Monthly Archives: October 2011

National Novel Writing Month, Bristol

November is a hop, skip and a jump away which means so is National Novel Writing Month. 30 days of writing 1667 words a day in order to complete a 50,000 word novel. It doesn’t have to be a quality piece of work. It can be anything and I’ve heard of people getting to the end by typing potato every other word. No matter. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel then this is the time to join in with millions of other people around the world.

If you live in Bristol and Bath then there are plenty of real world meet-ups and chats going on as well. Check out the Bristol and Bath forum or your own regional branch. Come join us – it’s fun.

I am taking part for the seventh time and you can find me on the site as Josiekin or on Twitter as @stillawake.

NaNo in a Nutshell

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by the NaNo web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Where: You write wherever you’d like. On your computer, on your iPad, on a typewriter—anywhere is fine, just as long as you’re writing!

Bristol Write-Ins: Every Thursday from 6pm and every Sunday from 2pm in the Watershed throughout November.
Bath Write-Ins: The first one is from 5pm at the Green Park Brasserie in Bath on Tuesday.

Giveaway Winners

The giveaways have now been closed and after 80 entries there have been three winners.

The winners have been contacted and will be receiving Full Dark, No Stars, First Among Sequels and Something Rotten respectively.

Thanks everyone and thanks Leeswammes for making it all such a great success.

Literary Blog Hop – October 15 to 19

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop


Welcome to the Literary Blog Hop hosted by Leeswammes.

The Ephemeral Digest is one of around 50 blogs taking part in a giveaway extravaganza that will last until October 19. Each blog is giving away at least one book and most will deliver worldwide so take a look. You do not need to have a blog yourself.

I am giving away two books. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (new) and First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde (gently read).

To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment telling me which book would be your first choice. I will post worldwide.

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Devouring Texts
  3. The Book Whisperer
  4. Seaside Book Nook
  5. The Scarlet Letter (US only)
  6. Rikki’s Teleidoscope
  7. Bibliosue
  8. Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
  9. The Book Diva’s Reads
  10. Gaskella
  11. Lucybird’s Book Blog
  12. Kim’s Bookish Place
  13. The Book Garden
  14. Under My Apple Tree
  15. Helen Smith
  16. Sam Still Reading
  17. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  18. Ephemeral Digest
  19. Bookworm with a View
  20. The Parrish Lantern
  21. Dolce Bellezza
  22. Lena Sledge Blog
  23. Book Clutter
  24. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (US only)
  25. The Blue Bookcase
  26. Book Journey (US only)
  27. The House of the Seven Tails (US only)
  28. In One Eye, Out the Other (US only)
  29. Read, Write & Live
  30. Fresh Ink Books
  1. Living, Learning, and Loving Life (US only)
  2. Bibliophile By the Sea
  3. Laurie Here Reading & Writing Reviews
  4. Amy’s Book World (US only)
  5. Teadevotee
  6. Joy’s Book Blog
  7. Word Crushes (US only)
  8. Thinking About Loud!
  9. Kinna Reads
  10. Sweeping Me
  11. Minding Spot (US only)
  12. Babies, Books, and Signs (US only)
  13. Lisa Beth Darling
  14. Tony’s Reading List
  15. SusieBookworm (US only)
  16. Tell Me A Story
  17. Close Encounters with the Night Kind
  18. Nerfreader
  19. Mevrouw Kinderboek (Netherlands, Belgium)
  20. Boekblogger (Netherlands)
  21. In Spring it is the Dawn
  22. No Page Left Behind
  23. Elle Lit

The Lahloo Pantry, Clifton

If any place was suited to host a fine dining experience in tea then it was meant to be Clifton and it could only be from Lahloo Tea.

The premises of what used to be Thaiphoon have been transformed into a light and open establishment set over three levels. There are seats upstairs and downstairs while just past the entrance there is a bench full of freshly baked cakes, scones and salads. Tarts, salads, eggs and cinnamon buns are all made in the little kitchen downstairs and there is a toaster available for some self-service snacks.

Scones I

A bookcase is filled with jams made on the premises: strawberry and vanilla; lemon, grapefruit and orange; and cherry and ginger. Most importantly, there is a menu dedicated to the excellent loose leaf tea which varies from herbal, green and includes a Bristol Brew.

The highlight of my two visits so far has included the honey matcha latte made with soy milk (£3) and a cheese scone served with ricotta creme fraiche and chilli jam. Indeed, the latter also produced one of my saddest moments there, as I finished the scone while I still had chilli jam left but nothing on which to eat it.

Matcha Latte

On the last visit, my friend Matt ordered the banana bread which was served with a rich looking, almost orange in colour, butter. Enjoy some of his pictures.


Lahloo, 12 Kings Road, Clifton, Bristol

Let’s Get Creative

Finding activities on offer in Bristol is not difficult, Bristol classified ads are crammed full of classes, workshops and lessons. So this month get creative and take part in some of these exciting programmes.

Worlds In A Box (Saturday, 15th October)

The Bristol Drawing School is putting on a unique event for the over 8s. During the daylong class budding artists will learn to create a layered paper and card dream box. The pupils will be encouraged to use their imagination to create this world in a box, bringing home with them a masterpiece created from paper and colouring pens. The class will be led by Rose Popay, who will guide the children through the creation of this mini world whilst exploring the classes’ favourite things.

Bring with you:

  • Pictures of your favourite things and some boxes

More information:

  • Tickets cost £35 pounds and the class will take place from 10am – 4pm
  • For more information call 0117 906 7601 or have a look at

Creative Writing (Tue 25 Oct)

For the creative adults out there, The Writing Edge is putting on workshops for all the budding novelists out there. The supportive group aim to cherish and nourish your words, and help them come out onto the page. Whether you are new to the scene or have been jotting down tales for years, everyone is welcome.

The workshop aims to provide an environment which will help your musings transform into words, and it is not all about being published. Bring a pen, paper and enthusiasm; you will be scribbling away in no time.

More information:

  • The Writing Edge ask for donations of £3.50 or more
  • The workshop is held at The Pierian Centre on Portland Square
  • Classes run from 7:30pm–9pm
  • For more information contact or visit
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A series of leaps


A Bristolian leap