An Apology & A Story

Hi there

I have to make an apology, as this week’s post of a review of Room by Emma Donoghue will be delayed until tomorrow, Sunday 22nd June. I’m really sorry for the delay, but I don’t want to present you with something that doesn’t properly explore a book. The point of reviewing is to start discussion – there is no purpose in a post that doesn’t do that properly!

The past couple of days have been pretty busy, which is what has prevented me from finishing up the review properly.
If you’re just interested in the reviews, check back tomorrow – otherwise, here’s a little bit about what I’ve been up to recently.

Part One: A Lovely Evening

Friday evening, along with Fiance, Sister and Parents, I attended the Terry Hetherington Award Ceremony 2013 at the Dylan Thomas Centre, and the launch of this year’s competition anthology Cheval 6, published by Parthian. I was lucky enough to be included in the anthology this year with one of my poems, which I read at the event. What struck me most about the whole evening was how lovely an relaxed an atmosphere there was – comfortable, distinctly Welsh, and teeming with talent. I was honoured just to be included when I heard the other readers introduced – many of them with achievements from lists of other competition rankings, previous publishing credits in Cheval and other anthologies, magazines and journals, to Masters degrees and PhDs following their names.

All in all, we had a wonderful evening, listening to poetry and short story extracts from the book. Once the night ended we wandered back to our hotel and stayed up for a while in the bar chatting over cups of tea / glasses of wine before heading to bed. At about 1am my sister and I stopped chatting and drifted into sleep.

Part Two: A Panicked Night

Our calm slumber didn’t last long, though.

At 2am, the hotel fire alarm went off.

I woke up confused, panicked, and wondering where Fiance was (his room was a fair way down the hall),  Mother woke up confused, panicked and wondering where Father was, and Sister woke up wondering why she was in the corridor… her instant reaction having been to shoot out of bed and look to see if there were any signs of panic from other rooms!

The alarm was switched off pretty quickly, which prompted us to think that it probably was a false alarm – but have you ever been woken from very peaceful sleep by a very loud noise?
I could not calm down enough to return to sleep.

As it turned out, Father went downstairs and talked to the staff, ensuring everything was OK and doing his best not to interfere (since he works with fire alarms often and would have known better than they appeared to how to work the panel); Fiance woke once and then went back to sleep immediately. I stayed awake and wired until about 5.45am, when I drifted into a fitful sleep, and woke again at 7.30.

I hope that makes the fact that I have not finished fine-tuning and editing tomorrow’s review excusable; and I’ll be sure to post it tomorrow.

Hope you are all well – come back tomorrow for a review of Room by Emma Donoghue (London: Picador, 2010)

The DoodleMole

I hope you enjoyed this post – you can find out more about the Terry Hetherington Award at
Let me know in the comments or the Contact form if you’d like to see a review of Cheval 6, the new anthology from the Terry Hetherington Award (I won’t review my own poem of course!)


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