and frustrations. HOwever, what she loses on the one hand, she gains on the other with a beautiful and irresistible new sister.

However, that sister seems destined to deprive Molly of the one man she could ever love…

I knew how this story would end – but sadly, it doesn’t. Gaskell died part-way through the serialisation of the story, and all we are left with is a rounding up of a few loose strands by the editor of the magazine in which it was published. I was really disappointed, actually – I was invested in Molly’s relationships and the people she met. I wanted to see what happened next to more than just her.

I enjoyed it, and thought the characters – especially Molly, Dr Gibson and Roger Hamley, all very sympathetic characters – were incredibly charming, for varied reasons. Mrs Gibson veered towards caricature but had redeeming features which rounded her off a little, and the rest of the characters all had their own quirks which gave them a sense of individuality. It’s worth reading – but without an ending you need to make up your own, and in this case it wasn’t quite as satisfying as I thought it might be!

Book 38 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by Newt Scamander (Ok, J.K. Rowling!). This book was sold for Comic Relief and is a real-life version of a book referred to in the Harry Potter stories. There is an introductory section about how a magical book could be for sale in the Muggle world, then Newt Scamander’s intro and the A-Z of beasts. Inside, there are margin notes by Harry, Ron and (just once, I think!) Hermione.

This isn’t really a book for review like the others – I bought it for fun because it was being sold for charity, and I do love the way the Harry Potter universe is so intricate and detailed. It’s not long, and it’s light-hearted, and it’s easy-going. It’s quite clearly aimed at children, and I may use some of the creatures described as inspiration for the decor for my family Halloween party!

If you are interested in the Harry Potter world this is a fun addition to the bookshelf, and if not, it’s sold for a good cause!

Happy reading,
EJ
🙂

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This week promised myself I’d write another 2000 words, and thankfully I’ve done it.  However, my writing is seriously taking a backseat in life: not only have I got charity events to help arrange and local volunteering to do, but I’ve also got my new work, plus looking for another temporary role, plus the big event I am planning all taking chunks of my time.

And now’s as good a time as any to say that the big event is my wedding, in just over 4 months! 🙂

As I’m sure you can imagine, writing is getting lost in the mix (despite huge support from people around me – my partner, mum, big sis and SC all deserve a special shout-out here alongside lots of others who have offered to help in many different ways).  It’s the one thing that I don’t have a set date to get done so from a time management point of view it’s the easiest thing to drop.

Back in the mists of time (2010) when I decided to take a career break to write, I did so because I never found the time to do any writing at all.   It wasn’t just that I didn’t have time – lots of writers have jobs and write – but that I didn’t have the capacity within myself to do it.  I don’t want to be in that position again and I think I have put enough of a framework in place to keep it going, but it is going to be at a pretty slow pace.

So from now on I’m going to start working on my time management much more stringently.  I have set myself a target to write at least 2000 words a week from now until I get to the end of the current novel, and from then I will reassess.  I will put aside those things that can wait until after the wedding – things like courses I want to take, or some of the extra books I might want to read for the challenge.  I will make sure that I log writing time again (the timesheet is embarrassingly empty of data at the moment) not to make me feel I am not doing enough, but to remind me that I am still a writer.  I will focus my writing on the third book, and just keep going until it’s done.

It has been suggested that now would be a good time to upload book 1 as an e-book, as I am not sending it out at the moment; I will make a decision on this soon and let you know!

So there we have it – life comes in waves and I’m riding a big one now!  But if I keep going I’ll get to where I want to be, even if it takes longer than expected.

And finally – I missed book 39 last week: The History of Mr Polly by HG Wells which I haven’t read and in light of everything I’ve just written, is not going on my list!  I haven’t read book 40: Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm either and the same applies!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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