Long time, no blog.

Not blogged now for? can’t remember – only that the past few days have been a bit of a blur. Been editing again: I know; I just can’t stop doing it: it has the same effect as a bottle of gin, or that other thing we do that makes us go blind. At last, though, my second novel is ready to be sent off to my agent: I use agent in the loosest of terms, as he happens to be a son who resides in Sweden. He does everything for me: not that I’m disabled: although if one could have heard the Skype conversation we had at the weekend, you would have thought I was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

It’s like this, you see, I cannot fully fathom out this blog business and I hit a wrong key which sent everything haywire and me panicking. In the end he had to take over my computer and I had to find another password. Why can’t you get up off your arse to learn some new computer skills, you might be thinking. Well, my philosophy is, delegate: that’s my favourite word along with extrapolate – I love that one. Why should I do it when I can get someone else to do it for me, I have better things to do; it would be like watching paint dry.

Now back to why I am writing this blog: two days ago I  -not me, by the way, my agent – substituted the second edition of Tale of Two Women, taking off the first edition in which there were two typos and a couple of commas missing or needed to be extracted. I found them myself, no one told me. You will also notice; under my instruction; he put the novel on my home page with a link. I couldn’t have done that in a month of Sundays. But I do love delegating. All my family say I’m bossy – had to be – you can’t control a class full of stroppy 15 year olds if you are the shrinking violet type, they smell fear. And my daughter-in-law, married to my oldest who is a Gulf War veteran, threatens him by saying she will tell his mother if he misbehaves. It usually works. I may have a hard shell but am really marshmallow inside. I am about to digress now; close your eyes if you don’t want to watch.

I am taken back to when I was instructing offenders on a painting an decorating programme. I had this one offender, a giant of a Glaswegian who towered over me by about 8″, he scared the crap out of me the first time we met. Before doing any work whatsoever, he asked if he could leave early. I thought, oh, no, he’s trying it on already. I asked him why, and he told me. I asked if another member of his family could do what he said he had to do. Then he threw the best curved googly ever, ‘give me a shovel and I’ll dig her up,’ he said. After extrapolating on his life-story, some of which I already knew, I let him leave early. Needless to say we got on like a house on fire after that. He too was a pussy-cat dressed in a bear’s clothing, but he was someone who had been dealt some very bad hands. There were others, but they were not willing to play by the rules, like expecting me not to notice they were smoking weed in the toilet. Oh happy days.

Enough reminiscing you say, so I’ll stop, but its got me thinking about another book, perhaps an autobiography, but although my life has been interesting and there have been numerous funny moments, it might not grab others. I’ll have to think about that one.

PS. I was informed this morning Sweden had over twelve inches of snow overnight, but this morning after the snow-ploughs had been out all night, all the roads and paths were clear. Makes you think of our beautiful country where two inches will send the country into melt-down and everyone putting down their tools. It seems two inches can make an awful lot of difference.

Numb bum

Not only is my bum numb from sitting at my desk, but my brain has gone into spasm. Spent the past God knows how many days editing, I’m all edited out and have a craving for writing something new. Fellow followers might think I’ve disappeared, or been kidnapped by aliens, or have been put into an institution. I am still here and about to implode as my in-house computer expert had gone back home to Sweden. But, I can’t have a breakdown yet as I have four finished novels in the pipeline and need to get them out. So, what’s the answer? GET EDITING you are shouting.  That’s all well and good, but I can’t seem to detach myself from the text, and that’s when mistakes are missed. I have even read my book backwards, not word for word backwards, but chapter by chapter, but nothing seems to work. I just can’t seem to find my teacher’s marking hat. Is it too optimistic to think I can get a novel out there without one single mistake? I’m going to walk away from my desk today and try something new: abseiling? white water rafting? parachuting? Shopping? now that’s a good idea; that can only dent my cash flow.



What a roller coaster!

Yes, its been a time of highs and lows since my first novel was published, only due to my uncertainty at being a novice in the author/publishing business. It felt like having a one night stand and the day after thinking, I shouldn’t have done that: but I did, and I am happy to say I’m glad I did as my novel was received well, better than I expected.

For the past two weeks I’ve been editing my second novel which, hopefully, will be out next week. Editing is something I do over and over again. I must have read it 10 times before thinking its now perhaps ready. Have to make sure all its buttons are done up; its shoes-laces tied before letting it loose into the wide world. Its like seeing a child off to school for the first time.

Apart from writing novels, the other part of the process I enjoy is searching for a cover. I seem to have a thing about snow and the elements as my second novel has the Aurora Borealis on the jacket. Perhaps that’s a giveaway sign about me as a writer. My biggest influence was D. H. Lawrence, but Alan Sillitoe came a close second; both these men being local writers. I met Alan Sillitoe once when he visited the university. But my other big influences have been Christopher Isherwood and Patricia Highsmith, along with Heinrich Boll, Thomas Mann and Bertholt Brecht. And I absolutely love the poetry of Heinrich Heine which inspired me to write my third and fourth novels, both of which should be out later this year.

As someone said to me recently, women writers of my age are coming into their own, they have experience behind them. Yes, I’ve been there; done it; got the T-shirt, but I do happen to remember the 60’s, vividly.

Please accept my apologies for not putting the umlaut over the ‘o’ in Boll. I have yet to find out how to do it whilst blogging. I could wake my son up, but I’d rather not. This is on my ‘to do’ list for today.



Two weeks since blast-off

Hello, all you bloggers. It’s been two weeks since my book Tale of Two Women was launched on Amazon and Goodreads, with this blog being posted a day later. Still waiting for someone to talk to me; feeling like a Billy-no-mates. Perhaps you are all busy reading. My life revolves around reading and writing, so I can’t tell you I jogged 10 miles this morning, then swam another five miles – in my dreams. I don’t get out much – ah, I hear you saying. No, don’t feel sorry for me, I can always pick up another book, or flick through my kindle, or do some work. Did try Miranda Hart’s Maracattack this morning. Someone bought me the DVD for Xmas – were they trying to tell me something? It looks easy, but its knackering; needed oxygen afterwards.  And to top it all my love affair with Lund might be coming to an end. But I’ll tell you all about that later, when and if we have to part company, and, yes, my husband does know.

Prayer for day Fourteen

Or, alternatively, feeling the need to write something: anything: except editing.

I want you all to repeat after me the words in Italic.

In the beginning God gave me a pen and paper. Blessed be to God. In the second year he gave me a typewriter. Blessed be to God. In his sixth year he gave me an Amstrad computer. Blessed be to God. And a week later, a pixel printer. Blessed be to God. Then he gave me a mobile phone. Blessed be to God. And then a laptop connected to broadband. Blessed be to God. And lastly, a decent printer. Blessed be to the God almighty.

And why would he do that, you may want to ask?

So I could write a story about a 16 year old girl who became pregnant; said she was visited one night by her Uncle Gabriel – I can see you all smirking. He put her on a donkey and sent her and her boyfriend to town to pay their council tax. But lo and behold night fell, and when they arrived they couldn’t find a place to stay as no-one had any rooms because of the imposed bedroom-tax. Her boyfriend found them a shed to sleep in, but during the night the girl started to cry out in pain.  A few hours later, after a lot of huffing and puffing and cursing, she gave birth to a little baby boy. The boyfriend was in awe of such a miracle: he’d only be going out with her for five months. Now, at the end of each year we all praise the Lord and sing songs about the little boy when we all gather together at the food banks. And, Uncle Gabriel? he’s now serving mankind by giving daily penitence in a monastery; HMP Broadmoor. Amen.

I know I won’t go to heaven, so I’ve arranged to give my body to medical research. But what do you think of the story? A block-buster novel perhaps?

Day eleven

Up late this morning: 5.15am. Lazy bitch, you might be thinking. Got some editing done though. Book still selling and still hovering in the lower 2,000’s of paid best selling list. No more reviews though, although I did get an email from a family member who thoroughly enjoyed it. All still very encouraging. This blog is getting more like a diary. Now its started in that direction, I feel loathe not to visit it every day and treat it as such. But, while I was choring (not a spelling mistake) yesterday, I said to my partner, “I’ll bet J.K. Rowling doesn’t have to do ironing.” He said perhaps she couldn’t afford someone to do it for her. You’ll have to forgive him, he’s usually on the planet politics. Which reminds me of my mother; who is now sadly deceased. She vehemently hated Thatcherism and I do believe if someone had given my mother a Glock, she would have gladly used it. It doesn’t bear thinking what she might want to do to Cameron: water-boarding whilst connected by the testicles to electrodes, springs to mind. Sometimes I consider moving to Sweden permanently.

Day Ten

Up at 4.30am to edit part of my second novel. Otherwise the day was spent doing necessary chores. Tried to watch a film mid-afternoon, Scott of the Antarctic, with John Mills. Was getting quite into it, but the tele kept buffering, so did a little more work late afternoon,