Monday, December 30, 2019

"QUOTE... UNQUOTE" BBC RADIO 4 SHOW

Sir Tim Rice
End of the year and time for reflection. I found it interesting to be asked questions (by another journalist) about my favourite radio shows that I've taken part in over the last decade. As a dedicated radio addict, I spend time - while writing all day in my tiny office - listening to my favourite radio programmes.  These emanate from a wide range of wireless services which include BBC World Service, BBC RADIO 4, BBC ESSEX, LBC and PHOENIX FM, from which our favourite presenter, Michelle Ward, invites yours truly and a whole host of Essex writers, journalists, artists, actors and anyone linked to the written word, into her studio to tell the world about their current projects.  Love it when people I know - connected with our famous Society of Women Writers and Journalists (still celebrating our 125 years' existence) - are broadcasting. So many luminaries pop up (you will find out more at www.swwj.co.uk). 



Currently listening to QUOTE UNQUOTE ON BBC RADIO 4 in which one of our SWWJ Patrons Sir Tim Rice, is currently taking part. He kindly sent me a copy of his autobiography OH, WHAT A CIRCUS! (Hodder & Stoughton) after I had interviewed his mother, Joan (who served on our Council for so many years) when researching material for my book THE WOMAN  WRITER, published by the History Press just ten years ago. 


Over the Christmas weekend, Floella, Lady Benjamin, our famous president, appeared in the New Year Honours List with news that she is now a Dame. A lovely lady and the honour is well-deserved. Congratulations!  

www.sylviakent.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 28, 2019

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SWWJ PRESIDENT BARONESS FLOELLA

Great news and congratulations today for our Society of Women Writers' President, Baroness Floella Benjamin, who is now also a dame!

www.swwj.co.uk
www.sylviakent.blogspot.com


Thursday, December 19, 2019

WITH THANKS TO LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHER DEBORAH FROM BILLERICAY

Lovely day signing new book and a few other older titles at WH Smith and Waterstones in Brentwood. This is book twelve and it is good to see that my first offering circa 2001 is still on sale in some Essex (England) book stores around the county and, of course, on Amazon.  

Many thanks to readers and here's wishing everyone a lovely Christmas-tide. 

CHRISTMAS WISHES TO ALL OUR SWWJ MEMBERS

So lovely to hear  from many of our SWWJ members, both in the UK and the USA and  delighted to learn of their successes in the world of writing. Having completed the American NaNoWriMo  challenge fifty thousand words during November (along with so many other  fellow scribes), I am leaving the keyboard for the festive season.  This doesn't stop me signing copies of my new book in Essex (England) bookshops, so off we go again!  



Saturday, December 14, 2019

MEETING THE HISTORY LOVERS OF ESSEX

Brentwood Roman Catholic Cathedral

Now that my latest book BRENTWOOD IN 50 BUILDINGS has been published by AMBERLEY PUBLISHING in Stroud, Gloucestershire, I have been asked to sign copies of my book in Essex bookshops.  It has been fun to meet folk who love a little history and nostalgia and learn about each of those buildings which have their own fascinating story.  Some structures date back to the 13th century, others from the 20th, and I have included a  lot  of timber-framed buildings which still stand after centuries.  Oh, if only walls could speak, what stories they could tell, but I have done second best and researched the families and people who lived and loved within, and I've discovered some pretty interesting tales!  Some of the content will be included in my regular on-line column for www.enjoybrentwoodmore.com with more tales on Phoenix 98fm in the New Year. 
St Thomas' Chapel ruins - built 1221



Pepperell House at 44 High Street
New friend James 



Stone House, Brook Street
An image of Brentwood Assizes before the old Town Hall was built in High Street







Friday, December 06, 2019

ALMOST A FULL HOUSE AT SWWJ CHRISTMAS GATHERING



Our speaker Jackie Malton MSc
Members and guests of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists enjoyed a fabulous day in London's National Liberal Club last week with a delicious tea which ended our 125th Anniversary celebrations, and what a year it has been!  

Our special speaker at the event was Jackie Malton MSc, a former Police Flying Squad member who joined the police force in 1970 and worked her way up until reaching the upper echelons of police work.  Jackie enthralled us with tales of some of her cases from her Metropolitan days and spoke about her work with crime writer Lynda La Plant with whom she liaised in 199l when asked to assist in the authenticity and storytelling for the award-winning series Prime Suspect.  Jackie became the inspiration for Helen Mirren's lead role of DCI Tennison and then a consultant on other TV crime series, such as Cracker, The Bill, Trial and Retribution. During the day, we welcomed new members and, of course, many older friends who wouldn't miss the special Christmas atmosphere of our organisation, especially during our special anniversary year.  

pictures by Carol Cannavan

Sunday, December 01, 2019

TOWNS ARE LIGHTING UP FOR CHRISTMAS

I never miss a  'Lighting Up' occasion in the towns around Billericay, so here we have a few colourful characters  attending last week's festive occasion in the town. Enjoyed meeting some old friends and making a few new ones.





Great to learn that Billericay now has a ladies'  Rotary Club and membership is growing 

30 NOVEMBER AND DELIVERY OF 50,000 WORDS TO AMERICAN BASED NANOWRIMO

"Keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard."
Marissa Meyer

As a writer used to writing at speed and to difficult deadlines, I accepted the the  National Novel Writing Month Competition challenge of 2019 by attempting to write a fifty thousand word narrative during the month of November - delivery date 12pm Saturday 30th November. I based my opus on my favourite topic - an appreciation of our historical county ESSEX. Managed to finish last night with an hour to spare! (entries had to be sent off by 11.55pm).  Not easy and not my best work, but my speed, brain power and, of course, memory  increased as the month wore on and I managed to beat the clock!!!   PS (that's around a daily keyboard attack of 1,666 words with a few hundred extra - just for luck)