Monday, 23 March 2015

A short break.

I’m going off the blog for a few days whilst I hit my deadline and finish this particular draft. This is the one that will go to the publishers to see if one of them would like to buy it. Not much riding on the thing, only the rest of my career.

As a result, I am going to abandon you, ruthlessly. It’s not the time so much, it’s the mental space. I don’t know who started the evil rumour about females being perfectly wonderful at multi-tasking, but they were guilty of a canard. I can only hold about two things in my puny brain, so something has to give, and I’m afraid it is this.

I always laugh when I say not going to blog for a while. I feel slightly guilty, as if I am letting the Dear Readers down. In fact, you are more likely to be sighing gusty sighs of relief, because you can have a nice rest from the relentless gales of Red Mare adoration and the ridiculous obsessions about the 3.30 at Huntingdon. That is where the laughter comes from.

I’m very manic, and I am constantly drinking too much coffee and forgetting to eat lunch. How can I take time for food when so much is at stake? The idiotish thing is that I am doing all this despite the fact that, as I have got older, I have become quite good at asking myself the question What is the Worst Thing That Can Happen? And quite good at facing the answer with some stoicism and not too much drama. (I learnt this from the Beloved Cousin, who is very wise.) The worst thing did happen with the last book, and it did not kill me. I’ve also grown fairly sensible about understanding how fleeting the glittering prizes are. I know that the happiness of my mare and the joy Stanley the Manly feels when he finds a really big stick and the hills and the lichen and the trees and cooking breakfast every day for my old mum are much, much more important than worldly success. The good life lies in the small things, I am persuaded of that.

But, dammit, I would like to be published again. And so: the coffee and the no lunch and the shoulders around the ears. My better angels are trying to sing their song, but they are being drowned out by a less heavenly choir.

I don’t think ambition is bad. I like ambition. I like trying. I believe in striving. But you’ve got to work out where the important things are, and get them in order. I’ll have talked myself down off the ceiling by the end of the week, but just now, I am flown up into the boughs.

Thank you for bearing with me. You are all so good and kind.

Some of the Dear Readers have asked, but I’m not going to say what the books are exactly, just yet. It’s magical thinking, I’m afraid, something I usually try to avoid. If I tell you, it might put a hex on the thing. One is fiction, one is non-fiction. I love them both and I have no idea if a serious grown-up in a serious office with a serious business to think of will love them too. I can only hope.

Luckily, down in a quiet Scottish field, I have a daily dose of sanity:

23 March 1 2381x1339

They really don’t care. They won’t judge me if I fail. The only reason the red mare would like the manuscript to be accepted is so that I can keep her in Thunderbrook’s. If the worst comes to the worst, I can be like Mrs Worthington, and put her on the stage.


  1. You're doing TWO books at ONCE and say you can't multitask?!? WTF as "they" say on the internet.

    You GO, You!

  2. Just read Nothing to Lose, having put it off for years because the subject matter seemed so bleak. But it was fantastic! My all time favourite is Don't Ask Me Why: it feels like the Brideshead of my generation (born 1967). I re-read it every few years. You're doing a great job!

  3. Thank you for introducing me to Thunderbrooks of which I had never heard. I love a website which has those sorts of pictures on and testimonials on the front page. I was particularly taken by the tale of Thunderbrook Basil and his dapples. The North Lonsdale Foxhounds Calendar 2015 is similarly a thing of perpetual delight and I may send you a copy. In return for your introduction to Thunderbrooks I point you in the direction of some New Zealand underwear called 'Thunderpants'. They are quite something. Enjoy your siesta.

  4. I have everything that can possibly be crossed, crossed. Even though it is quite unnecessary and I'll look forward to reading your new books with HUGE anticipation.
    Sending you best writing wishes and please bring your shoulders down.:)


  5. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

  6. Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.


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