It is getting harder than ever to come up with posts that are not filled with even a little doom and gloom, mainly because I am trying so hard to avoid thinking about the future.
I should be bouncing around like a two-year-old at a birthday party, full of the joy of the approaching release of my latest masterpiece.
The excitement is there, somewhere, as I get moments when I forget everything else and become a writer and nothing else matters.
The pre-release is going well, HERE IN UK and IN US with interest on amazon itself and also my own marketing efforts on social media and Bookfunnel HERE.
Many, many thanks to everyone who has taken part!
I almost have everything ready for next week’s launch, and I’m busy working on a trailer and the paperback edition.
It crossed my mind that I should be promoting the previous book in the series, CrossFire, so I have reduced the price in case anyone is interested in finding out what happened before and how my favourite detective, David Snow, ended up the way he did.
Blurb for CrossFire
A mysterious thriller about an unusual serial killer, from the author of Nine Lives and Out of Time…
Detective Snow has another killer to catch.
A killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.
Someone has killed his sergeant and now seems to be coming after him.
He is hampered by the arrival of ‘Ruthless’ DI Ruth Winton,
Someone who is not who she seems to be.
Can he outwit this killer, or will the truth cost him his life?
It knows I am having trouble, but it wants to get cracking anyway. Keeps coming up with interesting and brilliant writing and promotion ideas that simply vanish before I have the time to get my thinking cap on.
Only five minutes ago, for example, it came up with a cracker. I told myself (and my brain) that I would check it out in a minute. But before I could finish reading the last email on my list, it had left the premises, gone for a walk. Vanished completely. This is what I put up with daily, it’s a wonder I manage to do anything these days…
Spending more time away from the computer does have its advantages, however. The recent lovely weather and the arrival of signs of Spring have sent me out of doors. I have discovered that gardening does not give me trouble at all, arthritic knees notwithstanding (or bending for that matter) and I am loving every minute!
Today I will be organising seed sowing. Tomatoes and dahlias. Next week I intend to finish repotting the bonsai that I didn’t get around to last autumn.
I must go now, for the words on my screen are swimming away from me.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I will see you again on Monday…
The days are dragging by with no word from the hospital. They say that no news is supposed to be good news, but that’s not the over riding feeling in our house. Hopefully, it means there is nothing serious to report.
And just when I was sure life couldn’t get much worse, my arthritis decided to prove me wrong. It is always there, but usually nothing a few pain killers and analgesic cream can’t control. Over the weekend, it decided to test the waters, so to speak. I didn’t mention it, as I didn’t want to complain or worry everyone, but my sister’s eagle eyes miss nothing.
We have been lucky over the years, never managing to be out of commission at the same time, so if I wasn’t feeling bad enough already, every time the pain screwed my face up, I wished it were mandatory to wear a mask indoors!
We have always wondered which one of us will shuffle off first, and these days, I wouldn’t take any bets on it!
The other day I was on my knees, trying to organise some space in the dark, unvisited reaches of my office, when I thought I spotted something familiar lurking in the corner of the room.
I couldn’t reach to pull it from its hiding place, so continued to sort through the pile of accumulated rubbish paperwork. All the while wondering what it could be and why it seemed to be hiding from me.
I finally came across the folder I had been looking for and flipped through the contents, hoping it really was what I had been hoping for. It didn’t take long for me to decide it wasn’t, and that spark of enthusiasm I had been so carefully nurturing dissolved into a puff of smoke and vanished.
I had been so sure I would find it today. I sat back on my heels, despair flickering in the back of my mind. Then I remembered what I had caught a glimpse of earlier. Was it still there?
A quick glance told me what I already knew. It had gone, whatever it as. Just like all those hopes and dreams I was so sure I would find this morning.
I made my way back to the computer, determined to rescue the rest of the day, even with my missing enthusiasm.
I couldn’t be more stubborn if I tried, which often comes in handy in the absence of enthusiasm, and before long I was back in the saddle, so to speak.
In our effort to explore possibilities, I had tried my hand at Book Funnel again, just to see if I could make it work, and this time, joined two promotions. Thrillers for Free and June Crime Fiction Giveaway.
The first one is for Thrillers for Free which will run until the end of June
The workmen are still around, and they seem to have hit a problem. This is not the first time they have been digging up the road outside our house, and they had a problem then too.
Much walking around, conferring with each other. You can almost see the head-scratching from here but has the advantage of keeping their noisy machines quiet.
This time, however, we have temporary traffic lights to put up with, and you guessed it, they are right outside our house. So, although the machines are quiet, we are having to put up with traffic waiting for the lights to change. Cars are not so bad, but motorbikes are deafening!
The noise is interfering with my ability to think straight. Time to get out of here and go for a walk!
When I heard about this local walk, one I didn’t know anything about, I almost declined, preferring to wait until the weather became warmer. It had stopped being quite so abominable, the sun was shining but there was a slight chilly wind.
But the lure of discovery was too strong to ignore. It was just a ten-minute walk from our house, so an easy walk for me and my geriatric knees. Once outdoors, the chilly wind tried to remind me that Spring wasn’t properly here yet, but the sun kept me company as I walked along on my first excursion in 2021.
I hadn’t been out of the house for ages and was thoroughly enjoying looking at all the houses and gardens. Petersfield is an ordinary town, but even the ordinary can be fascinating if you have been incarcerated all winter.
From what I could see on my way to the walk, people everywhere were on the move. Builders were busy, gardeners too. Windows were being cleaned.
Nature had been busy too. New green growth and spring flowers had arrived in all the gardens, and I looked forward to seeing what I would find on the walk.
Tucked between the houses in an ordinary street, I saw the beginnings of a river, not much more than a trickle at this point. I also saw the mud on some of the pathways, and hoping this wouldn’t get any worse, I set off.
Although I have mentioned before that our Council keeps our town tidy, they obviously hadn’t got around to this walk yet. It was extremely wild in places, with fallen trees, undergrowth and a lot more mud, which made following the river (such as it was) rather difficult.
Now, I love a bit of a ramble. Climbing over trees in the mud is a fun day out for me, but my family don’t share my enthusiasm and at the risk of being nagged to death, I decided not to push it, and decided to call it a day.
I wasn’t too disappointed, for just being out in the fresh air felt wonderful.
Then I caught sight of something out of the corner of my eye. Something rather large was swooping around above my head. Straining to see what it was, due to the bright sunshine, I couldn’t believe what I thought I was seeing. When it flew around me again, there was no mistaking what it was. A huge ruddy coloured bird with a massive wingspan and fan-like forked tail, it could only be a Kite. The first Kite I had ever seen in Petersfield!
I stood and stared, mesmerised by the show he was putting on, almost for my benefit. When he finally flew away, I felt both elated and deflated.
But before I reached our house, I saw him again. It was as if he was reassuring me that he was here to stay…
This week has shown definite improvements in Anita’s wellbeing. At first, the signs were so small, we feared she would never get any better, but gradually, almost inch by inch, she is getting back to her usual self!
There is an air of normality beginning to creep into the office, too, and this is more than welcome, I can tell you. The new pc gave in and behaved itself; writing hasn’t commenced yet, but there has been much thought, and I have begun to work on some some overdue projects.
Last week was a nightmare, and hopefully won’t be repeated in a hurry.
Coping with Anita’s sudden hospitalisation was probably not the best time to instal a new pc, but I had nothing else to do but worry, and I mistakenly thought it would keep me busy.
It certainly did that, and if all of this seems a little familiar, it’s because this was the second time in two weeks that I have had to do this. The pc company agreed to replace the faulty one, so all my work installing it was for nothing!
I can tell you that trying to cope with the worst case of worrying, added to Windows 10 and Microsoft’s vagaries, didn’t work well for me. I was a wreck by the end of the week…
This week, however, is shaping up to be something I recognise.
The bonsai are on the move, tiny buds appear every day, and most of our bird visitors are gathering nesting material.
I was beginning to doubt I would find any normality, but suddenly, everything seems to be sprouting – just like my bonsai…
Being without a main pc for the last few days, has found me doing things a little differently. I thought ot would be a miserable time, frustration and annoyance dominating everything.
Life with an unaccustomed laptop is certaily slower, giving me plenty of time to think as I am forced to wait for even the simplest jobs. So I have been doing a lot of really deep thinking.
I have come to realise that my life has been slowly changing into something I no longer recognise these last few months. Where once I was a writer/blogger who somehow managed t fit in everything else, I have changed into a carer, someone who tries to do other things. Sometimes I manage it, but more often, I don’t.
I have no problem with any of this, it is what it is, after all, but being a carer is a very responsible job and not easy in todays uncertain times. I pray that I will not need to call the doctor, of have to take Anita back to the hospital. She is determined to stay well enough to avoid this, but sometimes a little reassurance from a doctor would be good.
The second hand pc arrives later today, and I sincerely hope installing it is as painless as the last one. Everything transferred as if by magic, so I have my fingers crossed!
When the world fails you, we just grit our teeth and get on with it.
But when your body starts to fail you, and your teeth are long past being able to chew, let alone grit anything, you know you have just stepped on to that slippery slope.
Very slowly…over the years, various bits of us have stopped performing as we would want them to, but we manage to find ways to get around each problem.
Those handy little rubber mats for opening stubborn bottles and jars. Kneeling pads and handrails, stronger reading glasses and tablets for the arthritis. Little tricks that fool us into thinking we are as good as we ever were.
Secretly though, we know our shortcomings only too well. We just wish the list would stop getting any longer.
This has been brought home to me quite strongly, as I help Anita to regain some of her usual abilities after being fitted with an ICD. Implantable cardio verter – defibrillator. A small battery-operated device to monitor the heart.
All the reports about this procedure said that after the initial six weeks, Anita would be blessed with a new lease of life, stronger and more able to cope with life in general.
So far, we have yet to see much improvement.
Her damaged heart seems to be behaving, thanks to a strict and intensive drug regime, although this is tough going for someone who is rarely ill and never takes as much as an aspirin!
Breathlessness is still a big problem, leaving her weak (and bad tempered) and the site of the implant is still painfully uncomfortable, but as yet, only mild sensations from the device have been experienced.
Between the two of us and help from our family, our life rolls on much as it always has, but for the ever-present shadow of the elephant in the room…