Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I have recovered from the doom-laden previous post, although I still have a slight attack of the blue meanies. Partly because I am getting very fed up with living in what almost amounts to a police state - except the poor so-and-sos are also hide-bound by rules and regulations. Can't smoke, can't drink, can't park, hospitals closing (for good of patients, we are told??!!??) schools closing (see above), can't cuddle a child if it's hurt...oh, I could go on and on and on...

Over the last couple of weeks I had a return of the loo-leak that happened at Christmas, which has necessitated a new ceiling in the hall. I won't fill in all the details, but it has been stressful! Also have a man coming in to help me with my new wardrobe (cheap, Argos), so have contents of bedroom piled into spare room (or Phillipa's room when she's home). This means that I couldn't have anyone to stay over big party weekend even if I wanted to. (Heh, heh, heh.)

On final day of page proofing, and very glad I concentrated on them properly, as Editor Bob and I have both missed several anomalies. When I think how many times I have told students to check everything thoroughly - "Now, don't forget, don't change the colour of their eyes or hair" etc etc. I managed to change the name of a house and the name of a victim! Clever, eh?

Off I go, then. And congratulations to my friend Giselle Greene, who has just got a three book deal with HC. Way to go, Giselle.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

18th February, and word count

Today is the second anniversary of my husband's death, and the family and I were invited to the dedication of a bench in his memory on Whitstable beach. On Friday, my two sons did a gig in his memory at the club which he helped found, Brooke's Blues Bar in London, to raise money for the Macmillan nurses.

I have had a week of headaches, teeth-grinding at night and other obvious stress related symptoms. I can't talk to the children (32, 30, 24 and 22) about this, as he has become nigh on deified. I have gone along with the "we are a close family" for the last two years, including paying for everything he would have paid for, helping out with the sale of his house, paying for the storage of his furniture (which includes several items belonging to me, so I shouldn't complain!) and generally ignoring the absolutely awful circumstances surrounding his death. I'm not going to go into them now, but they'd make a terrific novel. Which I will never write.

But oh, God, how I want to move on. I adore my children, and I'm very grateful for their love and support, but I'm being tethered like a bloody goat. (Come to think of it, I am now a Nanny...)

I am in a foul mood today, as my youngest keeps telling me, and all I want to do is howl, because I still hurt and it's always in front of me. And I can't.

Ah well, on to more normal things. Shouldn't moan about personal things on here, should I? Oh - hang on, it's a diary. Well due to a good deal of research, other things on my mind and having to go to work at the Court on Friday, I'm only up to 25,190 words, a grand total of 5000ish this week. Next week will try and do better. And I've been forced to sign up to new blogger, so I probably need more help from jolly good friends less technologically challenged than I. (Hello, Mandy and Kate?)

Happy days are here again...

See you next week.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Novel Race and party.

Despite editor and I having a tough old tussle over timing and alibis etc, Murder at The Laurels is finally on its way to the printers - at least, I think so. Or just line edits. Whatever, I'm now able to concentrate on Murder in Midwinter, for which I have now signed the contract, so no pressure. Word count now 20,637, with which I'm quite pleased, as I lost a whole week with the rewrites.

Enjoyable talk at Rochester Library, where they had very kindly asked the local bookshop to provide copies for sale. To my astonishment, we sold seven!

Also discovered a museum this week, where they may well have some archive material useful in research for Murder in Midwinter. It was a feature in BBC's Inside Out, the local interest programme which alerted me, in itself a useful research tool.

My non-special birthday, to be celebrated just because it falls on a Saturday, is now 3 weeks away, and the guest list is now over 60. I don't mind, because I'm having it in a local function room, inculding buffet, which means none of that rushing backwards and forwards with plates of food all day before, and clearing up afterwards. Just turn up, drink, chat and listen to favurite duo, which just happens to be son Miles and friend Martin, performing as Bona Tunes. And yes, I've offered to pay them... Lou will be singing, I hope, at least one ot two numbers, and Leo will join in on the keyboard at some point. Pity Philly won't be there, but it's a long way from Aus...

This week I have been marooned on an island surround by broken concrete and mud while the local council replace the footpaths. I have my very own orange barriers round my car, which is having to be parked on double yellows rather than its concrete base outside my house, but it's a little like escaping from Colditz to get out of the house. Happy days.