Thursday, 27 March 2008

Back to business

Up early this morning to catch up on the wip after a manic long weekend of hilarity and chocolate (I still ache in unaccountable places—though whether this is from laughing, late-night dancing or extreme baking I’m not sure....) It's amazing how a few days away can seriously disrupt the flow, so its probably just as well that the children are going to spend the day at Grandma’s today and I can get seriously involved with my cynical Argentinean again.

Last Thursday, just before the Easter madness began, there was an interview with me in the Liverpool Daily Post, which (apart from the laughably gruesome photo!) was nice. My previous experience of newspaper interviews had made me anticipate the whole thing with a kind of doom-laden resignation, but Emma Pinch did a great job of making sense of my inarticulate ramblings and was lovely to talk to. I emailed my husband immediately to point out excitedly the part where she refers to me as a yummy mummy. He emailed straight back to point out that the interview was done over the phone.

Children are now trailing downstairs demanding breakfast, so I’d better go and oversee proceedings to make sure that this consists of cereal rather than chocolate. I'm unimpressed with their argument that eggs make ideal breakfast food. (For growing children, of course. For mums it's entirely different.)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

It's all good!

My enthusiasm for the current wip has meant I’ve been holed up for so long in my office-in-the-attic with no internet connection (but with a great office chair) that I’ve completely lost touch with blogland. So on a swift catch-up visit this morning I was very excited to read over at iheartpresents that the judging for the Instant Seduction competition is complete. Huge respect to the editors for reading upwards of 600 manuscripts in such a short space of time, and even huger respect to everyone who submitted and has been waiting for the results—because to you that short space of time must have felt like three centuries. I can’t wait to find out the name of the winner, but almost the best bit is reading how brilliantly high the general standard of the entries was, and that there are going to be a number of runners up who’ll receive some editorial input. Well done to everyone.

So, I’m back to that stage of the book where real life has become, frankly, a bit of an imposition, which is just gorgeous (although admittedly slightly inconvenient) and a BIG relief after the struggle I had with the last book. Of course, it’s all about to go very much the shape of the pear again with the imminent onset of the Easter holidays (daughter #1 breaks up today!) but I shall just have to be very brave and stave off creative frustration with plenty of wine and Mini Eggs.

I love Easter. It’s like Christmas without the pressure, and with more chocolate and better weather. Am hoping that the Easter Bunny will bring me this egg from Hotel Chocolat but let’s face it, if he’s a friend of Muffin the rabbit I’ve got no chance. Muffin and I are barely on speaking terms thanks to his habit of eating every attractive thing in the garden, and my habit of yelling at him for it.

Perhaps I should be a bit more tolerant in future....?

Friday, 14 March 2008

What day is it?

Apparently it’s Friday, which seems nothing short of outrageous to me. This week's gone a bit pear-shaped due to the fact that we took the kids out of school for a couple of days (*hangs head in shame*) and headed off up to Edinburgh last Friday for a long weekend for the Calcutta cup at Murrayfield.

My family has a long-standing passion for rugby, (specifically for Scotland) and thankfully also a long-standing debenture for Murrayfield which means they have access to some really cool seats. Daughter #1, going for the first time, was blown away by the whole thing. She couldn't believe how close she was to the action...

In the run up to the trip she’d kept changing her mind about who she was going to support, being Scottish on my side, and St-George-flag-waving English on her father’s, but in the end she showed herself to be a happy combination of both parents by choosing England because they were the best looking team. That’s my girl! Jonny Wilkinson’s kicking may not have won the day on points, but his looks certainly contributed to victory of a kind!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Displacement Activity

The saying goes that 'discretion is the better part of valour', but I reckon it's also the epitome of wisdom and maturity too. I’m not good at it. I just know that if I’d been around during the second world war I’d have been far better employed digging up turnips than cracking secret codes at Bletchley or being dropped into occupied France (they wouldn’t have had to bother with torture, just get the kettle on, open the biscuit tin and say, ‘so—what’s the gossip from England?’)

Don’t you find that when you’re desperately trying not to give something away, it becomes the only thing you can think about and you know that the minute you open your mouth (or begin a new blog post) the details are all going to come spilling out? I’m really not allowed to give any details of the book I’m working on at the moment, which is so difficult because I’m having great fun with it, and it’s one of those ones that has just SO many possibilities that it’s a bit like standing in the middle of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and having to choose one thing (actually—that would be easy wouldn’t it? I’d take Johnny Depp dipped in dark chocolate, please...)

Anyway, while I’m not mentioning it, I’m trying to think of other things to talk about instead. Like the series that just finished this week on ITV1 called The Palace. I must admit I was slow to get into it, but by week 3 I was totally hooked. The almost- gorgeous Rupert Evans helped of course, but the whole premise of the thing was so gloriously Presents, and it reminded me of the glory days of Dynasty and Dallas, but with Brits in tiaras. What’s not to love?

Sadly, it’s finished now so I need something else to fill the gap. Any suggestions? What’s everyone else watching these days?

Monday, 3 March 2008

I think I may need to get out more...

...because surely it can’t be normal to get so ridiculously excited about having a new office chair? Completely on impulse (it’s what passes for wild recklessness when you’re 37) I dragged the rest of my protesting family to Ikea on Saturday afternoon and made them sit on every office chair in the entire store, testing the up and down zoom motion and the twirl-ability of them all.

We finally settled on this one...

...mainly because it's cream leather and I can imagine sitting at my desk wearing a plunging evening dress and diamonds, and spinning round in it saying, 'I’ve been expecting you Meester Bond.’

(Must remember to buy Ruby a diamond-studded collar to complete the picture.)

Am hoping that as well as being about a squillion times more comfortable than my old one and helping to keep the dreaded RSI at bay, it might also inspire me to stay sitting at my desk for more than 12 minutes at a time (last week's record). I have a book to write!