Wednesday, 1 January 2014

I've just typed 'The End'

My most pressurised moment of 2013!
Courtesy of Ben Randall Photopgraphy
And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never 
--Rainer Maria Rilke

How apt is it that on the last day of 2013 I typed 'The End.' It was the last words of the first draft of my new novel.  One that I started back in September.  I have done my normal of writing 'cold', so I get the bare bones of the story down (hence why it was written so fast). I am now going to print it off and leave it sitting, fermenting in the corner before I go back to it and I start painting the colour in. When I will rewrite/edit 'hot'. This is how I write. I am not saying it is the right way or the only way but after many years of trying, it is the best way for me.  I have to mull things over, allow inspiration to take me by surprise as all the details start to appear to me.  It is like a tapestry. I first of all do an outline edge to the picture, once complete and I can see how it looks I go back and fill in the light and shade.

I started this last night and now it is early on the 1st January, the first day of a brand new year. I spent the evening with family and friends, many of whom I have known for over 20 years, and had a wonderful time, where I could say farewell to the old and welcome in the new. Even better is I have no hangover as I didn't drink last night as I was driving gorgeous daughter and baby grandson (son in law was DJ-ing where we went). Happy times.

I suppose there should be a moment of reflection. In 2013 there were some amazing highs, including my daughter's wedding (see picture - that was me trying to lace up her dress, oh the concentration and pressure to get it right!), both my sons have found gorgeous girlfriends and have left home,plenty of perfect moments with Noah and the others,  I turned 50, my contract at the University of Winchester was made permanent and to my surprise I became a Senior Lecturer, I got a book contract for an academic book and, oh joy of joys, I started working with The Golden Egg Academy and Imogen Cooper and her gaggle of editors: Beverley Birch, Chrissie O'Brien, Bella Pearson and Maurice Lyon. - a specific highlight from this was being told at the launch, by Barry Cunningham of Chicken House and JK Rowling fame, that  Imogen and I were scary women! This made me laugh out loud as I am anything but. 

Anyway as with all life this was countered by some unbelievable lows, which I am not going to dwell on here. They shook me and my belief in myself to the core. It has taken a lot to come out the other side. I won't ever be the same person but am very grateful to the family and friends who stuck by me and supported me throughout. 

But what about 2014, what is that going to bring? Lots of challenges for a start. I have this book to write on writing young adult fiction, which I am busily researching at the moment. I have the aforementioned novel to edit hot, polish then get out there - there is a huge amount of pressure to get it right as when I mention the story to anyone they say 'That's amazing, can't wait to see it, it could be a film!'  Think I might stop  saying anything... I have many exciting things planned with Golden Egg  as well as  many wonderful things that I will be doing at the University too - am hoping I may have a little announcement connected with that soon too . It is a year where I need to find out who I am and reclaim the house as my own. It is a strange feeling as I am living totally on my own for the first time ever - exhilarating yet daunting at the same time.  All those labels that I have hidden behind for years have gone - no longer mother, student, daughter, wife. Who shall I be now? Maybe this year I will try and fit some travel in. There are many places I would like to go. But whatever happens I am ready for it - bring on 2014.

I hope 2014 brings you all plenty of happiness and laughter and all the strength in the world to deal with the moments that, inevitably, will not be that great - but let's also hope those moments are few and far between. Happy New Year everyone.

And I couldn't end this post without a piece of music from  my personal sound track. This is the music that my daughter walked down the aisle to with her two brothers either side, preparing to giver her away. I could never have been a prouder mother at that moment. It was a Perfect Day....oooh there's another song...but for another time. 

Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla


  1. Happy New Year, Ness! Congratulations on the wonderful end to 2013 and best of luck for 2014 - a year of beginnings! x

    1. Thank you Sue, and the same to you. I hope 2014 brings you everything you desire, much happiness and laughter xx

  2. Fascinating how The End is always the beginning of enormous adventures. I celebrate your good things and hope the bad remains firmly buried in the departing year. Lots of love!

    1. Thank you Candy, am hoping it is the beginning of enormous adventures. I certainly had great fun writing the first draft. I hope 2014 brings you lots of happiness and laughter x