Thursday 29 November 2012


I've always had a thing about hospitals. I hate them. There's never a happy reason to go to them (except for the Maternity wards) and I have an absolute horror of even visiting.

So I suppose it's a good indication of how uncomfortable I was feeling that I didn't mind one bit when the ambulance came. The nice paramedics, with their fabulous gas & air, and their delicious morphine, were most welcome. I'm told that renal colic / kidney stones aren't a lot of fun and I have to say that I agree.

After a weekend in hospital, and with the pain subsided, I came home feeling fragile. Today was my first day out - it was oddly unsettling to leave the house, but it gave me a reason to get dressed and that definitely improved my outlook. Here's hoping that the worst of it is over, and my scan next week comes back with good news.

In the meantime, if anyone was planning on buying me alcohol this Christmas, please don't - I have a new favourite tipple, and it's name is Entonox: gorgeous gas & air!

Monday 12 November 2012


It was all going so well. I wrapped up a draft of book two that I was happy with, let a select few people look at it, and collated their feedback. And then I made my big mistake.
I got cocky.

I started thinking about book three, confident that book two would just require a bit of editing and polishing. This is the writer's equivalent of Wile E Coyote adopting a self-satisfied smile, blissfully unaware of the huge, boulder-shaped shadow growing around him. I was completely unprepared when, out of the blue, my agent asked a question about one of the principal characters. It seemed like a straightforward "What about XYZ?" sort of question, and I remember thinking "Hmmm, that might require me to change a couple of things."

Unfortunately, once the question is in your head, there's no getting away from it. And in a story where everything is connected to everything else, changing a couple of things has quickly evolved into changing a lot of things.

I've just returned from a weekend, locked away, cutting and pasting and rewriting. It's certainly been productive – I achieved more than I hoped and I've got lots of new material – but lots more is needed. And with every change breaking something else, it feels like I've spent two days working to take something that was essentially complete, to something that looks like it has been disassembled by men with hammers.

I'm sure I had an uplifting closing-point in mind when I began this post, but for the moment it escapes me. I'm hitting the Publish button in the hope of a triumphant follow-up post, some time in the next week or so, where I share my relief that it all worked out and the loose-ends were tied up. That'd be nice.

But for now, that's all folks!