Since my last entry I've been on a visit to my sister, Barb, who lives in Canada - Victoria on Vancouver Island to be exact. My travel companion was my other sister, Pat, and we all had a great time together. Lots of shopping, sightseeing and enjoying some fabulous meals (not to mention lattes and cheesecake) no wonder we had to pay excess baggage on the way back!

I was barely home before I took off again with my friend, another Pam, for the Southern Writers' Conference at Earnley. Three fabulous cooked meals a day - and who could resist the scrumptious puddings? Not me, that's for sure, so more excess baggage.

Wonderful speakers! Dominic Minghella, who writes Doc Martin and Robin Hood among other things, Caroline Graham, Midsomer Murders, Alan Simpson and Ray Galton, Steptoe and Son, Michella Magorian, Goodnight Mister Tom (which is probably my favourite drama of all time).

The other speaker was an agent - who shall remain nameless because I was less than impressed with a talk that was doom and gloom regarding publishing from start to finish. As this person was talking to an audience which included some extremely well-published authors I treated it as a lot of hot-air and refused to feel discouraged. No one said it was easy to get published, but it's not impossible.

The workshops I attended were great fun and very instructive. I actually came home very buoyed up by the enthusiasm of my fellow members and ever since have been polishing away at the book I had completed just before I left for Canada.

Finally, I am looking forward to publication of Second Best on Friday 31st July 2009 and the book launch at Waterstones in Poole at 6pm on that very day. If it follows that pattern of the last two it will be great fun and all of my favourite people will be there - who knows perhaps you are one of them. I look forward to seeing you there!