I know the picture is a bit random but it sums up how I feel today. I feel yellow – which for me means I am happy.
Those of you that knew me four years ago know that my life was very different. My kidneys had packed in for no apparent reason other than they took it badly when I caught a cold, I’d spent 7 weeks in hospital, 3 of which were in intensive care, I’d lost 5 stone in 3 weeks and I was on dialysis 3 times a week. I couldn’t believe my luck when my kidneys decided to ‘wake up’ towards the end of 2014 and I was able to stop the dialysis. My kidneys didn’t work great but they worked well enough so yippee for that. When I spoke to my nephrologist yesterday he admitted that he’d half expected my vascullitus (the disease that the cold turned into) to return once I came off dialysis but (touch wood) that hasn’t been the case and now my kidney function is at worst ‘stable’ possibly improving. From now on (subject to a letter of confirmation) he will only need to see me twice a year not the four times that he has for the last 18 months which is just the best news I could have had. He’s a nice enough bloke but I’d rather not see him in a professional capacity. There is one more thing that his letter could also say but I’m not even going to allow myself to think about that.
Getting my book deal and seeing my work in print was a dream come true but four years ago when my best prospect was a transplant after 2 years in remission I didn’t dare to imagine that I would be where I am today.
I am a bad blogger and I apologise (once again) for that. However I have been absent for a good reason. Book 3 has now been submitted to the publishers and whilst I haven’t heard back from them yet I keep everything crossed and hope for the best. I’ve also been giving some thought to book 4 which is not under contract but alive and well in my head.
After meeting with the publisher recently we decided that Things I Should Have Said and Done had been published with the wrong cover. This has been remedied on the Kindle version
which is currently (at the time of writing) only 99p. It’s been getting good reviews (mostly) but I wish sales were higher – don’t we all.
I think that’s all you missed.
Given all that’s been going on in Britain this week, life in chez McCormick seems irrelevant but I made a promise to myself that I would make the effort to blog at least once a week so here goes.
First of all, what happened at Grenfell Tower is horrific and my heart goes out to everyone who has been effected in any way. It is the stuff of nightmares.
I had a social media review this week from a publicist and they told me that I should give a bit more of myself so I thought I would share a few random facts about myself.
- I’m partial to Earl Grey tea – as long as it’s not too strong – I hate stewed tea.
- I love ironing – I know that makes me weird in some circles.
- I hate breakfast cereal.
I said a few and as Mr Mc tells me on a regular basis ‘few = 3’ so there you have, 3 maybe not so interesting (but random) things about me.
This week’s photograph comes from my spiritual home.
I always say that if I was told I had a month to live I would want to see Rome one more time.
I had the dreaded annual review for the day job recently and at the end of the meeting my boss asked for some book news. She asked how many I’d sold (she asks that every time I see her) and I told her that I wasn’t sure of exact numbers but that I had actually received a royalty payment so it wasn’t all bad. She asked about the second book which I told her was with the editor and the third which I’m still writing.
So, I’m getting to the point of this post. When she asked me about the third book after I told her that I was changing the end she asked me why. That lead onto different questions like why set it then? why change the end? and why would he do that?
There is one answer to all of these questions and it’s this. The world of this book exists only in my head and at the moment only I can see it. Working within the limits if the time it is set in I can make these people (Daniel, Lucy et al) do whatever I want.
I feel like a Bond baddie.
On a different note I came across this photo the other day and I have absolutely no idea why I took it. Answers on a postcard please.
I usually get a bit reflective at this time of year. This is the week four years ago when my kidneys failed and I started the seven week stay in hospital. Without dwelling on it I was very ill, in fact I nearly died twice but it’s in the past. My life is very different now and I feel better than I have in years. I still have stage 4 CKD but that is very well managed so life is good.
Four years ago I could only dream that my book would be published, that my second one would be being edited as we speak and that a third was being written.
To be honest I don’t really remember a lot about that time in hospital possibly because of the drugs I was on though my memory is very sketchy at the best of times thanks to an earlier dice with death when I was only 6 years old (that’s another story) but someone who does remember it asked me the other day what got me through that time.
Firstly, I wanted get back home to be with my family.
Secondly, I wanted to get back to work because I didn’t want a certain other person getting my job. I was heard to say ‘Over my dead body,’ at the time.
And thirdly, I wanted to see this little guy again.
My husband made the twenty odd mile journey to the hospital every day and my sons usually came a couple of times a week but I used to look out the window and wish that they could bring Zac to it just so that I could see him. What a soppy mare.
So that’s the other stuff and as for book related things I have been editing this week. One of my main protagonists has changed character and I find myself liking her less and less but that’s OK because that was the intention. I might be in a minority here but I really enjoy this stage of a book. For me, the first draft is about getting the ingredients together and this stage is where I cook the meal.
This week I want to think about self promotion so maybe more on that next week.
When I first started writing I asked myself what it was that I wanted from my writing ‘career’ and the first aim was for at least one person to read what I had written and like it. Well, tick on that one and here is the latest lovely thing that someone has said,
Totally different to what I usually read and very enjoyable. A book that will remain on my library case for a while to come. So pleased to have won it recently in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
So it occurred to me today that I need a new aim and with a view to challenging myself I would love to have a book in the top 100 best sellers. Are you listening TISHSaD?
If I can manage that I have another one so watch this space.
In other news – here is a random photo – just because I like it.
This photo always makes me think of Ellen and George who, for those of you that haven’t read my book, are the stars of the show as it were. There’s another photo that does a similar thing but I’m blowed if I can find it. In the days when I wondered if self publishing was the way to go I often thought that I would use this for the cover. I have to be honest though and much as I like this photo the cover that Accent gave the book is much better.
Just wait until you see the cover for the next one – I love it.
I’ve been up for two hours and it’s still not 7.30 so it’s going to be a long day. I wish I could say that I’ve been doing something exciting but the truth is I’ve been filling in a form for a meeting that I have coming up with my boss – not Hazel, the one in the day job – and frankly my head hurts. However, the process got me thinking, not for the first time, about what t would be like to write full time. Now and again I get the chance to write uninterrupted for a few days and while I really enjoy that, if I did it all the time would it then become just like a job? Maybe. On reflection I think its a risk I’d be willing to take. It’s not so much the writing that I struggle to find time to do it’s all the other stuff like promotion etc.
Didn’t someone once say that if you do a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life? It’s probably a terrible paraphrase but I’m sure you know the one I mean. Well, I love writing so…