Thursday, 21 December 2017

First Drafts and Happy Endings

In view of the final Christmas cards not writing themselves, the snow peaked Christmas cake still looking distinctly like a fruit cake and Father Christmas struggling to get everything wrapped without its little helper, this will be my last post of 2017.

But, after an 'eventful' year, I thought this would be a good moment to announce that by hook or by crook, I have reached my deadline and penned the final word of a very sloppy, for my eyes only, first draft of my second novel. In January that was looking as likely as crispy, frosty days lasting until Christmas. In February I had a few words behind me but when I went running in March and decided I wasn't writing the story I wanted to write, I hot-footed it home, shoved the draft in the back of the drawer and reset my word counter to nought. News of secondary cancer stole my mojo for a few weeks in the spring and in the summer, I was spending a little too much time travelling around the country talking books (and loving it) – not to mention going on holiday – and not quite enough time in my study. Thankfully, in August, the wonderful guests at a talk at the Feva Festival in Knaresborough, made me realise things had to change, and that's when I discovered Prolifiko. It helped me re-discover my Writing Habit and now I write every day because I'm too scared to lose it again. Thank you Fear, you have been, and continue to be, incredibly helpful.

I also end the year with my health in a very stable position, beaten back by the brilliance of modern medicine. And that was the stuff of dreams back in March when I received that phone call from the doctor. As Christmas presents go, and please don't misunderstand me, I appreciate them all, this one is the best.

I am so very, very grateful as I know only too well, that this is not the same for everyone. I send my love and best wishes to those who have lost loved ones, and for whom Christmas will be particularly difficult.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog posts in 2017 and for all the heart-warming and amusing messages you write in response here and over on Facebook and Twitter. They always make me smile 😊  I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a 2018 full of love, happiness and loads of extra time for reading.


  1. So glad to hear you're doing well, health-wise and writing-wise. You've had a lot of distractions this year, so getting to the end with a completed draft is fantastic. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Annalisa. I must say, scribbling this post made me feel a little less guilty for the first draft taking a while :) How are you? How's your writing going? I hope all's well in life and writing. And all the very best to you for Christmas and a fabulous 2018 x

  2. Great news on both counts. Happy Christmas and by the way have signed up to "just treatment". xx

    1. Thank you! It's definitely how I'd choose to end the year! And I'm so happy you've signed up to Just Treatment. They'll be thrilled :)

  3. Don't tell Gillian Flynn or Alice Sebold I said this, but you are by far my favorite author!! ��

    1. This was from your superfan niece by the way!

    2. Hehe! I had a word with them, explained there was a little natural bias, and they said that, not at all, you have, after all, incredibly good taste :D

    3. ... with big love from a super, superfan auntie (I know, I know, I don't look old enough...)

    Clara I’m a citizen of USA, My younger sister was sicking of
    breast cancer and her name is David Sandra I and my family have taking her
    to all kind of hospital in USA still yet no good result. I decided to go to
    the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I find a lady
    called peter Lizzy she was testifies to the world about the goodness of a
    herbal man who has the root and half to cure all kind of disease and the
    herbal man email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man for my
    younger sister help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him
    my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be
    cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that
    I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how
    can I receive the cure that I am in USA, he told me

    That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can
    transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid for
    the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the courier
    service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to, before the week
    complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a dream to me not
    knowing that it was physical I and my family were very happy about the
    miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5 million us dollars the
    herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad, but I don't know why he
    didn't accept the offer, he only say that I should tell the world about him
    and his miracle he perform so am now here to tell the world about him if
    you or your relative is having any kind of disease that you can't get from
    the hospital please contact or whatsapp him
    +2348110114739 for the cure, he will help you out with the
    problem. And if you need more information about the doctor you can mail me


Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love to hear your thoughts and always respond :)