Monthly Archives: February 2014

What’s in a name?

It was bound to happen at some point. A few days ago somebody who doesn’t know me, but knows I write, asked my name. I hesitated for a second because I realized that I had a choice to make. Because I was in a good mood, I decided to play a game. “Would you like my real name… or my pen name?” This took him by surprise, so I suggested he think about it and let me know. Luckily, he got busy and never gave me his answer. What I really should have done was give him my pen name, of course.

Most of you know me by that pen name, of course: Louise Lindley. I am now two people, with two very different names, two identities and two autographs. So, when faced with this question, what should I do? I guess I’ll have to get used to this double life thing. I’ve already nearly signed my blog replies or comments with my real initials. The closest thing in my life that can be compared to this situation is the fact I am a dual citizen, and therefore I have two passports. However, they are both in the same name, so it doesn’t compare really, I just have to decide which one to use in which country! But, the principle of this still applies and needs consideration. How do people do it? I’m too honest and not a very good liar, so it’s not going to be easy, but then I guess it’s not really lying because I am actually that person, it’s just my business name, right?

Anyway, in a few months’ time my face will be known as Louise Lindley and not… The real me is known by plenty of people who are very excited about my new adventure, and have joked about the fact they knew me before I was famous – ha-ha-ha!! I will always still be me, but when someone I don’t know asks my name I will have a choice to make, do I want to be … the stay at home mum who was once a nurse? Or do I want to be Louise Lindley, the author?

Cool runnings!

Well, I am back in the real world again after almost a week of no phone or Internet. The champagne powder of the British Columbian interior was just as advertised, which meant my two boys had a blast skiing with us as a family (4 years of ski school finally paid off!). Before I was diagnosed with AS, I always thought I would be the cool mum who would climb rocks and lead my boys down the double black diamonds (not very elegantly but who cares!). I’m in pretty good shape after this trip, but these days a blue run is about as much as I could manage. However, I have also got to that humiliating stage of being left for dead by my 7 year old. Yep! We set off at the top of a simple blue run, and I couldn’t catch the monkey! Fine! I thought, as long I can keep him in my sight, it’s ok. But, even more embarrassing was the fact he kept looking back to make sure I was still following, he even admitted this when I finally got to the bottom, out of breath, legs like jelly and my husband laughing out loud at me while praising my son for his awesome skiing… thanks dear I’ll remember that!!

So, I can’t be the cool mum who skis double black diamonds, or climbs rocks, or does other hard core outdoorsy, sporty stuff, but I still drive a Mini with 2 car seats in the back (something I have had a lot of respect for over the last 7 years), and I am going to publish my first novel. In their eyes that still makes me pretty cool!

The Geeky Barista!

He’s there every time I go to my favorite coffee shop. Always greets me with a smile, asks me how I am and knows exactly what to fill my slightly battered personal mug with. The first time he put a heart on the top of my latté and brought it over to me, I thought, ‘Ahh, bless!’ – then he did the same to the old lady on the table next to me! Honestly, I mean I know he’s kind of nerdy looking, not to mention the fact I’m probably old enough to be his mother, but when you get to my age it’s all about whatever gets you through your day, right?

So, on this particular occasion I breeze into the coffee shop, find myself a secluded seat, and get all my ‘stuff’ out. I hand him my mug, we exchange pleasantries, I pay, then return to my seat and open up my laptop to start editing my book. A few minutes later he pops my steamy latté down next to me…
“There you go,” he says.
“Thanks,” I reply, glancing up with a smile.
“Whatcha workin’ on?” he asks.
“Oh, I’m editing my first novel. I just signed a publishing contract and I’m hopefully going to submit the manuscript by the end of the month.”
“WOW!” he says, admiringly, “that’s fantastic, congratulations!”
“Thank you. I’ll have to mention you guys in my acknowledgements, for supplying me with excellent coffee!” I had already thought I would do this anyway.
“That would be great. What kind of novel is it?”
I pause for a second, deciding the best way to respond, bearing in mind he doesn’t look old enough to be out on his own!
“Err, let’s just say it’s not the kind of book you would leave around for your children to read!”
It’s a long time since I’ve seen anyone turn that red in a matter of milliseconds. I’m glad I didn’t give him my usual blunt, straight to the point answer:“erotic fiction!”
“Oh!” was all he could manage as he fiddled with the cloth in his hands and pushed his glasses further onto his nose – even though they hadn’t slipped down!
“That’s why I tuck myself away in the corner?” I explain.
“So you wrote all that stuff in here?” he asks, wide-eyed.
“Yep! Some of it,” I nod.
“Oh, well, good luck with it.” You could now fry an egg on each cheek, poor thing. I am a very bad girl, but he did ask.

Luckily for him it’s a long weekend so I won’t be benefitting from two hours of pre-school Spanish this week. It will be interesting to see what shade he is when I get back from our family ski vacation. And no, I won’t be telling my physio I was skiing, although he’ll be able to tell!

Eats, shoots and leaves!!

Apparently I absolutely need to read this. I have no recollection of being taught grammar and punctuation at school, it is quite possible I was off that week having my leg set in a cast (first attempt at ice skating, only ever been once since and clung to the side the entire time, never again!). All right I know that they will have taught this for more than just a week, and it should have been reinforced throughout my schooling, but I clearly did not retain this information.

My husband is very OCD about this sort of stuff. Honestly, if you’d seen him reading my book the amount of huffing and puffing, eye rolling and sighing was just not true. Since then, bless him, he’s made several desperate and frustrating attempts to teach me the rules. Unfortunately part of my brain my has been pickled by gin, red wine and very expensive prescription drugs! Now what’s left of it is desperately trying to retain 41 years of other useless information.

So, we cut a deal. He would help me publish if I agreed to allow Lynne Truss to teach me what I should have learnt over 30 years ago. And, now that I’ve signed the contract I guess I have to keep my side of deal, especially as it happens to have now made it to the top of my ‘to read’ pile so I now have no excuse not to. However, between you and me, I was hoping to get away with it because now I now have a proper laptop and isn’t that what all those green wavy lines are for?