What I've been working on:
It’s been a busy couple of months! I’ve completed a copy-edit for a publisher, and I’m currently working through a developmental edit of a YA fantasy novel which I’m particularly enjoying.
I also attended the CIEP conference. I’m really grateful that this was available as a hybrid conference; I attended online, and was pleasantly surprised to make plenty of new editing friends despite not attending in person.
When I explained that I wasn’t around for the weekend because I was at an editing conference, quite a few of my climbing friends asked, quite understandably, what exactly there could be to talk about at an editing conference.
The answer is: an awful lot! Session topics included working with self-publishers, how the English language is changing, editing sex scenes in fiction, working with inclusive language and reducing the environmental impact of editing. Katherine May, the author of Wintering, gave the opening talk which was a real highlight for me; she discussed how putting ourselves in a place of ‘artificial’ challenge (like going on a long walk) allows us to cope with actual challenges in life.
I also participated in a discussion on Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. This was so valuable: the essays in this book have helped me re-think the way I write and edit. I’d really recommend it for anyone looking to make their writing more inclusive.
What I've been reading:
I read Octavia Bulter’s The Parable of the Sower for a local bookclub. I did find this a slightly disconcerting read given the state of the world at the moment, but I’m glad I read it and hope to get round to reading the sequel at some point.
Where There’s a Hill by Sabrina Verjee was a great read and very inspiring for those damp and cold autumn runs. And last weekend I read Chosen Ones by Veronia Roth. I thought the concept of this – a group of characters continuing with 'normal' life after they’ve saved the world – was intriguing, and I’d happily read more novels along these lines.
What I've been doing:
It feels like only last week that it was too hot to climb, and now I'm already wondering if it's time to get the heated chalk bag back out. I've resisted so far, but its time will come any day now...
I’ve made the most of all the lovely dry weather and long summer days, and was able to take some time off to enjoy the mountains locally. I was really disappointed that a planned September trip to the Alps had to be cancelled, but there’s so many routes to enjoy up here that it’s difficult to be too sad about it (although I am, of course, devastated to have missed out on all the croissants and baguettes). After two years battling with long covid, it’s great to feel like I’m finally getting some climbing fitness back. I'm not quite ready to be done with summer (even though this one feels like it's gone on forever), and I'm still just about managing to squeeze in a couple of hours of sport climbing after work before the light goes!