Call me sentimental, but I’ve always loved Christmas. In fact I do find it hard to understand why other people don’t love it. Every year, my tree decorating gets earlier and earlier, and usually, by this time in November, most of my present shopping is done, my food ordered, and it’s just counting down the days.

This time last year I could not have imagined the world we exist in now. I still feel I’m in a bad dream and will wake up at some point. Or maybe that a politician will go on TV and say, ‘you know what? Hang it, we’re fine, back to where you were.’

The only solace we have is in escaping to other worlds through books, so this month’s blog is designed to give you a virtual Christmas. Interestingly, in writing this I realised how few books for adults are actually set around Christmas. If you’re a writer, tuck that little factlet away and see if you can use it in 2021.

And on the practical side, here are some well-known authors suggesting ways to protect your mental health through yet covid blighted months to come. Plus some PG Wodehouse one liners to cheer you up. For more cheer, have a look back at my blog about the top ten funny reads.

This month for me has also been all about moving house, but more of that next time. Let me just say that where we are moving to is great, but has not spared me from envying Patrice Lawrence’s wonderful view.  Read here about her creative space.

(And a word of warning – this month’s forthcoming creative space’s author probably has the most amazing view ever. More of that next time.)

How to write.

Moving house plays havoc with the writing, I have to admit. But if you’re distracted and find it impossible to concentrate on longer projects, think about focusing on editing instead. This month’s how to write book is a fantastic help. Short (80+ pages) precise and concise, it does actually cover everything

from structure and plot right down to line editing, and uses handy tables and bullet point lists to jam in everything that you need to know.

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