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Absence, writing and rest…

My absence from social media may or may not have been noticed by you lovely people – but suffice to say I’ve had a good bit going on at home that’s meant I couldn’t be as active as I normally am.

Firstly I’ve had a bad flare with my RA – most of you know i suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (which isn’t an old people’s disease by the way – it’s an ‘affect anyone’ disease). Normally my symptoms are pain (managed with pain relief) and awful fatigue (managed usually by resting) – for those who have no clue about RA and what it is, basically my body attacks its own joints which results in those symptoms. I am on RA medication – DMARDs (disease modifying drugs) which are supposed to help my body not be so mean to itself but these unfortunately have not been working very well. The rheumatology team took me off one of the meds i was on in October last year because it was causing other symptoms, and the one that I am on isn’t working as it should be. They made the decision back in October to move me onto biological medications which are more aggressive but should result in better control of the symptoms. I am due to start these soon.

Normally wouldn’t go into quite so much detail but the massive flare resulted in me being off work for 6 weeks – I’ve had odd days off but never such a long period for this disease and admittedly, it’s scary. I’ve never been one to sit and rest – but my legs had massive swelling and I could barely walk – stairs were a nightmare and sitting without legs elevated meant more swelling. Couple that with fatigue that quite literally knocked me on my well-padded behind, and it resulted in me not being able to work. Or write – which has been an absolute killer. Writing is my creative outlet for how I feel – it’s always been that way. It’s a therapeutic way for me to deal with my depression, oftentimes writing things down has helped me understand how I feel, and sometimes even point out why I feel that way.

Even before I started novel writing, I’ve always written in journals, expressed myself in poetry and story writing. It’s something that’s so ingrained it’s been terribly hard not being able to do it.

But – and there is always a BUT – i’m coming out of the other end of the flare now. I’ve been signed as fit for work and I’m hoping to get back into writing again in the next few days. Even if not on a novel, just getting some words or poetry down, because if there’s one thing that affects my depression, it’s being holed up in the house not able to do the things I normally do.

The good news in all this, is that thankfully, my upcoming release was with the publisher way before this flare came along – Under The Woods is book 4 in the newly branded Forensic Files (formerly known as the north east police series). My previous novels, will now be With Deadly Intent which is a stand-alone and not part of the forensic files and then I’ve Been Watching You, Time to Play, Watch You Burn and now Under the Woods. This latest one was a fantastic one to write. I’ve absolutely loved getting to know Jackson Docherty better – and TJ Tulley (Jacob’s sister in I’ve Been Watching You). Jackson’s character is different to my normal male roles – he’s had his troubles and been a bit of a jack-the-lad but now he’s settling down despite his crazy ex who has been harrassing him. And TJ, due to a medical condition she has incurred from being assaulted in I’ve Been Watching You, now owns and runs a disabled riding stables. And don’t worry – this isn’t some lovey-dovey romance – the killer in this is a particular brand of nasty. I can’t wait for you guys to read it.

I’m heading off for a short break with my hubby next month whilst my wonderful mum looks after our pooches – this break will be to focus on resting and getting well, but also writing. I’ve got the start of a great novel flying round my head – the fifth in the forensic files – and it’s one I’ve been wanting to write for ages. It’ll be set in Edinburgh (for those who don’t know, Scotland is the home of my heart) – I’ve done lots of research on it and I’m already loving the characters even though it’s only in the beginning stages. Can’t wait to crack on with it and get to grips with where the characters are going to take me.

I’ve read a little while I’ve been off – not much as my concentration level hasn’t been great, but I’ve made a sizeable dent in The M Word which is written by Eileen Wharton – it’ll be available via Bombshell Books in June 2018 and honestly, you guys need to grab a copy as soon as it’s available. Eileen is a fab writer – her humour in the novel shines through and I don’t want to finish reading it which is always a good sign.

Well that’s it for now – apologies for the delay and hopefully see you all soon. And as always, keep smiling. 🙂