New Year Presents

I had an idea to give all my blog readers virtual presents to celebrate Christmas / Yule / Winter / The End of A Year but in the end I was tired and busy and I couldn’t be arsed doing it.

So I am doing it now. Maybe the novelty of all the Christmas presents has already worn off and you’re in the mood for some nice new things.

I would like to give you the present of my favourite blogs. I have a link list in the side-bar but I don’t update it very often. This might be a better way of introducing you to new blogs.

My bestest two blogs right now are Forgetting the Time by Annie Clarkson and Gargling With Vimto by Emma J. Lannie. Actually I’ve liked these two for a really long time. Both of these women are very honest with their writing – Annie’s made a decision to write about herself in ways I’d never be brave enough to, and her posts are elegant and interesting. Emma’s never fail to make me smile and I love the way she’s dived into the 100 Days project.

I never miss the 50 word short stories that Sarah Salway posts on her blog. I used to force myself to write haiku because I talk too much and write too much and it felt like doing very tiny things was a way to make myself choose the words more carefully. To say yes to less things. I might try some 50 Word Stories.

I have been a fan of Socrates Adams-Florou since I first heard him read at the No Point in Not Being Friends night in Manchester late in 2008. He’s got a blog, but also a new website set up to promote his novel Everything’s Fine. I am the most irritable and curmudgeonly human being I know but Socrates in writing and in person has never got on my nerves.

I read Emma Darwin’s blog too. She’s able to put into words some of the technical aspects of writing that I struggle to explain to the people I teach. I like how clear and straight-forward she is, without ever underestimating what hard work and a puzzle the getting-the-writing-good-enough can be a lot of the time. Like a gymnast making the tricky turns look easy.

Not about writing or reading, but I am hooked on Barren Blog, and have my fingers crossed for the next instalment. I hope she had a happy Christmas.

Fiona Robyn’s Planting Words blog. She’s a different kettle of fish to me – an optimist, and I bet she’s a morning person too. Like I said, I’m a misanthropic curmudgeon (the word of 2010) but I like it that there are people like Fiona in the world and blogs like hers in the tinterwebs for me to read.

I use a feedreader, and just before Christmas I noticed I had over 150 subscriptions. Half of the stuff was inactive, and I spent an hour or go going through and culling the feeds that don’t appeal to me anymore. Which means I’ve got more room now.

I know it’s bad manners to ask for presents, but if anyone has a burning desire to recommend me a blog (or plug their own blog) now is the time. 

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