The podcast

Thursday 24 September 2020

Giving Helen Mirren a run for her money

My agent tells me I must 'get my arse in gear' if the relaunch of This Time Next Year is to happen before the launch of This year ... maybe.

She has given me a list of things to do. When I asked what I was paying her for if I have to do all this stuff myself she said - and I quote - 'You are paying me to tell you to do it.'

I can't help feeling her logic is flawed but when I mentioned this to David he said, 'Well, take it up with her. Don't moan to me,' which I think is quite an uncharitable thing for a supposedly-supportive partner to say.

Foolishly mentioned the book launch to my mother when we popped in to see them at the weekend. She is now planning what she should wear for it, 'As I play such a significant part in the story,' she said, nodding her head significantly. I pointed out that it will all be done online but David helpfully added, 'But you'll be doing a live video link as well, won't you? Eunice could appear in that.'

I think know he does these things on purpose sometimes just to drive me mad.

I fear my mother sees herself as the local Helen Mirren.

Saturday 12 September 2020

This year ... definitely

 Oh my, has it really been so long since I last wrote? I do apologise, dear readers - or fans as I like to call you in my dreams.

This virus and the lockdown has a lot to answer for. ( I can hear my old English teacher saying, 'for which to answer, Alison, for which to answer, but yah boo sucks, I'm a published author now and can say what I like.) (It's okay, she died a few years ago.)

My agent, who is currently looking over my shoulder, would like to point out that being locked in with nothing to do should have meant that I had plenty of time to concentrate on blogging. I would like to point out to her that some of us do have a life, you know.

That would have been slightly more effective if I hadn't just missed my mouth while drinking my tea.

Anyway, exciting news: there is to be a blog tour for part two of my memoir! This year ... maybe will be published at the end of November to tie in with the tour.

And before that, apparently, I am also relaunching This Time Next Year. 

My agent has pointed out that this is a perfect time to do it with people looking for Christmas presents. I pointed out that that's what I should be doing too. She pooh-poohed that idea. I am seriously thinking of looking for a new agent. (I wish you could see the look on her face now: she is terrified at the prospect of losing me.)

So expect to hear lots from me in the coming weeks. 

And don't forget, you can listen to the whole of This Time Next Year, in short episodes, for FREE, using the player at the top of this page.

Monday 6 July 2020

The donkey who saved me twice

Just read my last post and realised I never came back to show you my amazing cover design.
Yes, okay, looking at it with fresh eyes I can see that it may not work as it is ...

But what on earth am I going to call it? My working title, suggested by David, is What Aliss Did Next, but I'm not convinced. Oh dear, I have taken to sighing again. David says he can always tell when I need chocolate, a cup of tea, a glass of wine, or a hug, by my sighing. I asked him how he knew which one was applicable. He said, 'The size and depth of it usually gives me a clue.' 

Shame he's at work now: I could do with chocolate.

Friday 12 June 2020

The donkey who saved me

Yay! I did it! No, not MyNoWriMo, although I did start it and it gave me the impetus I needed to go ahead and finish my memoir part 2!

101,070 words in total. That's a lot of words - although I still have to come up with the hardest few: the title. How do other writers think of such excellent titles for their books? Perhaps I should use one of these random generator games you sometimes see on FaceBook. You know the ones, where you are allocated phrases depending on the initials of your name. The most recent gave me Chickens Preaching on Rooftops, which although a fun title doesn't bear any resemblance to my book.

Unless I could somehow work chickens into the plot ... but we did encounter a donkey. 

I asked David, 'What do you think of The Donkey Who Saved Me as a title for my book?'
The look he gave me answered my question better than a thousand words.  

I like it. I've even designed a cover. I say 'designed'; what I mean is that I took a photo of a James Bond cover and adapted it.

Photo of cover here - when Blogger stops messing about and let's me insert it.

Sunday 31 May 2020

Must get a grip

I really must get a grip.
'Well, I'm right here!'
I jumped. I hadn't realised David had come in the room.
'What?' I said.
'I'm here. You can grip me any time you want.'
I frowned at him. 'Did I say that about getting a grip out loud?'
David nodded.
Do I say all my thoughts out loud? Is this why I get funny looks in the supermarket and people avoid me?
'And at home.'
I scowled at him but he carried on, 'Like I said, I'm right here if you want to get a good grip.' He advanced on me with what I think was meant to be a sultry smile. I pushed him away. 'I didn't mean that. I meant I need to get a grip on my writing life.'
'Oh,' David looked disappointed.
'I'm a successful author now - don't raise your eyebrows at me like that: I am! And I can't keep my fans writing for the sequel.'
'Any longer than they've already had to wait you mean?'
'Look, if you're just going to be unhelpful I'm not going to tell you my brilliant idea.'
David's face dropped and he started to back away quickly.
'Where are you going? Don't you want to hear my brilliant idea?'
'Your brilliant ideas usually involve me in painting a room or chopping down a tree.'
'I've never asked you to ... well, only one tree and it was a dud. it didn't give us any plums. And I warned it, told it was on last chance.'
'I'm not taking any chances.'
'No, I promise this doesn't involve you at all.'
He looked doubtful but I smiled and nodded my head encouragingly.
'Okay, go on,' he said, 'but the first time you say "and you can ..." I'm off.'
'Fine. So ...' I wanted to build up the tension I felt my original announcement had lost. 'I'm doing MyNoWriMo again.'
David studied me for a moment then said, 'Well, I recognised most of the words even if they didn't make sense.'
'Don't be silly, you remember I did it in February. You know there's a national novel writing month but it's called NaNoWriMo not because it's done in November as I first thought but it is, and that's far too busy a time, so if you remember I put it off until February.'
David was looking a little bemused so I tried again.
'I have to write every day for a month. You must remember! I did really well in February and now we're in lockdown so I should do even better.'

Although the strange thing about lockdown is that time seems to be warped. Some days it disappears; other days it's hours and hours until dinner time.

So watch this space for news of my successes!

Thursday 28 May 2020

Writing to the PM

The trouble with the podcast is that once my excitement with that had faded, I lost enthusiasm. I haven't done a scrap of writing for months. It was fine in the beginning because I had the podcast to blame but now I have no excuses.

In fact, having finished the podcast, which was, after all, intended to be a little tempter to buy the next book, I should have been in all sorts of a hurry to get said book finished.

Ho hum.

The good news is that I have opened my manuscript today. That's all. I haven't written anything but it's a start.

And a reminder to me of where it finished. I'd completely forgotten that part of the story. So there's hope for me tomorrow.

I say I haven't written anything but this very afternoon I wrote several emails. Can you guess to whom I wrote? No, you'll never be able to guess so I'll tell you.

I wrote to the Prime Minister, my MP, and the leader of the Labour Party. Are you impressed? 

David was so fed up of me grumbling about the way certain members of the government seem to think it's fine to lie he told me to do something about it. In fact, he was quite snappy with me. It wasn't my fault. I thought he was, like me, lying awake turning things over in his head; I had no idea he'd just dropped off to sleep when I started complaining.

So I think he thinks I wouldn't do anything so I have. So there. And if more members of the public had my strong sense of morals it might be possible to effect a change. 

I said something similar in my letter but possibly wishing Carrie and Wilf all the best, and asking for a photograph, might have diminished the impact.  

Monday 18 May 2020

Grazing is the new norm

Before lockdown began, Chloe, with unexpected foresight, taught Mum and Dad how to skype so we have regular catch-up chats, or rather, we have monologues from Mum telling us how she is convinced their next door neighbour is breaking curfew. In fact she only phones when she has new 'evidence'. 

Chloe also gave Great-aunt Millie lessons so she too calls us at random hours, asking when we're going to take her sausages, and have I let my husband have a shed yet. Auntie Millie hasn't quite got the hang of it though and holds the phone to her mouth every time she speaks resulting in some very unwelcome close-ups of her teeth.

Still technology is wonderful - I think if I keep telling myself that I'll believe it eventually - and a wonderful way to keep in touch with the children. When they answer their phones that is.

Did I mention that I finished recording my podcast? Since then I seem to have to been in a bit of a slump, lacking the impetus to do anything.

Except eat. I am eating from morning till night. David calls me his little grazer. I try to tell him it's natural; have you ever seen a gorilla without something to eat in his hand? But even I don't really believe that.

Still these are extraordinary times and extraordinary measures are called for. Now where did I hide the chocolate bar?