Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Word count, pantomimes and rewrites

As a novel racer, I'm a complete failure, 12361 as a matter of fact, but my excuse is rewrites on Murder at The Laurels. Editor and I in tussle over a question of timing and alibis. So, having thought I'd finished, I now have to have another go at it this morning. Sorry, fellow racers, but I have a valid excuse, don't I?

Since my last post, we had a Drama Committee meeting at the theatre (Whitstable Playhouse) and next season's pantomime is to be my Sleeping Beauty (published by Jasper Publishing) directed by me. Two years ago, I swore I wouldn't do another one, but that was when my husband died, a traumatic time, to say the least. Now, I'm panicking. Next winter, no sitting down every evening in front of the fire to go mindless in front of the television. The good thing, though, publicity-wise, is that book 3, Murder in Midwinter, is scheduled to come out on November 19th and has a background of - you've guessed it - pantomime! The title, by the way, was thought up by eldest daughter Louise. Yes, I know it looks easy and obvious, but publisher and I had been agonising for days.

Going to see this year's panto at The Playhouse tonight. Will no doubt make me feel inadequate, despite my years of experience. Oh, and next Wednesday I'm giving a talk at Rochester Library. Must find out what they want me to talk about...

Back to rewrites.

Friday, January 19, 2007

New word count and guilt

Sad to say I'm still only 9408 words into the race, partly due to ongoing t'internet problems, which affect the research I'm still doing, and family related things. However, it seems to have got itself rolling, and I have more of an idea of where I'm going with it.

The guilt is to do with my much beloved eldest daughter Louise, my first born, mother of my first and only grandson, who is now six and a half months old. For most of their lives, certainly from as soon as they were able to understand, my four children knew a) I didn't want to be a grandmother and b) I wasn't going to be on tap to babysit. My parents lived too far away and Brian's parents were in Australia, and by the time we actually had my mother to live with us, briefly, the two older children were almost out of the babysitting years.

My daughter is a professional singer (and she'll read this, so sorry, Lou), her partner, the also much beloved Jarrod, is a professional musician. Lou's gigs usually start with her leaving home between mid-day and 4 in the afternoon, getting back between 2 and 3 the next morning. A lot of them are abroad, which necessitates at least one overnight stay, and certainly means leaving home around 6am. I have expressed concern for years, even before she was with Jarrod, having formerly been married to another musician (what a perishing family) about how she would cope with a child if she decided to go back to her profession. This is now what she wants to do. Co-grandma doesn't go out a lot and is therefore happy to babysit, but not for that length of time, I do go out a fair bit, and definitely don't want to babysit for that length of time. Herein lies the guilt.

I have berated friends of mine for giving up their lives for their grandchildren, one in particular has done so, and many friends have told me I would feel different once I had my own. Sadly, I don't. My friend Beryl Kingston has written a book, Neptune's Daughter, with this subject as one of the themes, giving me to realise it isn't only me who has a problem in this area. I know I will have to babysit sometimes, but how galling to think that if I get an invitation to dinner, or to a party, I can't go because I'm babysitting. I did that for a very long time with my own four.

Oh, dear. Comments welcome, especially if they tell me how to resolve the issue without losing a daughter.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Happy New year and Novel Race

Happy New Year to everybody, and apologies for not keeping up with the ethos of blogging!

Family situations, deadlines and health have all played their part in my silence, but I have joined the great Novel Race, and if my dodgy broadband connection lasts (I've tried to do this more than once) I'll try and get the links up. I have an April deadline and I'm only 8000 in, so I've got my work cut out. Mind you, if I was Penny Jordan it would be a piece of cake. She, who can confidently expect to write 26000 between now and Tuesday, taking today and tomorrow off. Gosh.

Also, I'm in My Weekly this week. And I didn't say a lot of it, before you ask.

See you soon.