Sunday, October 02, 2022

Let's get up to date!

Hello folks! Sorry it's been so long since I wrote, but there's been a fair amount of stuff going on here at Cookman Towers. After the publication of Murder After Midnight and the operation last September, I gradually improved in health and carried on writing Libby 23, Murder By Mistake, which I delivered on time in April. There has been somewhat of a wait to find out if I had another contract, but yes, I have. Three more books, the first one to be delivered by next May. However, fate was not done with me yet, and in August I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So, almost a year to the day after the previous op, I had another one!

The children - all now middle aged, or nearly, have been terrific. Phillipa and Louise have been taxi-ing me everywhere and Leo has shouldered the "Man of the House" burden willingly, while Miles has stepped in whenever asked. Philly and Leo are still resident here due to all sorts of circumstances, but for this, I'm very grateful. For instance: last year Leo came home with a new kitchen bin as a present - which I LOVE - and today he presented me with a knife block, and knives, obviously. This is because the entire famiy complain that I haven't got any decent knives. Admittdly, some of mine are inherited from the parents... Perhaps I wouldn't have liked them so much if they had been Christmas or birthday presents, though.

 Well, now, here's a thing. Yesterday, after receiving the knife block from Leo, I had to call on his expertise when the spinning wheel of doom appeared while I was trying to do something in Word. Eventually, the whole laptop went into meltdown and I was gloomily contemplating the possible purchase of a new - well, refurbished - MacBook. However, after setting up my zoom meeting on my phone - who knew? - Leo confiscated said laptop, updated the operating system, which it had refused to let me do, cleared out all my hoarded junk and gave it back. I'm having to learn a lot of new things, as I navigate all the refreshed sites, but suddenly, I can do things I couldn't do before. There are unseen advantages in the dreadful state of the country forcing adult offspring to go home to mother. I can now carry on with the day job.

Anyway, I am now looking forward to the publication of Libby 23 in December and trying to write Libby 24. Also, there may be other changes - work wise - on the way, such as a new newsletter instead of this one - if I can make it work. So, until the next time -!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

A couple of Sunday rants

I posted this on Facebook today when sharing a piece in The Observer. Yes, it's political, and I try not to do political on my blog/newsletter, but just at the moment I am so incensed with everything going on around us, it is almost all I can think about. So here goes:

 I know, I know. I keep posting pieces from The Guardian and The Observer - well, I'm loyal. I used to work for The Observer and my father worked for The Guardian. But they have columnists like Jack Monroe, who highlight the issues of which we should all be aware. This is shocking. And all too frequently, the empty shelves are blamed on the damaged supply chain (lorry drivers) and Brexit. And, of course, that is so often true. (Oh, yes it is.) But not always. I'm bloody lucky - without an income apart from my state pension (go on, try living on that) I write novels which have kept the wolf from the door for the last sixteen years. So I've got to keep on doing that, whether I like it or not, or I shall be in the same position as the elderly gentleman who ate his toothpaste for dinner - something quoted here by Jack. And being a novelist is actually quite hard work and very precarious - it is NOT, as so many people think, a sinecure. OK - I'll shut up now. Sunday rant over - nothing to see here...

And in reply to a comment: 

Yes - that Jack! The original Boot Strap Cook! I've got a couple of her books as well as following her on Twitter and her blog. It really makes you wonder about the cretins supposedly in charge of us all - how have they NOT seen the food banks? The homeless? Because apparently, they haven't. Oh - and where, oh where are the charity depots to which I can give clothing for refugees and the homeless? Plenty of charity shops who will SELL my unwanted clothes, but none who will give them to people who actually NEED them. Actually, we do know some lovely people who will do just that, but they are private individuals, and of course, it appears that everything worthwhile IS down to private individuals these days. Sorry, Arabella. That led into my second Sunday rant... with plenty of capital letters.