Monday, 15 August 2016

With thanks to Mr Cute

About 18 months ago I decided it was time for us to have a dog in our lives again, having lost our beloved rescue dog Ralfie back in 1997.  Looking back, it could have been considered madness. I had an elderly mother to care for and two cats - one who gave the impression that she'd never accept a canine intruder in her house.

Today we celebrate the first year of Alfie living with us and I do it with much joy and a hint of sadness.  I now know that I was led to him (and he was led to me) for a reason.  Put quite simply, I wouldn't have coped as well with the passing of my mum if it hadn't been for him.  He's given me a reason to get up, to smile and to feel love again.  There's nothing quite like doggy kisses first thing in the morning when you wake up feeling low.

I firmly believe that my dad popped the idea into my head on the fateful day that I decided it was 'doggy time' again - he knew it would be what I'd soon need in my life to help me through.

Today reaffirmed that 'stuff' happens for a reason.  On Alfie's first anniversary with us, he more or less re-enacted a pose that our much missed Ralfie did all those years ago. 

Right dog, right time, right place.

From Ralfie to Alfie

And furthermore, he was the inspiration behind my latest novel, 'KISSING FROGS AND DOGS'. So thank you, Alfie.  For the love, the laughs, the hope and the massive lump I have in my heart and my throat as I write this.  As a bundle of cute, you do a pretty good job.

PS:  Mrs Nervy Cat is now totally cool with her new house-mate.  It took a year, of her taking sanctuary in her 'penthouse' above the fridge, but we got there in the end!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Broken Funny Bone

I'm not blowing my own trumpet here but I know that I have many readers who eagerly await my June and December releases.  I thank them for their support and loyalty and I owe them my best.

At the moment I don't think I can deliver that.

Oh, I've been writing like a demon.  35,000 words of one novel and 13,000 of another but ... I'm just not feeling it.  I don't think they're good enough and I won't ever put something out there that I'm not proud of.

When my mum passed away, almost seven months ago, people kept telling me to be kind to myself.  At the time, I didn't understand what they meant.  Now I think I do.  I cared for my mum for almost nine years and now I don't know my life any more.  It's different, beyond different and that's going to take some getting used to.

If I had a regular job to return to where I had daily tasks, routine and a structure, it would obviously be another story.  But writing, especially light, fluffy chicklit, is a whole different kettle of fish.  I don't feel funny.  I don't feel quirky.  I feel grey, bleak and dull - my readers don't want that.  Every sentence is a struggle and the plots aren't allowing me to inject my usual sprinkle of humour.

In short, I'm going to start being kind to myself.  I'm going to stop beating myself up and hold my hands up and say. 'It's OK to cancel my December release.  It's better that way'.  I'm also going to congratulate myself for finding the resolve to get my June release out on time, against difficult odds.

I'm fortunate enough that, although I won't be physically working, I'll still be earning a living from my other books and I'll also have the time to actively promote them and maybe blog a bit more.

So, apologies to those I'm letting down.  Who knows, inspiration might strike and I might ease myself in gently with a Christmas novella but, for now, I'm just letting plots bubble in my head until I feel strong enough again.

As always, thanks to all those who have read my books and continue to support me - not only with my writing but also through a tough time.