… well somedays you just don’t feel like writing. Not because you have nothing to say, you just don’t feel like it.Then other days you just want to write all day & all night. I don’t think it should be forced, writing for the sake of it is not going to make you a better writer. Write what you want, when you want & how you want, because you are writing for you & nobody else!
WOW! Has it really been 2 years since my first novel was published?
Today my publisher contacted me because they needed to renew the ISBN for each edition of the book. Although it isn’t a number one best seller I still get people asking where they can buy it. I often just give them one from my stash because then I can sign it, which I know is not good for sales but I still maintain it isn’t about the money it’s about the achievement. I renewed the ISBN’s for both paperback & ebook (not the hardcover) if anyone is still interested in helping out a trashy romance writer. In the meantime I’m working on a novel I wrote about 18 months ago, one that my beta readers say is my best one yet. I would like to follow the traditional route of publishing with this one, but we’ll see. This is not something you can hurry, & I’m willing to be patient & not give up.
Watch this space…
We are sat here, together, trying to figure out what to do. She won’t let me in; it’s driving me crazy. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s wrong. If it weren’t for the fact she is so small and fragile I would get violent, but what would that achieve? I drink my coffee, and gaze out into the sunshine; it really can’t be that difficult, I’m sure I’m right. I text hubby for some help/advice ‘Thelma has lost it again and won’t cooperate… I’m so frustrated I want to scream!’ She’s becoming my new best friend; I don’t want to hurt her…
I know what you’re thinking. I’m sat in my smart MINI convertible, roof down of course, contemplating something dramatic over the edge of a cliff. Yes, my week has not been the greatest, but there is no way I could do that to such a cool ride, ‘Mercury’ as my dream car is known. Who is Thelma then, I hear you ask, and what’s her problem? If I told you that Thelma is only 2 months old, approximately 7ins x 5ins in size, is gold in colour, with a chocolate brown exterior, and goes everywhere with me now, would you get it? Well, she’s my new iPad mini that my hubby has affectionately named Thelma – that shows our age! I have considered having a young Brad Pitt as my lock screen for the full effect, but honestly, he’s never really done it for me I’m afraid, good actor, good looking and all that, but doesn’t blow my skirt up.
So what’s her problem? Well, my very technically minded and security conscious hubby has made sure that Thelma keeps all her secrets safe under lock and key, by installing 1Password for me. All very well and good because I used to be a hacker’s dream; same password for everything, and not a very imaginative one at that. Now I can have all kinds of elaborate combinations of letters, symbols and numbers that I don’t need to remember – I only need to remember one. Now, I swear I was putting in the right combination, but could I access 1Password? No! Ok, so it wasn’t technically Thelma’s fault, and hubby came to the rescue in the end, but I will still maintain I was right!
What else have I been up to this week…
At the end of last week hubby and I had not one but two date nights. Dinner with friends while all our kids bounced around at gymnastics for 3 hours. Then, an evening at the ballet, all male drag kinda thing– hilarious! Check out Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo if you ever get the chance.
Nearly set my neck at the climbing wall when I slipped off while on auto belay, and scared the hell out of myself. Also really strained my arm that was already strained from something so long ago I can’t remember but I keep pretending it’s fine. Needles in the bicep as a result of my stupidity produced some rather choice words.
We finally tackled the playroom and had the grandmother of all hoy outs!
I gave my lovely cleaner a long overdue pay rise because I’m nice like that… sometimes.
Made two pairs of curtains for a friend, and two Valentine cards – one for me to give hubby and the other for him to give me. I know that sounds sad but the shop ones are expensive and nauseous, he likes my cards so why not?
Popped over the border to pick up a parcel and embarrassed the customs officer when he asked me my occupation, and then what I was picking up… ‘Erotic romance writer… and women’s lingerie’ hehe!
Of course all of this is between dog walking, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, school runs, after school activities, drinking wine and keeping up with Thelma!!
All was well at the end of last week until the early hours of Saturday morning, when my elder woke us after talking to Hughie on the big white telephone. I was already aware of a stomach bug spreading through school; the gathering of Vomiting Veronicas in the school lobby when I picked the boys up on Friday afternoon might have given something away. Luckily for him it was 3 ‘conversations’ and some stomach cramps, then woke up feeling ropey but much better. So it was off to the cinema to see that well-known cuddly British institution, Paddington. I grew up with this loveable character, so I love it that my boys love him too. I can confirm that I sat craning my neck in the front row (not where we would choose to sit but we were late in), laughing, and savouring every mouthful of my favourite British chocolate bar, a Wispa Gold. I tried to make it last, just one mouthful, let it melt, wait a few minutes before another, but it was soooo good, and the pause between mouthfuls got shorter and shorter. Now I only have 7 left until I can replenish supplies in August. Urgent rationing required, only one every month now.
I was doing a bit of a New Year clear out last week, when I came across a women’s magazine that my mother-in-law had left. Not really my thing, recipes, makeovers of 50 year olds, knitting patterns (just for the record I really have nothing against knitting, it just isn’t very me), you know the sort. Well, my first confession is that I actually thumbed it. Then, I stopped at the knitting pattern. Yes, I know, what the… but it was a really nice sweater, very much my style etc.. Here’s the bombshell… I tore it out to keep! Now just before you question my state of mind and stop following me, I just need to be clear why. My lovely mother-in-law is a very good and keen knitter, so what I thought was I would ask HER if she’d knit it for me, no not even teach me because it would be really bad for my neck. So that makes it ok, right?
All right, moving on to hubby and I having a day off together. We have been talking about replacing our wine glasses for sometime as we don’t actually have a full set that match. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been together nearly 20 years. Of course, Crate & Barrel being an absolute dream to shop in we came away with all sorts of things one doesn’t really need but has to have, like a taco rack!! $500 and 3 sets of 8 wine glasses later we stroll out, very pleased with our purchases. Now, you should know, I am quite clumsy, I have very little idea of personal space and I should NEVER wash glasses by hand, especially when they are brand new. This in mind, I have since popped back to the store to replace the one I broke (she says sheepishly) 2 hours after buying it.
Then, just when I’d thought my younger son had dodged the bug… talk about inconvenient, why can’t everyone be sick together? It always happens when you have plans too. But, thanks to hubby being on an admin day I could still go for my weekly beating at the physio and replenish our food stocks as planned. However, I had seriously bad hair, I neeeeded to make my appointment the following day. Thankfully the boy rallied round and all was right with the world…and my hair.
The joys of motherhood!
When you survive on very little of the stuff normally it can be tough, but I have had one full night (Sunday) in I don’t know how long, and that was only thanks to half a sleeping pill. It didn’t help that, after the grandparents left early last week, we shot up to Whistler to take advantage of the fact our kids were not back to school until this week. Honestly, how is it you can pay for a good education but they spend less time there? Friends kindly let us use their lovely townhouse, so we had a comfortable base but – sadly for me – not a comfortable bed. I had already made the decision not to even consider skiing until the weekend, but my go-getter boys blasted around the mountain with ski school for three days while my husband disappeared off into the backcountry – always a worry, even though I used to do it myself BC (before children).
What did I do with my time? Well, every morning my girl and I had a very Baltic dog walk, but thanks to good gear and little hotties (disposable handwarmers in case you think I hooked up with a member of Thunder from Down Under; sadly not!), I was snuggly. The rest of my days were filled with crafting. I don’t often get the opportunity to spend all day sticking bits of paper together and tarting them up with expensive ink to turn them into cards. This project was Thank You cards for all the kids who attended the boys’ birthday party. I know they will be looked at and admired for all of 4 seconds and binned, but this is just something I love doing and, being a bit OCD, I have to do it right. I also kept up my 2015 challenges, and played with my new iPad mini – thanks hubby! The evenings might have involved drinking wine, but you guessed that already, right? And reading. Again, I don’t often just sit in the evening and read. I should, but I don’t, so I did!
Icy snow conditions and major fatigue made the decision for me not to ski at all, and the backcountry had broken hubby anyway. However, the conditions did not stop my 8 year old; he broke his teacher on the second day. Leaving him for dead at the top of the glacier. Poor guy didn’t look fit for a haircut when I signed out my very proud son, who looked like he’d spent the day just cruising down green runs. It didn’t stop there – tubing and some very extreme sledding at the weekend left me with my heart in my mouth several times, and I was just watching them. We then returned to the real world and a busy day before back to school. I was very proud to take my generous children to our local children’s hospital, where they presented the Foundation with $200 of their birthday money. I then spent the evening in the MRI scanner having full neck to pelvis images, and had to be helped off the VERY hard bed like an old crumbly – awkward! Thanks to that, I enjoyed another night of not very restful sleep…
Once again time has run away with me and suddenly it’s 2015! Since my last post the grandparents arrived from the UK; we have hosted a drinks party (attended by almost more children than adults, who proceeded to turn my living room into a movie theatre, where the popcorn machine had a nervous breakdown!); enjoyed a family treat to the ballet to see a seasonal tradition, The Nutcracker, which had both boys attempting to walk on their toes and pirouette for the following couple of days. Santa then brought MORE Lego, which neither child would let me help build, so I sulked in my craft room building my new ink caddy, which took all of five minutes then two hours to arrange the inks in colour families and make sure all the labels pointed the right way. I cooked the most enormous bird to perfection and enjoyed eating my own body weight in Christmas pud because I could, having made it flourless. Drank lots of wine and wore stretchy leggings to accommodate pudding.
There has been lots of sleeping in, due to very little nocturnal snoozing, sadly not for the reasons you might think, but my arthritis picked a very inconvenient time to flare up. After finally resorting to prescription sleeping pills just to stop the clock- watching, my physio then treated me with five thousand needles, which caused copious amounts of screaming. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t had the bright idea to host a joint Harry Potter birthday party for the boys between Christmas and New Year. It was the ultimate crafting challenge for Steph and I. We have spent the last two months making… paper wands, felt ties, Quidditch Pong, floating candles, a ‘Have You Seen This Wizard’ photo frame, Pin the Beak on Hedwig, HP Bingo, Pass the Howler, party bags containing Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans and Golden Snitches, and a very cool brick wall made by painting a $5 sheet to create platform 9¾! We sorted 27 kids into the four houses and dressed as wizards and witches – I copped for Hufflepuff so, yes, I was Professor Sprout. We played games, earned house points and – according to the emails I received the following day – threw the birthday party of the year. We were knackered but we all had a lot of fun and my boys have kindly donated $200 of birthday money to the British Columbia Children’s Hospital – their choice entirely.
So, here I am beginning a new year, not sad to see the back of 2014, despite it ending on a high. It began in a dark place, a place I never thought I would visit, and hope never to visit again. From somewhere deep inside I found an inner strength that I never knew I had. It helped me pick myself, and move forward. I sometimes looked back, but as that dark hole got smaller and smaller I found I could face things that many would shy away from. And among all of that I achieved something I thought was unachievable… Bruises. What now? On January 1st I began 365 days of writing. Everyday I will write in my journal: thoughts, feelings, life events, and just whatever I need to empty out of my head. I also love quotes, and Santa was kind enough to pop a quote journal in my stocking, so I also plan to record a new quote everyday.
A new year with new challenges.
This post is long overdue – sorry about that but real life has taken over and my boys are already hyper about grandparents arriving and the pending festivities.
Saturday (over a week ago now!) – when it came to the book event, the only thing I was worried about was nobody turning up. Waking up the day before with a raging eye infection that required an emergency trip to the walk in centre was not part of the plan. That evening I was also accompanying my husband to a conference dinner he’d been speaking at. Two events that require makeup and NOT the sticky antibiotic ointment I waited over an hour to get, in between delivering offspring to birthday parties, dropping off supplies for the book event and reprimanding my 5 year old for eating only candy at said party! G&T required while trying to disguise puffy red eye.
Sunday – another birthday party, but thankfully hubby dealt with this one alone while I arranged bits of cheese, cold cuts and crackers on trays, looking glamorous in baggy checked PJs, Velcro rollers, slouchy slipper socks, and a bleary eye full of ointment! Threw some school uniforms at the washing machine in the vague hope they would be laundered, and dug out something from the freezer that my babysitter could easily assemble for dinner.
When we arrived at Future Hair Training Centre that afternoon, I was blown away to find the extent to which Cynthia, the owner, had gone to make the event special for me. She had provided a sign in sheet at the door, a clever red carpet poster for pictures, and Hollywood-style Walk Of Fame stars on the floor. It was all very novel (pun intended) and fun! Several friends/neighbours/mums from school, who wanted to show their support, had said they would pop in, but we all know how it is during this busy time of year. All credit to most of those good people – they stayed true to their word and took time out of their weekend to join me. My husband and my closest friend (to whom the book is dedicated), were right there with me throughout. I felt confident and comfortable being thrown into the ‘spotlight’ for the first time. I think when you believe in yourself and your product there is no reason to doubt your ability to put yourself out there. For a first event, I was pretty happy.
I have no idea where the rest of the week has gone. We’ve been having some minor renovations done on the house; I can tell you that one day (don’t ask me which one, can’t remember) I had a very heated discussion with our handyman over communication issues. Mid-week we finally got around to getting all the decorations out and purchasing trees (yes two, slightly excessive I know but the money goes to charity). My husband has a ‘thing’ for large Christmas trees; in fact, it was almost twenty years ago to the day that I was lured into his apartment by the glorious smell of pine and subsequently fell in love. It has taken us nearly four days to get the wretched things into the house and decorate them, for the end of the week has been, if possible, busier than the start. My elder son turned 8 at the weekend, on the same day as our 16th wedding anniversary. He also received an early birthday surprise at the school assembly on Friday, where he received a Principal’s Award after only starting at that school in September – very Proud Mum moment where your bladder is too near your eyes while sat in the front row in full view of all the teachers. My husband’s Christmas party was that same evening, where there was a lot of wine flowing and not enough food! (We’ll not discuss that any further!) I did sell a few books, which was unexpected. A weekend of celebrating, and then what do I get? ANOTHER virally thing that makes my body feel like it’s been trampled on. I would give anything for a day off from chronic disease, just a few hours of pain free time would be great if anyone wants to trade?
Despite the bugs, life goes on. The decorations are all finally up, even though the tree looks like it attended the Xmas party with us and still hasn’t sobered up! I’ve finally baked my Christmas cake (even though I can’t eat a single bite of it), the birthday boy had a great day and is now the proud owner of a new desk and shelves (thanks to hubby and his tools), the renovations are complete in time for the in-laws to descend, and I have found that the only way to deal with the evil virus is to pickle myself in mulled wine!
Stay tuned for another week of motherhood and holiday madness…