September 2021 Favourites

Summer is lovely (not that we got much of it,) but there is something I love about the autumn, about how the colour of the leaves change, having a reason to get the warm jumpers out and sitting listening to the rain whilst snuggled up inside.

September was, for me, a little bit of a blur. Having not had a great month in terms of my mental health, finding things that occupied my mind became very important.

So, I have some favourites to share with you.

My first favourite is No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. OK, this isn’t technically a ‘new’ favourite but it’s a book I’ve heavily been consulting during the past month as I begin to prepare for National Novel Writing Month 2021 which is in 26 days. Eeek!

This book, in my opinion, should be in everyone’s list when getting organised for NaNoWriMo. From developing characters to giving me a week by week guide through the weeks of November, this book won’t leave my side. Anyone else taking part this year? My user name is Laura Parish if anyone wants to be buddies.

It was really hard to pick a favourite book from the month of September. The ones I have read were all so good.

Jane’s Away by Clare Hawken made it to the top spot. It was such an interesting, compelling and unique take on the spouse leaving and Roger goes through quite a transformation. It’s a great novel.
Here’s the blurb and you can read my full review here.

Roger Kurmudge is rather smug about his affluent life and happy marriage.

It’s just as well his wife, Jane, is totally in the dark about what he got up to in the past. But on his retirement day, Jane disappears. Roger’s about to panic. Will he have to sell some shares or – heaven forbid! – the house in Bordeaux to pay a ransom demand? Worse – has Jane discovered his guilty secret?

Then Jane’s emails start arriving. Take the dog to the vet. Look after grandson Alfie for the day. Do the washing, shopping and cooking. Host Christmas for the family. Roger doesn’t know why Jane’s gone but he’s sure he can manage her ‘women’s work’ without any trouble. Although it’s harder than it looks.

As the weeks go by and Jane stays away, Roger is forced to re-examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his life and himself. But even if Roger can change for the better, will Jane ever come back? Or has she, too, been keeping secrets of her own?

My TV favourite for last month is a show called Miracle Workers, based on a book by Simon Rich.

I came across a clip of this show when I’d fallen down one of my many You Tube rabbit holes and immediately wanted to watch more. For anyone who has watched it, it was the clip from series three, in the bar, with one of the characters singing.

We ended up binge watching all three seasons in one go. It’s an anthology, with the same actors but a different story each season.

It stars Daniel Radcliffe who incidentally, is one of my favourite actors. In season one, he works for Heaven Inc as a low level angel called Craig. He, with his new colleague, Eliza, work in the department of unanswered prayers. His boss, God, played by Steve Buscemi, is ready to move onto his next project; a restaurant with a difference. Craig and Eliza must work quickly to answer a seemingly impossible prayer. The second series focuses on a small village in the Dark Ages and series three, the Oregon Trail. It’s a fun show and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I loved it. You can currently watch all three series on Sky if you fancied it.

One of the best parts of September was that my husband and I were able to get to the cinema for the first time in about 18 months.

We went to see Free Guy.

I must admit, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I love Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer but I wasn’t sure I was going to like the premise, with it being based around a shooter type video game. I was so wrong. It was a funny, heartwarming movie with a lovely message. It’s a typical Ryan Reynolds film and I loved it. I also hadn’t realised how much I had missed the experience of the cinema.

My favourite You Tube channel last month was one called Every Tuesday.

Since getting my iPad a couple of years ago, I have tried to improve my drawing skills (I have a lot of room for improvement. OK.. I can’t actually draw but I try and that’s the main thing right?)

Out of all the tutorial type channels I’ve discovered, Every Tuesday has quickly become a favourite.

I’ve particularly liked her weekly tutorials recently as she’s moved onto the autumn themed illustrations. They are all so beautiful and her videos are very easy to follow, especially if you’re a beginner to digital illustration and apps like Procrete.
If this is something you’re interested in, here’s Teela’s channel.

Finally, my last September favourite are actually two apps, Skillshare and Masterclass.

It was my interest in wanting to learn how to draw that initially drew me to the Skillshare app. However, there is so much more available, from Writing, to Photography, to Leadership and Management. I love it.

I was drawn to the Masterclass app mainly because of Margaret Atwood. I am finding her class so helpful but, like Skillshare, there’s classes covering many things including writing, cooking and acting.

What have you enjoyed through September?


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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