Monday, December 24, 2007

Ten things

Ten things to be thankful for (in no particular order):

1/ I adore the cover for my new book Zuzu's Petals which my editor, Anna, has designed; but I can't show you it until it's absolutely decided.

2/ I've finally decided on the next book I'm going to write (gosh, it was painful) - a sequel to Plotting for Beginners.

3/ Our log burning stove.

4/ A warm bed.

5/ My two grandchildren - I have someone to read pre-school stories to, and someone who's excited about Christmas.

6/ My Christmas present to myself: More Bad Housekeeping by Sue Limb. I have recently discovered her fictional anti-heroine Dulcie Domum. I bought Bad Housekeeping in November and devoured it over a weekend, and tomorrow I shall gobble up the sequel.

7/ My family.

8/ My new breast prosthesis (falsie en famille) because it's self-adhesive and perky. It's perkier than my remaining breast - maybe I'll have that removed and then I can have two perky breasts (only joking.)

9/ The Christmas tree mobile my husband made me this morning.

10/ My friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Poor Sally

I have been getting ready for Christmas and worrying about Sally. How is she getting on in this season where Gus is the biggest misery guts in the world? Is she managing to keep her spirits up? I just popped over to see if she's started blogging again, and there are two new posts. Check out her blog. The question mark in the title says it all...

Monday, December 17, 2007


Look what I got in the Christmas post! A unique, handbaked Snowcookie from Em and Anna and Rob at Snowbooks. Aren't they the funkiest publishers on the planet?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Maybe the fairies have the answer

At last, the Christmas fairies are swinging into action at our house - abseiling down from who knows where... Maybe they will know who should star in the next book - Kate and Jerry, or Sally and Gus?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Clean sweep?

I had to stop writing about Sally and Gus in Sally's Blog because the characters were taking up too much space in my head. Since I batted them out of the way a little I've begun, at last, to have ideas for a new book. Last Friday I began some rudimentary plotting and the book has been simmering away all weekend. I've just opened up my planning file to do some more work and what do I see? The names of Sally and Gus. Yes, there are the names of the two new principal characters at various points on the page, but when I have added notes throughout, it's the names Sally and Gus that appear. Bah! Should I definitively kill the reprobates off somehow - maybe on Sally's Blog? Or should I give in and make the next book about them, a sequel to Plotting for Beginners perhaps?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I miss Sally and Gus

It's such a shame that Sally is no longer here. There is so much in my daily life I'd like to hear her comments on.

For example...I had a mastectomy some time ago, and this week my breast prosthesis started leaking (yikh!) so I had to zip into the hospital and order a new one. This time they're giving me a super dooper self adhesive one. Brilliant! No more embarrassment as I lean over in the supermarket and the falsie slips out of my bra. No more annoyance when I'm weeding and the falsie goes plop in the flowerbed. No more pink squishiness sidling out of my bra when I am mother-of-the-groom in a low cut affair.

But Sally isn't here to add her two penn'orth (sp?) and neither is Gus to offer a description of the new prosthesis...that the bumps on the back of it and the colour and consistency make it look like an invertebrate that someone's dredged up from the seabed. If you're not fainthearted, see here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


My son recently got married to wonderful wacky Wendy, whom we all love to bits, and I have been emailing wedding pics to my friends. They all say how glamorous I looked in my wedding gear, so I thought I'd make the most of this rare record of me as glamorous mother-of-the-groom, and post it here.

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Monday, December 03, 2007


Anna, my editor at Snowbooks, has gone through my manuscript for Zuzu's Petals and marked where she thinks there should be a comma, or shouldn't be a comma, where I have used too many ands, where she wants me to use a capital letter - etc, etc, etc - and then sent me the marked manuscript for me to agree or disagree with each of her changes.

When she did this for Plotting for Beginners, she seemed to want a lot of changes, and I argued with many. Poor Anna. There are half as many changes this time, and I've argued with only a handful. What's happened in the last two years? Am I less precious and more pragmatic? Am I a better writer or less opinionated? Or have I changed to be more like Anna? You're supposed to grow to be like your pet. Do writers become more like their editors?

A (non-writing) friend said to me "How can you bear to have someone picking over your writing like that, criticising it, wanting to make changes? Don't you feel incredibly annoyed?"

The answer is no. I love the process of going through the book with Anna. It feels so good to have someone caring about my book as much as I do - every sentence, every word, every full stop. She loves the book and she wants it to be the best it can be. And so do I.

Zuzu's Petals will be published next May. Hooray!

On quite another tack, our cat Chione came to live with us 2 years ago today. Isn't she beautiful?