New School Term, New Start – taking a look back over the summer

by | Sep 13, 2015

When the children go back to school, it feels like the start of a new year. It’s the beginning of a new phase and a great time to get back on track with anything that you’ve gotten out of the habit of doing over the summer months. For me, that means working on my manuscript, as I’ve been busy right through the summer with all my other writing work.

There’s an element of getting back in to the routine that I really look forward to. Monday and Friday mornings I normally reserve for my fiction writing. I’ve had to shove them aside during July and August, so I’m looking forward to starting that part of my routine up again. One thing I won’t miss about the kids being back at school is the restriction of the school day. Doesn’t 3pm come around quickly? I’m always amazed when it gets to that time of day and I have to park whatever I’m doing and head off to the school gates.

The six weeks of school holidays were by no means quiet, but somehow went by in a blur. I’m summarising my last few weeks in #LittleLoves style:


Reading list - Nikki Young Writes

When I got my hands on some proof copies of just-published fiction work, I had an instant summer reading list. Having just finished the third, I’ve managed to review all three on my blog and would recommend them all. Click on the titles to read my reviews:

The Dust That Falls From Dreams – Louis de Berniere

In Bitter Chill – Sarah Ward

The Boston Girl – Anita Diamant


I was so proud to watch my middle daughter shine as a narrator in a performance of Cinderella during the holidays. She did a week long drama workshop that culminated in two performances at our local theatre. The children did an amazing job, not least considering that they learnt the whole musical in one week.

I also had the pleasure of watching her and my younger son perform in an abridged version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, following a two-day workshop. It’s the first time that my son has ever done any drama and he played Mike Teevee with gusto!

My eldest didn’t want to join in either of these events, just in case you’re wondering why I’ve left her out!

Another thing I ‘watched’ over the summer was a moonlight parade of the Battle of Flowers in Jersey. This was such an amazing spectacle of fantastic floats, music and dancing and well worth standing around and freezing our butts off to see. If you’re ever in Jersey, mid August, you should check it out and if you think that the island might not be of interest to you, read my blog post about it. It might just change your opinion (not that I’m biased, but I love that island).


I went shopping with my daughter on our last day together before she started secondary school (she started a day later than the other two). We had a lovely day and I tried not to dwell on the fact that it was an end-of-an-era moment, but starting secondary school, my baby? How did that happen? Like I said, I tried not to dwell on that (unsuccessfully). I did manage to pick out a few outfits for work though. What do you think:

Nikki Young Writes

On the positive, it’s such a different experience spending time with a tween than it is with the younger ones. She really has become more like a friend than a daughter. Long may that continue!


As much as I like her, I feel that I cannot get away from hearing Jess Glynne at the moment. Every time I make a journey in the car, one of her songs comes on. Every time I go into a shop, there you go again. Fair play to the girl, she’s flying high right now and she is amazing. I just hope I don’t get fed up of her work. There’s such a thing as overkill you know. That said, my summer anthem of 2015 has to be ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’.


I didn’t do much baking over the summer, but my favourite makes I blogged about over on A Free From Life were this one pot Bircher Muesli

One pot Bircher muesli - Nikki Young Writes

and a courgette and carrot loaf.

Courgette and carrot loaf - Nikki Young Writes

Both are gluten and dairy free, the first being a handy, take-to-work breakfast and the second a satisfying after school treat.

And lastly…

Like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s time for me to knuckle down with the manuscript again. I’m editing and working specifically on the first three chapters at the moment. My dream would be to find an agent who wants to work with me to get the story to a publishable state (yeah I know, doesn’t every writer?). I may be biased, but I love my story. My teenage self is a little bit in love with my protagonist, Jake and my current self wants to mother him.

I’m also looking towards November, which is National Novel Writing Month and an excuse to have a bit of fun working on something different. If there’s ever a time for a writer to get motivated, that is your month.

To the autumn…



  1. Marija Smits

    I love ‘the new year’ in September too – and it’s a big one for me this year as my youngest has just now started school. Sob! Thanks for the book recommendations and I think all your outfits look fab on you. Love the look of the carrot and courgette cake too. Yum! 🙂

  2. butwhymummywhy

    The work outfits are fantastic. It’s bizarre but I do miss dressing for work now that I work from home!
    That carrot and courgette cake looks yum, I really must do more baking xx


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