Christmas celebration

P1000012The Far North of England has mercifully (and for once) missed the worst of the snow and ice. This meant that for the first time ever, Other Half and I were able to drive up to Gretna Green on Sunday for the famous Crime & Publishment Christmas meal.

Much to my annoyance, the last two years I’ve had to miss it. Last year we both had a nasty bout of flu (at the same time!) and the year before that, we’d only just dried out after Storm Desmond, and then we got snowed in. Sigh. Even bigger sigh as it was pretty much the only snow we got all winter, and it happened just a few hours before we were due to set off… and then thawed again the following day. Typical.

This time there were no such problems, in spite of temperatures that were so far below freezing that the duck pond at Tebay Services (above) had frozen solid. (The ladies loos weren’t much better either.) But the scenery on the way up, especially over Shap Fell on the M6, was amazing, and we arrived in Gretna a little chilly but unscathed.

And the event was well worth the three year wait. Lovely food, lots of fun, great company, great chance to catch up with folk – some of whom I hadn’t seen for the best part of a year – and a chance to hear how much success everyone has had during the year. And successes they have had – in spades, by the sound of it. Everything from TV deals to debut books, and quite a bit in between.

I had my own good news to share (more on that in the next day or so!) but it’s so good to hear that I’m not the only one. The Crime & Publishment weekend is one of the best things I’ve ever signed up for, bringing so many new friends and above all, so much support.

Merry Christmas to the lot of you – and I’ll see you again for the next Crime & Publishment weekend in March!


Antidote to the turkey?

rabbitstewAnother quick update, this time on the subject of cannibalism.  Well, an anthology of cannibalism, to be precise – Kannibal Cookbook, edited by Dana Kabel.

I had a story called ‘Rabbit Stew’ accepted for the collection but ill-health has delayed the book’s release.  Now the good news is that it’s all happening again, and Kannibal Cookbook should be available around Christmas this year.

As the title suggests, it’ll be an interesting antidote to the turkey.

Season’s greetings…

Popping in to say ‘happy Christmas’, or whatever other festival floats your boat (although that might be a poor choice of words after all the recent floods…).


Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely break, and a very happy, healthy new year with lots of inspiration for writing.  I’ll ‘see’ you all again once the big day is over.  Have fun!