FOOL to think the winter was over! Sitting here today, I’ve seen sunshine, rain, hail, thunder and lightening while I work – talk about four seasons in a day, I think it was four seasons in an hour! There’s not been much going on this month. I’m waiting for final edits from my agent to come back and I’ve been on a much-needed holiday in the meantime. My son is away for a week – a whole week! SOB! – which you would have thought would be the perfect time to crack on with writing but has ended up consisting mainly of meeting with friends. School starts again next week though, and I’ll be back to the desk then with the goal of finishing up my third manuscript by summer! Fingers crossed for more rain, I suppose, or I’ll never get it done!
APRIL BOOK CHOICE
I took the opportunity while I was away to catch up on some of the CWIP Prize short listers, in preparation for meeting them at the awards party this coming Monday! Of course I’d already read a few of them, but ‘Impossible’ by Sarah Lotz was one I hadn’t heard of before and thought it looked like a good book to get lost in while I was laying on a sun bed. I was right! I enjoyed the book a lot although I’m not entirely sure I agree with Amazon’s headline of ‘a twist you won’t see coming’ … I saw it coming from a country mile away. However, it was well written with strong characters and the author clearly had fun with the world-building, which, I assume, is how it got selected for CWIP. There aren’t a whole load of LOLs in this one, but it is touching and funny and I enjoyed it very much. Hopefully see you at the party, Sarah!
APRIL TV CHOICE
GUILTY PLEASURE WARNING: The return of Grey’s for the second half of the season would usually fill me with joy but I have to say, it is SO. DULL. It’s like they took all the utterly mind numbingly boring character traits of Dr. Meredith and then made all the other actors on the show say her lines because she’s left. The scripts for Grey’s have always been formulaic… even Shonda will tell you there’s a generic way to write the script for each episode – but in the past few decades they’ve had their moments of producing some really, really great medical drama which, very simply, is why they’ve made it this far. Season 19 would not be one of these moments. I DO NOT CARE about the new interns. Giving them all the screen time with their fragility and hormones will not make me care more about them either. Worse, I don’t care about any of the old characters either. They have turned into cardboard cutouts, as dull and boring and grey as Meredith herself. So, dear reader, I have defected. I’ve been watching Old Amsterdam, which is basically another show based around a talented but flawed set of doctors, set in a busy public hospital in NYC. But it’s fresher and faster and a bit down and dirtier than Grey’s and I’m still in the first flush of getting to know the characters, which is kind of like starting a whole new relationship, and I’m enjoying it. It won’t set the world on fire, but it’s a nice way to spend the evening after a full day procrastinating about writing books.
I’ve reached a new low in writing/editing/eating crap this winter. Every day I pull out the same food: a cheese sandwich with marmite/cucumber/pickle – delete as appropriate – crips, biscuits with a cuppa afterwards… and then sit eating while I work, effectively leaving my desk for as long as it takes to boil the kettle and slice the cheese. (What kind of useless writer procrastination is that?)
As a result I’ve developed what I like to term ‘Writer’s Arse’, and with the prospect of it maybe stopping raining at some point in the next six months, along with the sheer boredom of eating a cheese sandwich every day for weeks on end, I’ve decided to take a proper break and make myself something healthy and attractive, in the hope that it will make me go the same way if I do it often enough.
Today was day 1 and I made a roasted grape, pecan and goat cheese salad. You can find the recipe here (thanks Waitrose) https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/recipe/roasted-grape-goats-cheese-salad. It was bloody lovely! It took 10 minutes to make plus the time the oven took to heat up and was pretty filling too.
I halved the ingredients and used croutons I had in the cupboard rather than making my own, popping them in along with the cheese. Okay, it’s not exactly the lowest fat salad in the world but certainly better than what I was eating! And as a had to use a knife and fork, I couldn’t type while I ate either. Procrastination WIN.
MY MONTH AHEAD
Well, Monday is a VERY important night as it’s the Comedy Women in Print Prize! The wonderful Helen Lederer has pulled it off again, managing to put together authors, slebs, publishers, and a slew of witty women to celebrate all the amazing literature that’s been published in the past year – plus change the life of the lucky winner of the unpublished prize! I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with everyone and can’t wait to find out who’s won!
The rest of the month is dedicated to writing. Not much on the horizon in terms of promotional stuff at the moment… so if you are reading this and fancy having me come along to talk at an event or appear on the radio, run a quiz night, do a virtual book club… do get in touch!