Story Starter: Delft Blue

No excuse for this photo not offering inspiration.

Hello, and apologies for being late this week. I have a good excuse. Well, three, actually…

First, I’ve had computer problems. Mine has been in our computer intensive care unit since Wednesday. When I booted it up that morning all I got was the black screen of death, never a very encouraging start to the day. However, thanks to our clever IT techs, it’s expected to make a full recovery and be back in action by Monday.

This means that since Wednesday, I’ve been using Alison’s pc; she happens to have been on leave this past week. And although theoretically it’s identical, it’s felt quite discombobulatingly different. And I didn’t have any of my usual photos. So that’s excuse number 1.

Excuse number 2 is that I’ve had mye head down, doing my darndest to finish reading all the April submissions before we tick over into August. Nearly done, just about half a dozen to read on Monday. I should make it. That means they’ll all be off my desk. They’ll then be with my fiction team colleagues to be returned to writers, while a lucky few will have been set aside for final approval and purchase.

Excuse number 3? I’ve been busy arranging another couple of our award-winning short story writing workshops to take place in September. Details later, but I can tell you I’m returning to York, because it’s such a lovely city for a short break, with great rail connections. And for the first time I’m hosting one at our smart new HQ in Dundee. That’s exciting! Guest writer for both will be “Friend” regular Kate Blackadder.

That’s kind of excuse 3A. 3B is to do with Kate and our travel arrangements. She gets the train to York on workshop day, while I travel the day before. Then we return home together. In order to do that, once she’s booked her ticket, she tells me which train, coach and seat she has, and I get straight on the phone to Scotrail to try to get the adjoining seat. And she got her ticket late on Friday afternoon. So my last little while in the office was spent trying to snag just the right seat.  Successfully achieved, but in the excitement, I forgot to do the Story Starter.

But better late than never….

This is another shop window, again in Amsterdam, and as you can see shows a fine selection of famous Dutch and Delft porcelain. Inspiring? I hope so.

PS Autumn 2017 workshops booking form is here. 

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.