Holiday Reading and Writing by Allison Symes

Image Credits:- Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos. Photos of The Hayes, Swanwick were taken by me, Allison Symes. 

I will still be at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School when this goes live. This event is my big writing event of the year. It is a joy to get together with other writers, enjoy a range of workshops, and convivial company. I come back inspired, refreshed, and tired! All that creative energy takes it out of me  but in a good way.

 That made me wonder about holiday reading and writing. Do you read and/or write more or less during the summer? That answer may depend I suspect on whether you have school age children or other commitments.

For me, the writing dips as I take much needed time off but the blessings of being a flash fiction writer is if I only write a couple of hundred words a day, I’ve probably completed a story in that word count. I also prepare and schedule blogs in advance including this one. I love scheduling! It means I can take more time off as and when I need or want to do that.

 For holiday reading, I usually catch up with what’s on my Kindle. I usually save new paperbacks for reading over a certain seasonal event in December (though it wouldn’t surprise me if someone somewhere has already mentioned the C word by the time this goes out).

With one exception, I tend not to write to holiday topics for fiction. The one exception is I do write some festive flash and last year was thrilled when one of mine was broadcast on an internet radio station, which was a first for me. Flash fiction works well in audio and I sometimes take part in Open Prose Mic Nights which are fun. It’s a great way to demonstrate what flash is and can be. 

 For blog posts I write more seasonally. My part of the world has a lovely wild flower meadow in the local park so I usually write something about that. I hope to do so soon as they planted the seeds later this year so the flowers are just starting to come into bloom now. 

I enjoy some seasonal reading. Usually in September, I re-read or re-listen to the audio book of Terry Pratchett’s marvellous Reaper Man. I do the same for his Hogfather for a said certain seasonal event in December.  And there’s a certain story by Dickens I also watch (thanks to the Muppets) at that time of year too. (One of Sir Michael Caine’s best roles too - along with his The Italian Job. All together now… “you were only supposed to….”!).

My main focus over the holiday season is to enjoy what I do read and write and make the most of time away from the desk. I come back to said desk refreshed and ready to go. Mind you, I am not sorry, when the rotten weather comes over the winter months, to be doing something I love which is indoors!


Peter Leyland said…
Holiday reading, a fascinating topic Allison and you are obviously enjoying that very interesting sounding Summer School. I haven't done any writing courses for ages!

I'm doing lots of reading though. Having retired in January I suppose all my reading now is a kind of busman's retirement as reading fiction was part of my job. It is less pressurised now, however, and I have more choice. Having said that, I've just launched with my CarersFirst reading group into a competition concerning the Booker Longlist and am already powering through Elizabeth Strout's Oh William! from the library. They already have a list of the next four that I want...

Oh well, thanks for the post and I hope the rest of your holiday is as productive as the first part
Allison Symes said…
Many thanks Peter. I always learn so much when I come to Swanwick and it is fabulous meeting up with other writers who all understand why we write, regardless of what we write. I go to courses here which will help what I do in some way but I also go to those, where I can, which are outside of what I currently do. Often what I learn there goes on to help me later on.

Ironically, I have had little time for reading while at Swanwick but plan to make up that for when I get home.

I hope everyone enjoys their holiday reading and writing.

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