Thursday 28 June 2018

New novel, new novel, new novel...

Some time ago, I wrote a mad romp of a novel*, but it was so off-the-wall that I stuck it in the famous cyber drawer and forgot about it. But more recently, I dug it out and  sent it to a writer friend, and she absolutely loved it. So does my publisher. It comes out for the first time on pre-order soon, and I'm really excited about it.

As I've said before, I hate, hate, hate self-promotion, and I'm terrible at it. I've only told one or two of my friends about this novel. But here on my blog I feel I can say, please give it a try when it comes out. It will be only 99p on pre-order on Kindle (August in paperback), and I'd love it if you would buy it. Please?

And if you don't buy it, thank you anyway for reading this.

* Original title: The Virgin of the Hen House (hence the chickens), but I was firmly persuaded that that was a bad idea. I think they were right.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Things I've learnt recently

1. The Heimlich manoeuvre really works. I tried it on my husband when a pill got stuck in his throat, and the pill just flew out. I can't wait to try it again!

2. People are either born tidy or they're not. I've tried and tried, but the trouble is, I just don't care enough. So it's silly to envy tidy people (which I do) because theoretically I should be able to change...

3. My horse hates cows that walk towards him. Two of us had a horrible cow experience last Monday, and we both nearly fell off.

4. You can get bored with grey knickers (I bought some because I thought that since they always end up grey, they might as well start off grey. Now I long for sparkling new white ones but I'm too mean to throw the grey ones away).

5. Looking after grandchildren who are at school all day give me time to write pointless blog posts. (I have tidied and made the beds, so I'm not a complete slob.)

6. Dijon mustard two years past its sell by date is not nice, but it is edible. Just.

7. Anthony Trollope really is my favourite author.

Saturday 2 June 2018

Do we need to scream more?

This week, I read of a young teenager who was severely  depressed. Anti-depressants hadn't worked, and in the end she went to a place in the country where people like her were treated. There, she was encouraged to go out into the nearby woods (safely) and scream her pain. It worked. She still takes medication, but she is much better for her screaming.

When my first husband died, the pain was so bad that I felt like screaming, but of course I didn't. Well we don't, do we? During the funeral, I wished we were of a culture where screaming was allowed; even encouraged. Where people throng round a funeral pyre and yell their anguish uninhibitedly. But we all wept quietly. Weeping quietly is acceptable; even expected.

Then, one evening, things came to a head. I think I'd had some trivial disagreement with one of the children about PE kit (or something equally unimportant). I got in the car, and drove a short distance down the road and up a country lane. And I screamed. I screamed and screamed and screamed. I screamed so much and so loudly that I was hoarse for a week afterwards, but it helped. I got some of that anguish out; I was able to vocalise how I felt. Not by the quiet weeping that I'd been doing for the last couple of weeks, but with a full-on explosion of pain.

It's odd that it's fine to scream at a pop concert (provided you're young enough) or in extreme danger, but not when assailed by one of the worse pains of all: bereavement. It's just not British.

It doesn't even feel quite right writing it here; after all, I am British. But I'm going to, anyway....