Sunday, 18 January 2009

Open Invitation


This is Lord Ganesh. Ganesh is the Hindu elephant god who is The Remover of Obstacles, The Bringer of All Good Things, The Master of Intellect and Wisdom - and he also has a very sweet tooth. I love Ganesh - The Doctor gave me a tiny Ganesh to sit by my computer - and I think the vibrant colours and gilding and glitz and sparkle are fantastic. Also, Ganesh features heavily in Elle and The Doctor's wedding (hence today's subject line)and will also feature later in today's post.

Anyway, because I've incorporated Ganesh into my own personal hotch-potch of beliefs, I've decided to forget all the whingeing of the past few weeks (sorry for inflicting it on you too - but this is my Dear Diary let-off-steam safety valve) - after all, there are millions of people worse off, we've still got jobs, and I've been through far more worrying times in my chequered writing career - and wallowing in self-pity isn't going to help anyone, especially me. So, in this new state of enthusiasm and optimism, I've written two and a bit chapters of Moonshine since Thursday (it's now Sunday - I think...).

I'm not sure if they're good chapters but I'm not going down the old route of re-reading them now and tweaking and messing about with them so that by NEXT Thursday I'll still have only written two and a bit chapters... By the end of today I intend to have turned that *bit* into a third chapter and started a fourth. Ho-ho-ho!

I did start writing two chapters at once (I have two separate viewpoint characters in Moonshine - Cleo and Elvi - and was giving them a chapter each) but I got into a bit of a muddle so I might have to abandon that plan... And, being me, and despite KNOWING that all I should be doing is writing Moonshine I've been sidetracked by a) Woman's Weekly and b) the wedding stuff.

One of my backlogged emails was from Woman's Weekly asking if I could do a long/short story (around 5,000 words) for their Fic Spec. So, yesterday and last night and very early this morning I did and I've just sent it. No - I know I shouldn't have, BUT my thinking here was that if I wrote it and sent it WW *might* just love it and buy it which would bring in more money to shore up the bank while I'm writing Moonshine. And also, if a magazine actually asks for something you should produce it pdq unless you're dead because if you don't then they'll find someone else who can deliver and probably never ask you again... So, Take Your Partners is winging its way to WW as we speak and I have my fingers tightly crossed.

And the wedding stuff - well, yes, I also wasted valuable Moonshine time by sending out the invitations. Elle and The Doctor wanted to stick with the tradition of the bride's parents sending the invites, so The Toyboy Trucker and I were delighted to oblige. In my day, according to the wedding etiquette books, you sent out the invitations a maximum of 6 weeks before the Big Day. Now apparently, because everyone has such busy lives, it has to be three months beforehand to make sure everyone leaves a window - so they went yesterday...

Elle and The Doctor are financing the wedding themselves (phew!) - although of course we will chip in with a bit of help as soon as the bank account is back in the black (again - thank Ganesh and God for PLR!) - and they had the invitations designed and made in India. They're absolutely stunning in scarlet linen with masses of sparkly jewels on them and a really cute Ganesh sitting at the top. The invitations will, I hope, indicate to those far-flung friends and family who receive them and who have not yet had the immense pleasure of meeting The Doctor (yes, he is - a doctor and Indian - oh, and absolutely gorgeous), that this isn't going to be a totally conventional wedding...

It's going to be a half-and-half celebration, with some traditional English stuff and a lot of Indian things too (like the two meals: the wedding breakfast straight after the service and champagne reception is going to be traditional sit-down Western, while the evening meal is a full-blown Eastern feast - and the music - they're having a harpist for the ceremony, and a rock band and a bangra band for the evening shindig). The service itself is completely non-denominational (the stately home has done a lot of half-and-half weddings so they were fine with that) and the chapel will be all white and flowery and Western, but the rest of the decor is going to be mostly Hindu - which I LOVE because it means loads and loads of colour and candles and lights and really beautiful flamboyant gorgeous fabrics - with a huge splash of Bollywood thrown in for good measure.... Sorry - getting carried away a bit - but I'm SO looking forward to it...

Now down to earth - oh, speaking of which - we did have a bit of excitement here last night. In the middle of the storm (storm? it was a flipping tempest!) while the roof was being ripped off our shed and everyone's garden furniture was flying through the air, one of the trees in the little wood at the end of the terrace (next to Nancy's house) was blown down. It was a mature tree, a good twenty-foot silver birch (shame), and crashed right across the road. It was so lucky that no-one and nothing was anywhere near it - and no damage was caused except to the poor tree. As our roads here are single track, we all rushed out - the noise was incredible and terrifying, like a tower block collapsing - and tried to move it. Of course we couldn't - so the police closed the road, and at the moment we're cut off from the rest of the village while the fire brigade (yay!) and a crane hack and haul the poor tree out of the road...

I will now drag myself away from the window and get on with Moonshine. I will... I will... I will...

26 comments:

Suzanne said...

I sounds like it's going to be a lovely wedding.

Glad the police closed the road - we (my daughter and I on the school run) hit a tree that had blown across the road last year. It's a scary experience.

Claire said...

I hope Ganesh, Bringer of Good Things sees it in his job description to bring you some more pennies! Although two and a bit chapters since Thursday is mighty productive and I'm sure Moonshine will be a big hit. The wedding sounds like a blast too, especially the non-convential bit - love it! x

Christina Jones said...

Suzanne - I think it's going to be the best wedding EVER - but then I am slightly biased... Oh, you poor things - hitting a tree - you were so lucky not to be badly hurt - you weren't were you???. I was amazed how HUGE this tree was when it had fallen - absolutely massive - somehow it just looked tiny and slender when it was upright. Scary stuff indeed.

Claire - thanks so much. I'm hoping Ganesh might work a bit of fiscal magic too... And if he's got some left over for making Moonshine write itself...

Suzanne said...

Sorry, meant 'it sounds'... (still half asleep - Sunday syndrome)...

No, we weren't hurt - just shocked...and very lucky.

:-)

Mummy said...

Wow - the wedding sounds like it will be just fantastic!!! I can't wait to see the photographs! What a treat you have in store for all your guests!

The tree sounds very scary! I often have to broadcast about fallen trees and it's easy to forget how dangerous they can be.

We have a ganesh in our house too - we love him. I hope he can work some of his magic on Moonshine for you. I hope the short story comes up trumps too! Lots of love - now back work with you! xx

Debs said...

The best wedding I ever went to was when my friend married her indian boyfriend. They had the marriage service at Gorey Castle (so fab!), then on to a massive marquee in a field up in St Mary's somewhere.

I've never seen such beautiful, or colourful decorations, it was utterly glorious. The music was amazing and R & I had a ball.

Best of luck with Moonshine and MW story too. x

Christina Jones said...

Suzanne - I didn't even notice - just read it as it - does that make sense? Nah - thought not - and so pleased you weren't hurt!

Mummy - the wedding is going to be very pretty if nothing else - as you know I'm a sucker for bright colours so will be in my element... Will probably post photos for YEARS afterwards. Hope your Ganesh works for you too - and now I'm going back to work - honest!

Mummy said...

Good good! Go on - off with you!! PS how many words do you aim at for a chapter??!!!

Christina Jones said...

Mummy - I AM working - promise... I usually have anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 words a chapter but I never count them. I just know if I've got 10 double spaced typed pages then that's the min and okay - and if it goes to 20 then that's too long...

Debs - That wedding sounds fantastic - do hope ours is half as good. I wish Elle and The Doctor were getting married at Gorey Castle! Any excuse to be back in Jersey... But Heythrop Hall is a pretty amazing venue too - and the Bollywood touches will do it for me everytime!

katiebird said...

The wedding plans sound both beautiful and pretty -- I hope we'll get to see some photos. I like the idea of sending out the invitations 3 months in advance over the recent American custom of sending out Save-the-Date cards at the 3 month point.

I got one of those last summer and had no idea who the people were! It was from my mom's best friend's grandson's fiance's parents. I vaguely knew that Shirley's grandson was getting married and certainly planned on going to the wedding but, I'd never seen a Save-the-Date card before so the whole thing was totally confusing! It all worked out perfectly though.

It was a half-and-half wedding too (1/2 Catholic & 1/2 Muslim) which I thought was interesting and nice.

Chris, I'm so glad things are looking up (crossing my fingers that the magazine story is accepted)

We had a storm much like yours about 2 weeks ago (in Kansas) -- The wind was so fierce it felt like the house (a mostly brick house) could blow over! I've never been so scared just-wind (Tornadoes, of course, scare me to death)

They say those things move all around the world. Do you think your storm could be the same one we had? I kind of like the idea of a weather link binding us all together....

(running off to find a little Lord Ganesh of my own)

Mummy said...

Good good :) Thank you (((HUGS)))

Christina Jones said...

katiebird - Save-the-Date certainly sounds confusing - but the wedding itself sounded fabulous - mmm 1/2 catholic and 1/2 muslim must have been interesting!
We always say that we get your weather straight across the Atlantic so the storm that blew in so suddenly last night could certainly have been the tail end of yours. I like the idea of "shared weather" too! Kansas though - oh my! REAL Wizard of Oz twister stuff there then!

Margaret McDonagh said...

Great news about the amount of Moonshine you've achieved since Thursday - well done. And you know what they say ... it's easier to change a bad page than a blank one. Not that I can imagine you ever writing anything bad. Have crawled on at a slower pace than you but am also trying hard to go forward and not spend the usual amount of time faffing over a comma! I know you know what I mean!!!

Excellent about the WW story, too. Well done for getting that done so quickly - I hope they send the money by return!

And as for the wedding!!! Oh, I am so very excited and thrilled to bits, especially for Elle and The Doctor who are so wonderful and so deserve their happiness together. It's amazing how the time has flown and the wedding is rushing closer and closer. It sounds amazing, you are going to have such a brilliant day and I will be with you in spirit and longing to hear all about it.

Have a great writing week and long may Ganesh bring you good things.

Much love,
Mags xxxx

Christina Jones said...

Mags - am cheering you on with your deadline too. Am also trying to put the wedding excitement on the back burner until Moonshine at least looks a bit more like a book and less like a short story - eeek!
So far writing week has been two hours at the vet with Lennox this morning - not a comma faffed with yet! - and as she's having an op now, probably nothing more will be done until I know she's okay...

Lesley Cookman said...

Why didn't I know you had a blog? Well, I'm here now, and so pleased you're feeling better. Scary about the tree, but the wedding sounds wonderful, and I definitely have to have a Ganesh. I have got a little buddha which came back from India with late dh's parents (he was born there0, and I occasionally rub his tummy.

Moonshine, I sympathise. I have to write another 30,000 words by Feb 28th when the mss is due. It'll be cr*p, too.

Hello, Mags! Nice to see you, too.

Christina Jones said...

Lesley - lovely to see you here. I didn't broadcast about blogging because at first I thought it'd just be self-centred rubbish - but it's sort of developed quite nicely into a mixture of reality and writing and it now keeps me sane(ish)! Good luck with your 30,000 words by the end of Feb (and they won't be crap! Your books are brill and keep me going in the bad times!) - I might just finish Moonshine at the end of Feb, which would have been a much more sensible deadline...

Lesley Cookman said...

Perhaps we should try and beat each other to it - except I've never been very competitive. However, you have prompted me to update my blog, which I last did on December 9th. Any comments welcome!

Lyn McCulloch said...

Hi Chris, Didn't reaise you blogged. I must get out and about around the net more! Didn't realise you'd been having such a rough time either. Hope 2009 is a better one. I'm excited 'cos Happy Birthday arrived this morning and I have a train journey to London tomorrow so I've got all that lovely time to enjoy it. Take care of yourself and love to TBT!

Christina Jones said...

Lesley - will now visit your blog! Glad I've been handy for something! No, I'm not remotely competitive either, but maybe we could join with Mags (also in deadline hell) and form a sort of mutual encouragement society???

Lyn - lovely to hear from you - and oh THANK YOU for buying the elusive Happy Birthday. Really, really hope you'll enjoy it. I didn't go public with the blog because I just wanted to see if anyone would find it/read it - but it's been a lifesaver for me in the down times - of which there are going to be a lot less in 09 - so there!!!!

Margaret McDonagh said...

Chris, I cannot believe that anyone could read Happy Birthday and not absolutely adore it.

Hi, Lesley, glad to hear you are doing so well. Chris and I are deadline buddies - again! We were here this time last year when Chris was Happy Birthdaying and I was struggling with awkward Annie, who had featured in a couple of books as a secondary character and was lovely and who turned into a right madam when she got her own book!!

No competition involved, just mutual support and encouragement. Good luck with your deadline. And you, Chris, I know you can do it. But no way am I going to make mine at this rate!

Much love,
Mags xxxx

PS - Hope Lennox is convalescing well after Monday.

SamMakeup said...

Ooooo Chris, I didn't know you blogged!

Was about to email you via your site to have a catch up, and here you are! superstar blogger!

Sounds like the back end of last year was a bit of a mare, although it seems its looking up already!

Just wanted to say thanks for Happy Birthday! I pre ordered an HB copy from a certain high street stationery type retailer and it took them nearly a month to get it to me, despite asking for speedy delivery!

It did however arrive in perfect time for me to take to hospital when I got rushed in to have my son prematurely! While they tried to keep him in me for a bit longer, your book kept me sane!

I'm still heavily promoting you on my forum, we've currently got a 'books to recommend' thread going on, so you're in there too!

take care of you and those gorgeous cats!

Sam and Fennel, who's as usual, draped across my computer!

Christina Jones said...

Sam - great to see you here - and thanks so much for everything you've done now and in the past to promote and support me - you are a true star and I really appreciate it! Congrats on the birth of your son too. Thrilled to bits that HB kept you sane in hospital but not all surprised that you had difficulty getting hold of a copy - it seems to have been the same for everyone - sigh!!!

Mags - you and me both on not making the deadline. Tomorrow I shall bite the bullet and tell the publishers it is an impossibility -I need another four weeks to make up for the four I lost - then just stand back and take the flak. Lennox is absolutely fine thank you. The bank balance isn't...

mememememeee said...

Hello! I can't beleive that I have taken so long in discovering that you have a blog! A little introduction-my name is Roshni and I am a 21 year old Uni student. I have been reading your books for a while now and am so excited to get my hands on Happy Birthday (I ban myself from reading fiction in Uni because if I do I read nothing else).

I am going to make my way through your archives (eventually) but I was attracted to this entry first because of the picture of Lord Ganesh. As an Indian I have been to many traditional Indian weddings and I always get excited when I hear of a fusion. It is going to be amazing! The best bits of two worlds :)

I love wedding invitations (they have to be one of the best bits for me, but that's because it's not actually me getting married ;) LOL) but I have to ask; since you sent the invitations because of tradition, did you also have the men in the family address each invitation?

And what are you going to wear? Please say you are going to wear a sari!!

Christina Jones said...

me x 5 - lovely to see you here and thanks so much for the intro and even more for liking the books!!! Good luck with uni - and hope you enjoy Happy Birthday. Oh, yes - we had to do the appropriate Indian thing when writing the invites - so yes The Toyboy Trucker had to write them, and the men of the invited couples had to be addressed first (Western trads and etiquette would always put the women first - of course). AND all our Indian guest's replies have come from the men of the family too! I'm learning a lot due to this amazing fusion of cultures. No, I'm not wearing a sari. If Elle had chosen to be married in a sari (and it was discussed and she does wear one to The Doctor's famiy parties) then I'd have loved to wear one too - but I'm wearing a long, fitted, flaring and flouncy scarlet silk flamenco-style dress with a full swishy skirt and loads of net petticoats - oh, and killer heel scarlet satin sandals and a black pashmina and black and red flowers in my hair (was going to be a fascinator but if you read the Mad Hatters post you'll see why I changed my mind!!!).

mememememeee said...

That dress sounds amazing! Anything with red init has my vote. And the shoes!! *drool*

You must post photos :)

Christina Jones said...

me x 5 - Thanks and I'll be posting photos! Oh yes I will!!!!