Achievements, changes and smiles …

After a hugely busy week, the weekend finally arrived! It was actually one of those long arduous weeks where you long for your rest days with all of your being. But not in a bad way.

As you all know, I started my new job this week, and it’s been all focused around knowledge and training and computer systems. Now most people who know me understand that whilst I appear tech-savvy on the outside, I’m actually not that great and it doesn’t usually like me. This week however I have had minimal problems. I’m enjoying the new challenges and embracing the new systems which so far appear to be much easier than those I previously worked with. I’m in a small training group, all of whom are lovely and have already been made aware of my future team and shift pattern so I’ve been able to work out the most important thing about any job, my annual leave! Speaking of annual leave, it’s only a month til the Harrogate Crime Festival! EEK! Excited!

Received a lovely letter yesterday from my editor, Jenny Drewery, in which she had popped a few business cards for me to hand out to anyone else looking for a fantastic editor and friend. She’s truly one of the nicest people I know, always there with advice, and explains things simply (which is good for a literary numpty like myself – I jest of course, apparently I’m not as bad as some!)

Today has been a fab day – for my regular followers, you all know I finished the first draft of With Deadly Intent in January – then put it away and started editing in March. My original aim was to finish the editing by the end of May which with one thing and another turned out to be a little ambitious but (cue the trumpets sounding), I have finished the final edit TODAY! All 90,111 words, all 267 pages, all 40 chapters (plus prologue and epilogue!). I am naturally feeling very euphoric at this, or I was until I realised that now I’ve finished the editing, I have to prepare the synopsis, author bio and pitch letters! I have made a start on this, but am finished with it for this evening as have to be up early for work tomorrow. I will of course, keep you all updated as I progress!

I am generally a very positive person, I like pictures that inspire and today’s picture was appropriated through internet means – it doesn’t list the author but it’s very apt. I’m by no means perfect, but I work hard both in my employment, and my writing, and there’s just something about this year and that positive mental attitude that is making everything work out. One of my good friends once said that I’m the most positive depressed person she has ever met – I love that. My depression is something that strikes at inopportune times, and can cripple me for days at a time, but I try my best not to let it. Because I believe that depression is just part of life, it doesn’t define who I am and as long as I don’t let it take over my life, then the rest of the time I get to be happy. I firmly believe that in being positive, it helps keep my depression at bay. You may or may not agree, and that’s entirely your prerogative. But it works for me.

Now book 1 is finished, I can get it sent out to agents in the next couple of weeks and turn my attention back to Ben and Jacob – I can’t wait to get back into their minds, see what makes them tick, and bring them back to life. Writing is such a big part of my life now, I am eternally grateful to the psychic who asked me why the hell I wasn’t writing, and to the wonderful lecturers (mostly) who brought out my talent and helped me learn to embrace this side of me. I’ve spoken to several people lately who have been very interested to hear I’ve written a novel (wow that sounds good) and many have said back, ‘I’d love to write a book.’ My advice to anyone who believes they would have loved to have done it, is that it’s never too late. Dreams are there so that we can aim to achieve them – one is quite simply, never too old to write. So get that pen and notebook out, start making some notes. Put aside just an hour a week to make sense of those notes and before you know it you’re on your way to writing your first novel. And if I can ever offer anyone advice, or encouragement, please just get in touch. Helping others is the least I can do when I’ve had so much encouragement and help in my career.

The last bit of the title today is smiles – I haven’t stopped smiling all week. And I’ve no intention of stopping smiling next week either. So embrace your smiles, and do what makes you happy. And as always, thanks for reading xxxx