Thursday 31 December 2009

Happy New Year to All in Blogland!!!!

No, I still don't believe it - I know I keep saying this, but it can't be the end of 2009, let alone the end of the "noughties", can it? It doesn't seem five minutes ago that we were doing the New Millennium stuff - remember having to stock the cupboards with enough food to last a lifetime and waiting for your computer to crash forever because civilization as we knew it was going to come to an end at midnight on New Year's Eve 1999? How can that be 10 years ago???

But it was, and here we are, somehow just about to go into Twenty-Ten. I hope it's happy and peaceful and brings you everything you need/want/hope for. I'm not big on resolutions (never manage to keep them, then always feel guilty and even more of a failure), but I do always feel sort of energised at this time of the year. I've got my new (Jersey) calendar ready to put on the wall in front of the desk and my new diary (really pretty - pink with hippie flowers) poised by the keyboard, and a list of writing projects in my pristine Pukka Pad to tackle once Midnight Feast - er, The Way To A Woman's Heart - is finished, waiting beside the computer. Today I'm itching to get on with writing again, and can only hope the itch lasts longer than my erstwhile resolutions...

2009, against all the odds, has been a lovely year for me. After a dire and dreadful 2008 I held out no hopes at all, but what with Elle and The Doctor's wonderful wedding (and subsequent blissfully happy marriage), and The Toyboy Trucker's exam successes and promotion (I still miss the jeans and T-shirt and boots and heady whiff of diesel though...) and the fun of making the Writers Bureau telly advert, and getting a new two-book deal with Piatkus, and my books selling so well in Germany and therefore giving me a regular income, and none of the cats dying - what more could I ask for? We're happy and healthy. We've got a cosy, comfortable home, enough food to eat, loads of great friends, no real worries, and an okay future. I know I'm lucky. Very. If 2010 is half as good I'll be delighted.

So, no resolutions - but a real intention to write, write, write in 2010 - and keep writing. Because I'm lucky there, too. I'm published. It was my hopeless dream for so long that I'll never, ever take it for granted.

Enough of the sentimental waffling then - just want to say a huge thank you to all my blogland friends for being brilliant - and again, whatever you want in 2010 I hope you achieve it with bells and whistles and fireworks and fanfares of celestial trumpets. I'll raise a glass of fizz to you all at midnight as me and The Toyboy Trucker scamper around the terrace with Shaz and Dave, Nikki and Memphis, Vee and the kids, Wilf, Maudie and Jerome, and Nancy - and wish you everything that you wish yourselves.

Oh, yes - and there's just one more little selfish wish - MOONSHINE is published three weeks today and I really, really hope that people buy it and read it, and more importantly, like it - because I do...

Happy New Year - and THANK YOU!!!!

Monday 28 December 2009

Winter Wonderland

I hope everyone had a magical Christmas. I was going to post about mine but decided other people's Christmases (much like other people's children) are interesting only to those closely involved. Suffice it to say, it was great - way, way better than last year's when I was skint (through not reading my contract), as this year I'd done the (unusual for me) b-thing and Budgeted!

Elle and The Doctor were here, the outlaws weren't, friends came from all over the place - and we had a lovely, lovely time. And that's about as much as I feel I should bore you with. So, for this post-Christmas pre-New Year blog I thought I'd post some pretty festive pics of last week's wonderfully seasonal weather instead...

It does go to prove that a heavy snowfall can transform even the most mundane landscape into something completely sublime. Our estate (council) and the terrace (basic) and the green (pretty but functional) were suddenly turned into images of Larkrise-to-Cranford-cum-Disney-via-every-Dickensian-Christmas-card-scene ever published... I took all these from our house in a state of childish excitement (not a new emotion for me, I must admit) at the sight of Proper Snow.

Fortunately The Toyboy Trucker eventually arrived home late on Christmas Eve after two weeks away battling through the ice, snowdrifts, and disgruntled unfestive customers who'd ordered their Christmas presents on t'internet and expected them to arrive the same way - i.e. through the ether without the interference of lots of Real People, Real Vehicles, and Diabolical Weather Conditions. When he got here it was like one of those heartwarming 1940s films with Daddy making it home just in time for Christmas... it was really romantic and old-fashioned and just - well - lovely...

And now, according to the weather forecast, we're going to have a snowy, arctic re-run for the New Year. Great for me being snug and warm and happily typing. Great for the cats all snug and warm and hogging the radiators/fires/beds. Not so great for The Toyboy Trucker and everyone else out there working to keep the country ticking over. Thinking of you - you're all stars.

Oh, and here's to an amazing, safe, happy, successful and peaceful 2010 - just in case I don't blog again in 2009 (no sorry - still can't believe it's over - where did it go???)

Happy New Year!!!

Monday 7 December 2009


This year (and where did it go??? How can it be nearly Christmas already???) my writing has been a bit - well - sluggish. I seem to have spent half the year completing, editing, copy editing, proof-reading Moonshine - and the remainder writing Midnight Feast (okay, The Way To A Woman's Heart) which is nearly finished now and is going okay and I still like it. But there's been no ooomph. No fizzing of new ideas. No exciting new plots fighting to be heard. No avalanche of brilliant stories simply itching to see the light of day or computer screen. Just a sort of becalmed, day-to-day "must get this finished" sort of doldrummy feeling. Until now.

Now, out of the blue, I've got more ideas than I know what to do with. How weird is that? Goodness knows if they're any good - but where on earth did they come from? Suddenly I've got the titles and opening paragraphs for a dozen short stories (and to my shame, I haven't written ONE short story this year), the next novel in the Hazy Hassocks series has sort of popped, fully-formed, into my head when I least expected it to, two more are buzzing about, and even more odd - I've suddenly got an idea for an entire new series for a genre of novels (Young Adult) that I've never even thought about before.

I've had weeks - nay months - this year when I'd have killed for one original idea, just a single even vaguely interesting new plotline. Weeks and weeks when I've sat and doodled and given myself brain-ache (and a feeling of palm-sweating terror) wondering if this was the end of the creative road. And let's face it, if I don't make my living from writing we're doomed to the eternal breadline because I'm definitely unemployable. Now for some unknown reason, I don't know which novel and/or short story to start on next - well, when TWTAWH is finished and delivered at least.

This has NEVER happened to me before. I've never been one of those writers who claims they'll be dead before they've written all the stonking novels they've got planned. Never had more ideas than I know what to do with. Never ecstatically started A New Book within a nano-second of the last one leaving the computer. For me, each book or short story becomes more difficult to write because I'm so sure it's all been done/said/written before - and probably much, much better...

Of course, being realistic, half these ideas are probably rubbish and will possibly never develop into anything saleable - but oooh, it's so lovely to have them. It's like going back to the early days of being a writer when everything was all shiny and new and my enthusiasm knew no bounds. Back to the days of being all starry-eyed about being published - and I LOVE it!