After a nail-biting week of wondering if our buyer was deliberately holding up the exchange of contracts because he was going to pull out of the deal, we finally got a firm moving date - 30th April.
Yes, at last! But after waiting so long, unable to do anything, we’re suddenly racing to pack and organise everything in time. Oh, no, we’ve only got seven ... six ... five days!
One thing that is being put on hold for a while is the launch of Fashion Circles.
The ebook will be on sale at all good ebook retailers from today as planned, but I’m very pleased that Alfie Dog Fiction is delaying publication of the paperback version until 16th May. I’m hoping I’ll be able to stop for a breath by then, and perhaps even celebrate with a glass of champagne!
What do you think of the cover for Fashion Circles, my first collection of short stories?
The ebook version is going to be published by the lovely Alfie Dog Fiction on 25thApril, but you can already sneak a look – and pre-order it – from Smashwords, iBooks, Amazon and most other popular ebook retailers’ websites.
If you prefer 'real' books, the paperback edition will be available from 16th May.
We didn’t get to move before Easter as we’d hoped, but all the legal paperwork has been completed now so we might have a moving date soon (she said, with fingers still tightly crossed).
When it does happen, packing up shouldn’t take too long. We had a big de-cluttering session when we first put our house on the market, and since then have resisted the temptation to buy or hoard anything we don’t actually need. Books are a necessity of course, but I’ve even forced myself to donate several bagfuls of those to charity shops. (My consolation is that I’ll have space for more bookshelves – and new books! – in the next house.)
I was looking around, trying to estimate how many packing boxes we’ll need, when I realised I could probably discard some of the old papers/ files/ magazines etc. that I’d been keeping on my writing shelves ‘just in case’. I sorted through them and came across this …
I recognised a few plot outlines and character sketches because I’d already developed them into finished stories, but most of the other scribbled notes turned out to be either disappointing or puzzling. There were plot ‘twists’ involving unrealistic coincidences, pieces of flowery, descriptive prose that I couldn’t believe I’d ever thought were any good, and even some lines of dreadful poetry.
I dropped each of these rubbish ideas into the wastepaper bin, until I came across what appeared to be a title followed by a book jacket blurb.
Who? What? When?
Ah, yes! It all came rushing back to me.
It was an idea for a novel I’d started, but quickly abandoned, during an early NaNoWriMo. I’d hit a problem after furiously bashing out a couple of thousand words and, rather than waste time staring at a blank page, I’d switched to a completely different story.
Now, I not only remembered the opening scene of the novel in vivid detail, but I could also see why it had gone wrong and an easy way to fix it. I grabbed a clean sheet of paper and started writing a very rough synopsis of the whole thing before I forgot it again. I'm sure it has the makings of a bestseller!
And the moral of this story? WRITE IT DOWN. It’s vital to turn those first thoughts into visible words as soon as possible. You’ll be certain you’ll never forget such a brilliant notion but, if it does get lost beneath a myriad of even more exciting ideas, a few sentences might be all it takes to hook it out again.
2017 was mostly a year of taking one step forward and two back.
It began optimistically enough with my husband and I deciding to move house. It was something we’d been thinking about for a while. Every time we visited family in Lancashire we fantasized about living there permanently, but we were reluctant to leave our home in Cambridgeshire because it was close to our daughter and son-in-law.
Then daughter and son-in-law announced they were going to move – to Canada. It was certainly a surprise, but we soon saw a bright side. They were planning to start a new chapter of their lives – and so could we.
We put our house up for sale, found a buyer, and made an offer on a house in Lancashire that had everything on our wish list. A couple of months later, when we were about to agree a completion date, our buyer pulled out of the deal. Aargh!
We put our house back on the market and received another offer for it. Everything seemed to be going smoothly – until the new would-be buyers also changed their minds!
We put the house up for sale again, but it was autumn by then and the market had slowed down. We had some viewings but nobody was buying. The Lancashire house we wanted was also put back on the market.
Two days before Christmas, when we were resigned to nothing else happening until well into the New Year, we had a call from our estate agent. Could we do a viewing? That viewer became our third prospective buyer. The not-so-good news was that the house we’d wanted had been sold to someone else.
Fast forward to today …
We’ve found another house to buy (which is even better than the one we lost) and have almost finished going through the whole conveyancing process again. Trying not to get too excited, but we are cautiously saying ‘when we move’ instead of ‘if we ever move’. I don’t think I’ll really believe it though until I have a new door key clutched tightly in my hand!
And my writing?
Some of you may remember that part of my prize for winning a short story competition run by Alfie Dog Fiction was an offer from them to publish a collection of stories if I could produce enough, of an acceptable quality, to fill a book. It was a very big IF, and much harder than I expected, but I’m very pleased to report I’ve finally done it! My collection is now being expertly prepared for publication.
Watch this space …
writer, reader, dreamer,
wildlife watcher, walker, gardener,
optimist, lover of life,
I wouldn't dream of stealing your words or pictures so please don't take mine.
But I'm happy to share if you ask first!