A well-overdue update!


I must apologise – again – for such a lengthy absence from my blog. I know only too well how frustrating it is to follow someone and then they stop posting and disappear off the radar. However it’s probably better that I haven’t been posting because the reason for my absence is that I simply have nothing to say! I’m in the final stages of completing my second manuscript and so my attention is very firmly focussed there at the moment. I wasn’t quite sure how long it would take me to complete it but now feels like the correct point in the writing to start on the concluding threads of the plot. This involves a lot of emotionally intense writing and concentration as I bring my characters to where they need to be, which can be quite draining at times.

And the other thing which has diverted my attention rather drastically is simply being a mother. I had a glance through the school calendar the other day and counted twenty-three separate occasions when I need to be present at the girls’ school this term. And that does not include drop off or pick up or any away matches. I was absolutely staggered; it is swiftly becoming not really an exaggeration to say that I spend as much time at that school as they do. Which of course I am enormously fortunate to be able to do, I love watching the swimming competitions and sports matches and music al performances. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the recent ‘Mothers into Woodland Day’ that the nursery department organised in celebration of Mother’s Day. Every Friday the nursery class spend the day in the woods in the school grounds, come rain or shine, they go out there and explore, paint things on trees, use clay, eat worms, etc. and that’s fine by me. I wholly support the idea. Or at least I did until they invited me to go along with them. And not only that, but presented the whole idea as a treat! I don’t generally spend an awful lot of time in woods, I don’t have suitable woodland hair or clothing, and I was not looking forward to it. I had to go of course, every other mother in the class was attending and I couldn’t let my younger daughter down (though I would have done if I thought I could get away with it) but I dutifully went along in the drizzle and painted pictures with mud and poster paint, collected twigs, hunted for beetles and I actually had a good time. I was very surprised.  The range of activities that had been organised for us was good; the only one that disturbed me slightly was where the children were encouraged to use a full-size lump hammer to whack nails into a tree stump. I watched that one with trepidation. There are limits obviously, and I left after an hour and a half, but I did enjoy myself.

I also try and run three miles every day – with the idea that if I aim for every day I might actually do it two or three times a week. It’s amazingly easy to provide yourself with reasons why you shouldn’t/don’t need to run three miles. However, sadly I am getting fitter which means that I need to run further to achieve the same effect which doesn’t please me. I do enjoy it when I’m out there and there’s no doubt that my health benefits but essentially I only run so that I can eat – drink – more.

I’ve been reading quite a lot too, I find it soothing to immerse myself in someone else’s creation for a while and let my own characters drift to the very back of my mind. I’ve re-read a few Penny Vincenzi novels which are just great, I love them. Real Aga-Sagas, I adore the way she creates complicated families and engrossing storylines, they’re easy to sink into and I’m always slightly sad when I finish reading one. I’ve also read Adele Parks’ ‘Men I’ve Loved Before’ and Catherine Alliott’s ‘One Day in May’ which was absolutely tremendous. I have always loved her writing, she is clever, witty and engaging and her books never fail to make me laugh out loud – which sounds clichéd but its true – and this one was no exception. There’s a twist to the story that I did not see coming which gave the whole book a far greater depth than it otherwise would have had and made it a fantastic read. I definitely recommend it. And now I’m reading ‘Kiss and Tell’ by Fiona Walker, another favourite author of mine, and enjoying it very much.

I also received a lovely review on Friday through Twitter, which you can read here: https://wormhole.carnelianvalley.com/sarah-haynes-things-he-never-knew/. It was a particularly nice review, not just because it praised the book, but because it was truly in-depth and well thought out. Whilst writing Things He Never Knew I was keen to make sure that the blame did not fall solely on Steph, it was important to me that she wasn’t vilified for her actions, but understood, and the reviewer picked up on this. I’m still always amazed when people tell me how much they enjoyed the book, it’s a strange feeling to know that something I created entertains others. It’s a wonderful feeling though and I hope it never goes away.

So I shall leave it there and hopefully not such a long time will elapse between posts again. But if it does you will all now know why……I shall be found in the woods.

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