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…
This week’s been a bit up and down, or should I say down and up. You see I started the week thinking that book three was less than good shall we say. I dare say that I’m not alone in these thoughts at this stage of the writing process. I had to remind myself that I’ve been through exactly the same thing twice before and hopefully it would pass. It did pass enough for me to carry on so fingers crossed I’m back on track with that.
In other news I finished the book I was reading and had to choose another one. I settled on Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky and I have to say that the writing is just sublime. Irene started writing it in 1940 but died in Auschwitz before it was published. Mr Mc and I went to Auschwitz a couple of years ago and it was a very emotional experience. When I’ve finished her book I’m going to try and find out more about the author.
My plans for this week are to continue with both my books – the one I’m reading and the one I’m writing – and work. How rock and roll is that.
You see, this is why I don’t blog – I’m the most boring person in the world.
Four years ago today I had a cold, just an ordinary cold. By the end of the month, instead of it being a cold that I couldn’t shake off (as I thought) it had turned into something really nasty that basically started attacking me. I’m not going to go into detail because it was pretty grim but it resulted in 7 weeks in hospital 3 of them in the Critical Care Unit.
I remember one particular day when I was alone in a side ward looking out of the window onto a flat roof covered in pigeon poo when I thought about the book that I had stashed away in a computer file at home. That was the day that I vowed that when I got out of the situation I was in I would do something about it. That was the day that I realised that if there’s something you want to do you’d better get on and do it because our link to life is fragile.
This week, four years on I was at the hospital again. I was seeing one of the lovely doctors at Sunderland Royal for my regular check up. After 18 months of dialysis my kidneys have now been ‘working’ for over 2 years, my blood results are the best (collectively) that they have been since this thing started and I feel better than I have in years.
There are 3 points to this blog and I’m getting to it I promise.
- Like I said, your link to life is fragile and can be over without warning at any time so if there is something you want to do, don’t put it off.
- We all have a dream, don’t give up on it
- Keep a positive mental attitude – it will get you a long way.
And on that note,