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I love my little writing bureau
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Sometimes that closed desk hides all manner of chaos…

Today is the last day of my competition for you to win a character named after YOU in my next book. As this prize is all about my novel, I thought I’d give you a quick look around my desk.

It’s actually a writing bureau, which I got from a second hand shop, and I think dates from the 1950s. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, as it’s just so sweet, and tucks rather neatly into the corner of the spare bedroom. I really love things from yesteryear, so this suits me down to the ground.

If you look closely, you’ll spot a little honey-coloured pot sitting on top of the bureau, which is decorated with bees. That’s where I keep my secret stash of sweets or chocolates – sometimes inspiration needs a cheeky sugar boost!

Hanging from the shelf above is another bee-related item, this time a love heart with ‘Queen Bee’ emblazoned across it, and an embroidered honey bee. Why the bee theme? Well, it’s because when my niece was very little, she overheard her mum talking about me, and my sister has always called me ‘B’.

‘Who’s that?’ the little girl asked.

‘I’m talking about your Aunty Barbara. I call her B,’ her mother replied.

‘Buzzy Bee?’ she queried.

From that moment on, I’ve been called Aunty Buzzy Bee by my now all-grown-up niece. It’s a lovely little nickname, and strangely appropriate as I love nature. In fact, you can see that to the left of my desk is a fabulous painting of a dragonfly, which was done for me by my partner. Beside it are lots of books on nature and insects (I have far more downstairs on my bookcases) which I refer to when writing features about wildlife. And the eagle-eyed among you will probably have spotted another dragonfly picture to the right of my desk. Yep, I love dragonflies! Being surrounded by little glimpses of nature helps inspire me sometimes (far more than the chocolates, if I’m honest).

Unlike Ernest Hemingway, I don’t booze whilst writing (perhaps that is where I am going wrong, but if I did I’d have a nose that was redder than Rudolph’s by now). Instead, I’ve usually got a pot of lemon tea on my desk. Paul is really, really good at keeping a steady supply, so I’m very lucky.

One of the many things I love about my bureau is that it makes it easy to stay neat. Everything has its place in the little cubby holes arrayed across the desk. But inevitably, as I write I create a mess, with Post-It note plot reminders strewn here and there, and lists of things I must remember to include at some point. It can look dauntingly chaotic, but when I finish writing for the night, I can close up my little bureau and forget about things util the next day, because they are all tucked away, neat and tidy. It’s a pretty cool writing desk, eh?

  • Can YOU spot today’s Christmas-related reference in this blog? If you can, email it to invisibleauthor@outlook.com to enter my competition – and YOU could have a character named after you in my next novel!

MORE WAYS TO WIN! Three lucky people will have characters named after them in my next novel. They might be a baddie, or a nosy neighbour, they might even be bumped off, who can say, but they could have YOUR name.

To be in with a chance of winning this unique prize, all you have to do is take part in my Christmas countdown search. Every day for a fortnight I’ll be hiding a Christmas-related reference in a post on this blog, or somewhere over on my website www.barbaracopperthwaite.com All you have to do to enter is email me that days’s reference (e.g., I might randomly mention seeing ‘three wise men’) at invisibleauthor@outlook.com

You can enter as many times as you like. The more days you take part, the more entries you’ll accrue – so the greater your chance of winning!

I’m also running similar competitions across Twitter (you can follow me @BCopperthwait) and my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Author BarbaraCopperthwaite) and you’re free to enter those as many times as you like, too.

Over on Facebook, every day for a fortnight I’ll be posting a fun, easy question based either on Christmas, me, or my books. Just ‘like’ the post and leave your (correct!) answer in the comments section, and you’ll be entered into the prize draw. 

Over at Twitter, you simply have to retweet me using the hashtag #FlowersForTheDead. Each retweet is an entry and, again, you can enter as often as you want.

Good luck to everyone! 

* The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve

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