And I've given you a gorgeous bunch of flowers here by way of apology and to show that we're all happy again. We are, aren't we???
So, Blog, I'm going to explain briefly, why you've been left to wander alone and unloved in Blogland since that last rather hurried post in Feb. FIVE months ago! Erk...
You see, Blog, you're supposed to be a happy thing. We've shared some tough times since we've been together, yes, but mainly you've been a source of light relief, something to smile over, maybe even raise a chuckle or a little giggle. And honestly, Blog, life has been a bit well, un-smiley and un-chuckly and un-giggly for ages and it seemed unfair to inflict a whole wodge of - basically - sad crap - on your shoulders. So, I ignored you.
Anyway, life now seems to be on the up - so I'm back and I hope you'll forgive me. The new book - AN ENORMOUSLY ENGLISH MONSOON WEDDING - is finished and with the copy editor. Now, you'll know that this book has been a bit of a trial - not least because when I'd written half of it - about last September - the computer crashed and burned and - gulp - I hadn't saved any of it. Yes, I know I'm useless - no need to rub it in. The boys at PC World did a good job of scraping the residue from the hard-drive but then it all had to be transported to the new computer - and it didn't like it. It just spat at me. And I was rubbish at trying to marry it with the new Word thingy - so I gave up and started writing it again...
Then everyone in the family was ill - I mean mostly hospital-ill - and I should have had a season ticket to that car park! Oh - they're all fine now, thanks, but half my life seemed to be spent in various wards and departments for weeks and I wrote zilch.
Then there were the deaths. Not related to the above paragraph I'm relieved to say. And no details, Blog. But three very good friends, all young, all sudden. Three funerals, three lots of consecutive heartbreak, three lots of grieving, masses and masses of tears - and no writing at all. My heart simply wasn't in it.
So, when I wasn't at hospitals or funerals, I was at the vets. Lexie, with her inoperable intestinal *lump* and Emily with her epilepsy and kidney failure, were backwards and forwards on a daily basis for weeks and weeks and each visit had me in stomach-knots and floods of tears. And I found it hard to write anything at all - let alone something cheerful. Oh, yes - against all odds, both Lexie and Emily are doing well, thanks. In fact they're both in the garden in the sun (do you remember sun?) as I'm typing this, having eaten a good breakfast and look set to carry on for a good while yet - but it's been touch and go for ages... And you know me, Blog, I can never write when the cats are ill.
So, the book was late. Very late. And I panicked - a lot. And worked off-line - again, no time to visit you, or answer emails or anything. And then, even when the book was done, I knew it wasn't great because I was unhappy - and there were rewrites - twice - which scared me because I began to wonder if this poor book, with so many fits and starts, would ever be a) finished and b) any good. I'm very happy to say, Blog, that thanks to a lot of understanding, hard work, careful suggestions and more patience than I'd have had with me, by my lovely editors and agent, AN ENORMOUSLY ENGLISH MONSOON WEDDING has finally turned into the upbeat, romping book I'd always hoped it would be.
So, all the above is really why I've been AWOL for so long. And there was other stuff too - legal stuff, too tedious to mention - but it all ate into my time. It's been one of those years...
However, and with fingers and toes tightly crossed, I'm going to say that I think things are finally getting better. I'm feeling more positive and yes, rather stupidly (?) I've just decided to write four books at the same time. Yes, I know - but I had four ideas that wouldn't leave me alone - so I'm currently writing bits of each one every day. And now the sun's shining (literally and metaphorically) and I'm smiling again. And I'm back with you.
I really, really hope you'll forgive me...
See you again soon - promise, Blog.
lots of love