Catching up and carrying on
Blog for December.
This Monthly blog for December could be my end of year blog, but it would take too long to look back over 2022, so I’ll just pick out some highlights. The most significant would be my eight days at Headford in County Galway, Ireland, at a Writers’ Retreat organised by my American Publisher, Wild Rose Press — thirteen American women and me! I flew from Ireland to London for the SPF Book Conference in London after that: two days plus an evening party on the first night. The result of my involvement in the world of books restored my ‘mojo’ and I got back into writing again. So much so that I finished writing my latest Crime thriller, A Song in the Night
(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BHKH6QDW), and, unbelievably, I decided to write a Romance under a pen name. I finished it during the NaNoWriMo gallop with SPF in November and published it as Emma Carney. The title is Happy Lies the Heart (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BQH1F1LK). The romance idea was just for fun, but now I will probably have a new jacket designed by thebooktypesetters.com and think about a series. Just needs some discipline; something I seem to lack nowadays. New Year’s Resolution perhaps?
So, what about my December? Well, I put the Christmas decorations up. Not too many, but at least the house was ready for my Church House Group Christmas party on the 13th. That was good: plenty of food, mulled wine, mince pies (natch) and a finger buffet. I cooked BBQ Chicken wings etc. We had a houseful but were not too crowded out.
Being a glutton for punishment, and not knowing my own mind, I dived into a music training session with Jonny May. I joined his group over a year ago. The guy is phenomenal. I’ve learned a few things with him, but this time I started on a Bb scale course. I’m still at it, but I’m managing to achieve small steps.
Another highlight in December was a trip to the UK Southern Book Show in Arundel. The show was arranged by fellow writer, Natasha Murray. I used to have a stall at her earlier events, but since losing Pat, there’s only me and Tuppence left at home, and I can’t leave Tuppence in order to have a book stall all day at an event. Anyway, I turned up with the dog and was able to chat for about an hour with at least six ladies (all writers) who are old friends from the Chindi book club, which folded a few years ago. I also spent time chatting with some of the other writers there. It was really good. And as a ‘bonus’, Natasha awarded me the UK Southern Book Show Super Fan award!
One thing we all had to deal with in December was the bitterly cold, Arctic temperatures. We even had a seven hour power failure, which was no fun. When I think of what those poor Ukrainian people are having to put up with, it makes a seven hour power failure look like a minor inconvenience.
The World Cup! Loved that.
I also attended a Christmas Lighting Service held by St. Wilfrid’s Hospice at Chichester Cathedral. I received an invite because the Hospice looked after Pat here at home during her last days. Naturally the Cathedral was packed, but it was freezing cold.
Another welcome bonus was a £5 royalty payment from Heygates Book Shop in Bognor for the sale of one of my books.
I made a brave decision too: I took some of Pat’s winter clothes to a charity shop. When I thought of all those people who are either homeless or freezing cold because they can’t afford to turn their heating up, I knew I had to give Pat’s stuff away. I felt quite gloomy after I’d done it, but I knew Pat would have approved. I’ve still got loads of her clothes here, but it will be a long time before I can feel it's right for me to pass them on.
I attended the final 2022 meeting of the Bognor Write Club. We had a kind of ‘Christmassy’ type do: mince pies, a selection of Christmas Super hero stories (all our own work), and a ‘Bran Tub’ type draw where we all picked out a prize; each one a contribution from those attending.
And on Christmas Eve, we had a family Zoom meeting, which included our No.4 son, Stephen, and his family in Australia. On Christmas Day I went over to No. 3 son, John and stayed the night.
So Christmas is finally over, the New Year has begun, resolutions will be made and forgotten about, and we’ll all hope and pray for the right outcome to all the problems our broken world throws at us. I can only hope and pray that all of you who read this blog of mine will have a really happy and contented 2023. If you read any of my books, please tell people about me; word of mouth is important.
Happy New Year.