Wednesday, 31st October
Keyword for the Day: Halloween 2
Well, today, Halloween, was the official publication day for The White Cuckoo. Lots of people have said they will come to the launch on 23rd November, but what I am really looking forward to is being able to spend time, celebrating my debut as a novelist, with the most important people in my life. Of course, my family will all be there – my husband, children, in-law children and their parents, grandchildren and other members of my family, but there are also other very important people in my life. There are those I spend my working days with, and here I am truly blessed because they are all lovely and special to me and we have worked together for a very long time; those I meet down the pub every Friday night and Sunday lunchtime; old friends; new friends; other writers; neighbours …
There are also very special people in my life who can’t be there, notably my mum and dad, who I know would have been so proud to see me achieve one of the ambitions in my life. My grandparents, too would have loved to be there. My unique and precious Auntie Rita (my grandma’s sister) who I loved so much, when she died in 2007 I felt like I had lost my mum, all over again. As I write this my Auntie Joan elbows her way into my consciousness. When I was a child Auntie Joan lived next door (she was Dad’s cousin) and she was truly a second mum. She would be there too, if she was still alive, because I used to read my stories to her as she cooked tea in her kitchen. At my book launch there will be lots of special people who won’t be there in person, but I hope will be there in spirit. Sitting beside me will be Michael, for whom the novel is written, and who has been brought to life within its pages.
Everything is on track for the launch and I even had a massive middle-of-the-night push to get my invites finished. It was a great idea to make my own invites (thank you Christie), which I am handing out to anyone who doesn’t have a FB account and sending to elderly aunts etc.
They have been very fiddly to do, but thanks to Christie’s mum for making me the rubber stamp, they look quite effective don’t you think? I borrowed the bird stamp from Christie, bought 200 brown labels from Amazon for next to nothing, a 55p tube of sparkly pink paint from Tesco for the ‘blossom’, a roll of white ribbon, and then produced some tiny printed pages for inside the ‘book’ giving details of the time, venue and where people can buy my book if they can’t make the party. It was very fiddly and tedious sticking the back label, two tiny pages and the front ‘cover’ together, then tying on the ribbon, but I am really pleased with the results.
If the invitations sell a few books on Amazon, or a couple of people come to my launch who might not have done if I had not handed them an invitation, then I shall have recouped the costs of making them.
Today, I signed up to NaNoWriMo for Novel No. 6. I have an idea for the novel – sparked by a piece of music – and am just going to go with the flow and try and get a first draft done in the next 30 days. I don’t think it will be a problem for me to write at least 1,666 words a day, but November is going to be a very busy month for me outside of my writing life. For a start there are the PCC Elections on 15th November, and issue/opening of postal votes will mean a very busy time at work, not to mention the day of the election and the count afterwards, which will mean working day and night round the clock, with around 3 or 4 hours sleep in 48 hours. I also have the Civic Ball on Friday 9th and Remembrance Sunday on the 11th, which will add another few hours to my working week.
Something will have to give, and I am afraid it will be this diary. So, instead of writing about my day this is what I am proposing.
1. A quote each day, which will reflect the type of day I have had.
2. The opening paragraph to each day’s NaNoWriMo writing session to give you a flavour of the rawness of the writing and a tantalising snapshot of the emerging story. Novel No. 6 does not yet have a title – that will come with the writing.
So please do continue to log-on to my Diary page. I hope you will enjoy NaNoWriMo as much as I know I will (despite tearing out my hair, biting my nails down to the quick and peeling 5lb of potatoes for two people because I get so lost in my own imagination my body just runs on auto-pilot!)
Should be interesting, and it will keep me on my toes and make sure I actually write something each day.