It’s been a hectic couple of months, here in Brighton. Emlyn has been launching his new crime fiction list, Exhibit A, whilst I have been finishing my latest novel, ‘The Key To It All’, which will be out next March with the lovely Pan Macmillan. I had such fun writing it, until the last month, when the plot had became so huge, it was like reeling a hot air balloon into a backpack, trying to finish the damn thing.
Thirteen novels in, and each time I completely forget how hard finishing a novel actually is. As usual, there were many tears, and I had to haul the girls out of bed to type ‘The End’ as is the tradition, making them take a close look at my haggard face and solemnly promise me that they will never, ever, do anything as reckless as become a novelist for a living. They yawn-talked an affirmative, before going back to bed, muttering about the madness of their mother.
So the slow process of emerging from my novel-writing hibernation has begun, with a to-do list which has stretched into several pages. As well as the awful tasks, such as sorting out ‘the pile’ of nasty paperwork and getting around to tackling the kids spare clothes cupboard (which has been a perma-list item for three years), there’s nice things on the list too, like booking up summer festivals and selling tickets for the wine tasting evening at the little one’s school.
My task for today is raising sponsorship for the walk we’re all doing on Sunday for Parkinson’s UK in Hylands House in Chelmsford. I hate going begging for sponsorship, but this is a cause which is very dear to my heart.
My lovely mum has been suffering with Parkinson’s Disease for over twenty years. She’s fought it bravely, despite the punishing drug regime and the hideous days when the drugs don’t work at all and she’s frozen and completely able to move. Mum has always been an inspiration to me, but her steely determination when faced with the colossal challenges of living with this dreadful affliction, makes finishing a novel seem easy by comparison.
Mum was the one who encouraged me to write and to follow my own dream of being a novelist. She taught me that with a bit of confidence, you can make your own luck. Sadly, the one thing I can’t change is her dreadful suffering.
She reminds me all the time that there’s no point in moaning, because you never know what is just around the corner and that life is for living joyfully, right now. Today.
If you know anyone who has been affected by Parkinson’s Disease, you’ll know how awful it is. If you’d like to help find a cure, then please help me support Parkinson’s UK.
My just giving page is: http://www.justgiving.com/familyRees