Thursday, December 26, 2013

What Would Virginia Woolf Have Made Of It All?

I use Grammarly's for proofreading online because if it just picks out my repeat words just once it'll be worth it. 
Happy Christmas! 

I hope you had a peaceful, special day - alone, with friends, with family - wherever you found yourself. I had a lovely lazy day at home with my partner, daughter and all the trimmings. 

I gave, and received, several books of course, and was absolutely blown away to receive this one from my friend J:

J and I visited this 17th century house and garden, now run by the National Trust, back in July. It was a perfect midsummer's day and we managed to get her Room Of My Own bedroom (complete with her hand-bound Shakespeares) to ourselves for a bit.
Virginia Woolf's Bedroom, Monk's House Photo c.  Stephanie Zia
And her (see it and weep) 100% magical Writing Hut.

Virginia Woolf's Writing Hut, Monk's House Photo c. Stephanie Zia
If you love poking about into great writers' lives, or just love gardens, it's in Sussex, an easy day trip from London by car.
Virginia Woolf's Writing Hut, Monk's House Photo c. Stephanie Zia
Go midweek, out of high (school holiday) season, if you can. If you're lucky you may get the house and garden virtually to yourselves as we did.
Virginia Woolf's (lookielikie) teapot. Monk's House Photo c.  Stephanie Zia
As it's all a bit quirky, double-check that it's open before setting off. Or, if you are the booking-years-ahead, money-no-object, sort, you can even stay there!

Garden, Monk's House Photo c. Stephanie Zia
In other news, my boomer lit novel The Widow's To Do List is currently part of a special Awesome Indies Holiday Bonanza 99c sale (26th - 30th December). Awesome Indies, based in Australia, evaluates independently published ebooks and gathers them together on one site under their individual categories, making it easy for readers to browse quality ebooks in their favourite (English spelling there Mr G/favorite) genres.  Earlier this year The Widow's To Do List was awarded their special gold seal for outstanding independent fiction. It was  heartening to see that, whilst posting her 5* review on US Amazon, the Awesome Indies reviewer, Tahlia Newland, noticed a run of low* 'dislike' reviews and began her considered review thus:

"The lower starred reviews here seem to be by people disappointed because the book is not what they expect..."

She went on to talk about genre, placing it in Women's Fiction or Contemporary Fiction rather than Romance or Comedy, though there is both romance and comedy. It is difficult to place a new-genre book - boomer lit is still in its infancy; but with Hilary Boyd's Tangled Lives #1 Contemporary Fiction and Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones, Mad About The Boy #1 Fiction, the future looks bright.

Virginia Woolf's Writing Desk, Monk's House Photo c. Stephanie Zia
What would Virginia have made of it all, tucked away in the leafy folds of the Sussex downs with her flowers, pens and paper? 

The Widow's To Do List is 99 cents in the US until 30 December 2013. Check out all the titles in the Awesome Indies sale & win gift voucher prizes here:


Kathleen Dixon Donnelly said...

Gorgeous photos of a beautiful place! Did you get to Charleston too?

Stephanie Zia said...

Thanks Kathleen. No we'll be doing that another time. Have you been there?