Twelve months in the life of this writer

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So another year has passed in the life of Beev and what a hell of a year it has been. Here are some things I learnt over the course of it.

My memory is steadily getting worse. Over the past 12 months I have routinely walked in the room, only to forget why I am there. I have also paid for my grocery shopping, then walked out of the store with an empty trolley, because I’ve left it all sitting on the checkout. That I don’t know my mobile number is excusable, but I changed my landline last winter and I CAN’T REMEMBER IT. To be fair, I don’t call myself, do I? As for my writing, I have to go back and check over earlier chapters because I keep forgetting details. Nothing major, just stuff like dates, locations, character names, who the killer is… I honestly believe I am going to finish the Dead Letter Day sequel and then be able to read it along with you guys, as I won’t have a clue what’s going to happen.

I still hate winter nights, but I am learning to cope with them. I am a summer girl. I like my maxi dresses, beer gardens and warm evenings that stay light till 10pm. Going to work and coming home in the dark depresses the hell out of me, but last winter I learnt that hot soapy bubble baths, snuggly PJs, scented candles and good food and wine can be pretty good. And all that darkness gets me in the mood for writing some sinister plotlines.

Grisly is no longer a word I spell incorrectly and I now know the difference between a cuddly brown bear and a gruesome scene. I also now know the entertainments editor of a certain national newspaper is a bit of a pedantic old witch, so not to cross her path.

I am still incredibly gullible. My work colleague told me the Channel Tunnel is closed at certain times of the year when we have heavy rainfall, as they have to repair the leaks. Yup, I was the stupid idiot who said, ‘really?’

I have learnt my periodic table. My quest to be the ultimate geek continues. Not content with learning all of the countries of the world, all of the capital cities of the world and all of the flags of the world, I decided to take on science. I may not know my own telephone number, but I’ve got all that yttrium, molybdenum and protactinium shit down pat.

My cooking is edible. For years I’ve been hiding behind diabolical culinary skills as an excuse to get everyone else to cook dinner for me. Now I finally accept I can make most things if I’m prepared to put the effort in. Of course I am Beev and the microwave is still my best friend. I never was very good at that “effort” business.

And finally, I have learnt to never give up on your dreams. A year ago today I was furiously typing away trying to get the Dead Letter Day manuscript ready for entry in the Rethink Press New Novels 2012 Competition.  Before that point, it had been sat in a cupboard under a few bottles of red wine gathering dust. Little did I know that it would win me a publishing package and remind me that, aside from family (human and fluffy) and friends, writing is the most important thing in my life. As I sit here working on the sequel I can’t believe I became so jaded I gave up. Seeing my book in print and reading the great reviews makes every year of struggling and every knockback so worthwhile. If you have a dream, stand tall above your critics and if you believe in yourself enough, you can make it happen.

 

 

Fun on the Norfolk Broads

A break away from writing yesterday as I traded laptops for life jackets and headed on out for fun and frolics on the Norfolk Broads.

Now this is why I love Norfolk. Yes, we might have a lot of people with webbed hands and feet and yes we might be the world capital of wolf fleeces and yes we might have more tractors and beet lorries on our roads than cars, but we also have the fantastic broads.

Seventeen of us headed out in three boats, armed with water pistols,  alcoholic picnics, captain hats (because you have to wear a captain’s hat if you’re gonna drive a boat, right?),  two umbrellas (brought by the pessimists) and one bikini (worn by the wildly optimistic member of our gang).

We left Wroxham under grey skies, and in true Brit style, smiled through gritted teeth, as we shivered and drank coffee/Bacardi/beer (depending on which boat you were on) and speculated about what a wonderful day we were going to have, despite the weather. By the time we made our first pub stop, ominous spits of rain were falling from the sky, but we were hardcore and remained out in the beer garden.

And then the sun came out.

I managed to burn my nose again and now resemble the reindeer who wasn’t allowed to join in any reindeer games, we had a man overboard incident after one of our party tripped on the dock while untying the boat (and it wasn’t clumsy old me), the umbrellas disappeared and Caroline’s bikini came out, Dave got carried away during the water pistol fight and chucked Caroline’s muffins in the water and we had fantastic conversations, the kind only Norfolk friends can have.

Example:

Jody to Dave who has just ordered tomato and mozzarella salad: Are you vegetarian?

Dave: Um, well, I suppose… Well I guess I am during the daytime.

Yup, we had a daytime vegetarian with us. At night I expect he is out there stalking deer and sheep.

All in all a fabulous day out with good friends and a great chance to recharge the batteries; and I was reminded yet again of the great opportunities for setting one of my book plots on the Norfolk Broads. There are so many good places to hide the bodies.