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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Further Falling Apart news, a five-line peek, and I go mad and am nailed into a room. Send help. Or Biscuits. I have some HobNobs in here with me, but am running short of Jaffa Cakes.

"And how.." I hear you asking, admittedly from quite a distance because I've been doing nothing but editing for the last couple of weeks and am beginning to twitch and smell and am best approached from a couple of miles with questions held out on a long stick, "is Falling Apart coming on?"

Well, thank you for asking, it's going very nicely.  In fact, the first round of edits are just about done! Yes, done!!! Mwahahahahahahaaaaaaaa....

Ahem. Sorry about that.  And the twitch.  It's probably best not to come too close when carrying liquids.  Or anything, actually, in fact, don't come too close at all, I have spent a considerable time on my own and may react suddenly and violently if anyone ARRGGGHHHHATTFGHHHHH!!!!!!

Oh.  Whoops.  It'll sew back on a treat, though.  Probably.

This is how I look at the moment.  Which is why I am, quite frankly, surprised that you are here.  Or over there, in your case, with quite a long stick.

Anyway.  I hope you all had a terrific Christmas.  I had one, I know I did, it was around here somewhere a minute ago, I just put it down and turned around must have rolled under the sofa, I'll have a look later, it can't have got far, but mostly there have been words.

Many words.  And here, to prove it, are some of them:

Liam raised one eyebrow, archly and knocked his hair away from his face with the back of a wrist.  “He’s in our system.  And there’s only one way that could happen...well, no, there’s two ways, but one of those involves Daniel Craig, two albatross and an enormous quantity of rubber bands, so I’m betting on you being involved.”

There.  That proves it, doesn't it?  Real words, in proper sentences, that quite make up for the Christmas that fell under the cushions.  Or maybe it got eaten by the dog, that happens a lot in my house.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I had better get some Pledge on this manuscript and buff up its paragraphs before New Year, otherwise that might be another party that I hear from a distance whilst barricaded inside my room...actually, good point, must check whether the door is nailed shut from the inside or the outside...

Sunday, 22 December 2013

I've been a bit absent lately.  You may have noticed.  Facebook has been unresplendant without my words of wisdomish, I've not been hanging around on Twitter bothering famous people and spreading the word about Tony Robinson quite as assiduously as I normally do, and I have generally been keeping myself to myself.  Have you missed me?  No, no, don't all answer at once, Blogger may crash.

However, I should like to reassure you that life in the Lovering cave continues unabated.  There is a tree, some decorations (oh, all right, we just sprayed the cobwebs silver and put glitter in the dust, but it's decorative, all right?), presents have been bought, wrapped and left in places of safety.  Food reclines at a somewhat perilous angle within the freezer and there is a cake. Somewhere. I'll know it when I see it.  I am deeply ensconced within the Editing Procedure and also my attempts to knock out another book, where I shall be remaining for the next fortnight at least, while the day job is held in abeyance by the fact that children are being given a Christmas holiday and there is, therefore, no need to attempt to educate them.  My house is full of owls (seriously, again, what is it with the owls?) and I just know there is chocolate somewhere.

You didn't believe me about the owls, did you?  Seen here with Hubble Bubble biscuits, sent by the lovely Rachel...
It would, therefore, appear that I am as ready for Christmas as a cat is ready for cheese.  Poised on the cusp of Christmas Eve on my little, immaculately shod, tippytoes and ready to tip forward into the hurly burly of the Festive Season in my gold macrame frock (yes, I know most people wear gold lame but I misheard the instructions.  It's a very nice frock.  And I can keep plants in it when I'm not wearing it.  Quite a lot of me pokes out, of course, but then, quite a lot of me pokes out of whatever I'm wearing).

So it only remains for me to raise a glass of something that is roughly like Baileys but half the price, close one eye because you are all quite a long way away, and wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!  May you all have the Christmas you wish for.

And watch out for the owls. They are definitely planning something....

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The 'C' word, and its association with owls, and a smell is for life, not just for Christmas.

The 'C' word offends a lot of people.  They wish we'd stop saying it, or at least, refrain from saying it in polite company, or among groups of children who pick it up like a chant and run round yelling "C********!" to anyone who will listen.  But, it is a sad fact of modern life that, like it or not, the C word is uttered ever increasingly, sometimes almost fondly, sometimes loudly and explosively, and while some cover their ears and mutter, others just smile and remark on how time has moved on...

What?  Well of course I'm talking about Christmas, what else would I be t... oh.  Oh, yes, I see the confusion there.  Sorry.  Yes.  I was talking about the whole Christmassy episode, I thought, since it's the fifteenth of December and there's only ten days to go before the Big Event, that I'd be able to get away with mentioning something that's been all over the shops since September.  I've even got a tree now, and candles and an inordinate number of decorations with owls on them.

 Seriously, what is it with the owls?  Why is an owl particularly Christmassy?  I live surrounded by owls and I've never seen one single one so much as don a Santa hat or drape tinsel, or attempt to 'whoooo' along to 'Merry Christmas Everybody!'.  So I am slightly baffled by the amount of owlage, or I would be if there wasn't a similar outbreak of foxage also stuck to my tree.  Foxes, I have to say, are Not Christmassy.  I know owls aren't either, but foxes are almost the epitome of Not Christmas.  It would be like me sticking all my cats to the tree and claiming them as ornaments.  Foxes smell dreadful and, yes, all right, so does much of my house, but that's all year round not just at this time of year, and a Big and Powerful Smell just does not scream "CHRISTMAS" to me.  It screams "get out your bottles of bleach and scrub for all you are worth because there is probably a dead mouse at the bottom of all this!"


You might have to squint a bit, but there are Definite Owls and Foxes there.  Big Powerful Smell not pictured, although it almost certainly presages a Dead Mouse, probably under the tree.

I'm going back to the editing.  It all makes more sense than sticking owls to trees and contending with A Smell, particularly at Christmas time...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Promised pictures, a smugness of Christmas shopping, my lack of tentacles and a loveliness of cats.

A few weeks ago I promised you pictures of my research, and then was unable to fulfill my promise, on account of my blog-gremlins(about which more later, assuming they don't suddenly break in and wipe my memory of..oooh, look, kittens!).  I hate breaking a promise.  I like breaking the seal on a new jar of coffee, mind you, there's something about that first lungful of undiscovered Nescafe that makes me feel as though I am sitting in a pavement cafe in Nice, dunking my pain au chocolat and pretending to read 'Paris Match' despite the fact that my french is really only up to being able to tell people that the headline is "something about bees.  Or maybe nuclear fuel.."  But I haven't got a jar of Nescafe to hand, so I'm just going to have to show you the previously intended picture of the church on the moors where my heroine in 'I Don't Want to Talk About It' spends a lot of her time, writing her book about graves and being pursued by...well, no I don't want to give it away, but there is a hobby horse involved.

Yep. There it is.

So, that's that one.  And, before you ask, yes, I'm still editing Falling Apart, yes I am supposed to be doing it now, and no, I'm not avoiding it...just....well, this is my equivalent of 'getting some fresh air'. For my eyes.  I'm only doing it with a firm mental image of my editor standing just behind me, possibly dunking a pain au chocolat but with a very steady gaze fixed firmly on the back of my head, which makes me feel guilty if I stray too far from my keyboard, or spend an hour trying to learn to whistle 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town', or pair my socks according to wear-patterns.

But there are benefits to being incarcerated behind my keyboard, allowed out only for the obligatory Journey to the Day Job and visits to the toilet and things....I've finished my Christmas shopping!  Yes, my fingers may be rattling over these keys and my eyes may be focussed on the screen, and I may appear to be working like the sort of demon that you see pictures of in those books with all the tentacles on the cover (only with less tentacles, obviously, because if I had tentacles I'd be able to do my Christmas shopping AND my editing, although that would probably require two keyboards and a bit more brainpower than I can generally muster) but, in reality, I'm giving Amazon blanket-coverage.

Sorry, sorry, I realise that those words will have cast fear into your dear little, not the words about the tentacles, the ones about having finished my Christmas shopping.  I know, because I'm usually the hearee of such smug statements; the 'oh yes, I got all my shopping done in October, it's all wrapped and labelled and ready for the day', when all I've managed is to buy a packet of dried fruit and some pick and mix which I ate on the way home, so my apologies for that.

Here.  Have a picture of my cats to distract you.  Cats are lovely.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas, editing and a bonus Ben Wishaw and Ben Barnes (hopefully the pictures of their loveliness will distract you from how rubbish my blog is...)

Christmas and Editing have become so intertwined in my head that now I can't see a string of Christmas lights without wanting to take out every third one and join the two ends together.  I shall probably spend next week writing Christmas cards and then annotating them in fluorescent yellow pen 'move this to the end', 'take out this greeting' and 'who ARE these people?'

So, you may gather, I am still suffering. Although 'suffering' is a bit relative isn't it, I'm doing most of this from my lovely snuggly bed, draped in a duvet and eating Ferrero Rocher chocolates and shortbread biscuits, I'm not exactly engaging in hand-to-hand combat with armed rebels on a diet of boiled grass and leaves, am I?  But, you know, it's hard and my brain hurts, so...

So. To update you on progress.  Falling Apart now has added Sil, a bit less family angst but more parental contribution, exactly the same amount of zombie but now a bit more 'together', and Zan is just...well, he's just Zan. When I write him I sort of imagine Ben Wishaw as Q in Skyfall... geeky and lacking any noteable sense of humour..

I would very much like to put a picture of that in here, but Blogger, once again, is refusing to let me upload pictures.  I think it does it on purpose..or it could be my resident poltergeist, who seems to have taken a dislike to my computer, but has a surprising affinity for safety pins, which is nice, because there are usually never any safety pins in this house, but now I have several...oh no, now it's done it.  Whoopee.  Anyway.  That there is Ben Wishaw being Zanlike, except Zan would not be seen dead in that jacket and doesn't need to wear glasses, although, knowing Zan, he might just wear them anyway to give himself something to take off and put on again in moments of high drama.

Anyway.  Back to me and my angst... I am please to report that, despite the editing meaning that I rarely leave my bed except to go to work, the toilet, walk the dogs and replenish my Ferrero Rocher and shortbread biscuit supplies, I seem to have almost finished my Christmas shopping!  Yes, I know! Try not to hate me.  Some of it is even wrapped!  I have no idea how this happened, unless it was because I started shopping for Christmas in about June and have, in consequence, been living on top of boxes and carrier bags for months. Fortunately I am blessed with unrummagey children - well, most of them are away at present anyway, so the presents remain safely stored and unmolested, ready to be brought out on Christmas morning.  I would put them under the tree on Christmas eve but we have cats and dogs and mice and a poltergeist, and the carnage would be upsetting.

Right.  Back to the editing - Sil is about to make an Entrance... (and for those of you who are wondering, I think he looks a bit like this at the moment...)