Turning the page of another year

It’s that time of year again.  The commercial explosion is over, the unwanted gifts are already on Ebay, and the turkey is a shadow of its former self.  It’s the time when we make resolutions and see how quickly we can break them, the time when we hope next year will be better than this one has been, and the time when reflect on how quickly this last year has flown by.

I don’t know whether it’s a symptom of advancing age, but time is definitely going quicker for me these last few years, and this past year has been the quickest yet.  Many people have commented on it, and I find it hard to believe that a whole year has passed.  This time last year, I left the company I worked for and started out on my own, scared but knowing I couldn’t take it anymore.  I earn more, even though I lost some of my housing benefit, but I get to choose which customers I take, and I take all the money they pay, home with me instead of just a fraction of it.  I clean houses for a living, and although it’s not work I would choose if there were other options, I’m happier in work now than ever before.  This was one risk I took that has really paid off.

I brought out four books during 2013.  Floxham Island, Acts of Life, Bygora Vandos, and Delectus Morbidium.  My writing is improving all the time, and each book is better than the last one.  I am more comfortable as a writer, and I’m more confident that I know what I’m doing.  I haven’t sold many, but as I’ve had to admit that I suck at marketing/promotion, I’m not surprised.  This was also the year I made the decision to stop trying to market my books so much.  Not only do I suck at it, but it makes me depressed and then I start to doubt myself, so I decided to stop doing it.  Maybe one day I’ll win the lotto and be able to pay a top company to do it for me.  Until then I shall just keep writing and extending my back list.  I don’t write to make money anyway, I write because I have let the creative flow out of my head or I’ll explode.

This past year saw my horrible neighbour in the flat below, move away and a nice couple with a quiet(ish) baby move in.  Such a relief to not be woken up at five every morning.  Although not that sociable, they are friendly when spoken to, and I feel happier with them here instead of the intellectually challenged man who was here before.

I have been on a mission this year to lose weight and get into shape, and I’ve lost a stone and a half so far.  Although I’ve probably put a pound or two on over the Christmas indulgence, this process shall continue into 2014 until I real my goal weight of nine stone.  Once the fat has gone, I shall be embarking upon a get fit campaign, and have been accumulating gym equipment ready for that moment.  My spare bedroom is now a craft room cum gym cum spare bedroom.

Mother is still here on her Christmas visit, and bought me a new washing machine, cooker and gym bench, all of which I need and am delighted with.  A visit to the sales brought a new kettle (my old one dripped and spilled terribly) and floor steamer (always wanted one), so my home is now more up to date.  As someone with zero social life, I spend every moment when I’m not working in here, so I need it to be easy to run and pleasant to be in.

So what of 2014?  As I said above, my health drive will continue, and I have promised the universe that when I reach ten stone, I will give up smoking.  I will aim to bring another three books out, at least one more in my Sinclair V-Logs series, and at least one stand alone novel.  I shall be treating myself to a new tattoo in the early new year, of the symbol for Earth from the series Stargate.  I am still single, but I am not going to wish for a new man in the coming year, if it happens, then it happens.  I no longer look for love, having long ago accepted that is was never to be a part of my destiny, but I am prepared to be proved wrong.  I am also in the process of growing my hair a little, so that I can have it cut into a bob (one that’s higher at the back and lower at the front) and then I shall dye it white.  I’ve always wanted white/platinum coloured hair but never had the nerve.

As far as outlandish wishes are concerned, I would wish for huge wealth to fall upon me this coming year.  This would quickly answer every other wish I could ever think of, and solve all my problems.  There’s no harm in wishing, so long as you never lose sight of the fact that they are just that, wishes that might not come true.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and wish you a happy and safe New Year celebration.  May 2014 bring you everything you need, even though it may not be what you want or desire.  I look forward to (and hope for) increasing sales and productive interactions with each and every one of you.

No rest for the wicked (or the writer)


Christmas is a busy time of year for most people.  The rush of present buying, food preparing, house decorating and relative visiting is enough to wear anyone out.  It’s the same for  me, though on a smaller scale.  Mother is coming to stay this year and I’ve already got her presents bought and wrapped.  I’ve got presents bought and sent to my friend in Florida and have just one more present to buy.  Food shopping will be done online once mother arrives and I never bother with decorations.  Yes I’m a bit of a humbug, sue me.

Christmas is busy for me this year for another reason, I’m an author.  I’ve been bent, nose to grindstone during November, writing a novel for Nanowrimo.  This was finished yesterday, yippee.  I’ve also been editing, formatting and publishing an anthology of my horror stories, which came out a few days ago, double yippee.  Now I have to set to work on proofing and editing the next novel, which I wrote during this summer’s camp Nano and which I hope to release in March.  I will also have a book to format and cover design for an author friend over Christmas.  I also have a part time job to hold down.  Phew, I thought the holiday season meant you got a rest.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

I’ve never written a letter to you before, although that’s not because I’ve never believed in you.  My mother remembers me as a four year old waking everyone in excitement at 3am because you had called and left our presents at the end of our bed.  That made you angry though, because you came back and took them back and made me go back to sleep until the morning, sorry about that.

I don’t know why I’ve decided to write to you now.  Maybe it’s because I’m 50, which is one of those important milestones that make you take stock of your life and think about stuff.  Maybe it’s simply because I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine tonight, I don’t know but anyway, here I am.

So what do I want to ask you for this Christmas?  Where do I start?  Actually I know what I don’t want more than what I do want.  I don’t want stuff.  I can save up and get stuff for myself.  No, what I want can’t be bought and only a miracle can bring it to me, so that’s where you come in.

Santa, I want to be loved.  I want to be adored and I want someone to adore in return.  I want to stop being someone only fit to be hated.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and love the woman I see staring back at me.  I want to conquer my addictions and enjoy living.  I want to love myself and love life and cherish every moment.  I want to laugh every day and forget the last time I ever cried.

I’m talented, clever, intelligent, imaginative and funny but y’know Santa, I’d trade it all for one day of being beautiful.  To be able to walk down the street and have people look at me and smile because I’m so beautiful would be so wonderful.  I’d trade all my gifts for a minute of beauty.  I’m sick of being ugly, I’m sick of being the one who is funny but nothing to look at and I’m sick of all those ‘it’s the personality that counts’ cliches when we know all men judge by looks first.  Please make me beautiful for just one day Santa and I’ll trade all my talents and gifts without complaint.

In that one day I might find love, I might discover how to smile or even a reason to go on living.  Beauty is everything today Santa, and without it you’re nothing.  We live in world where you are judged  by the way you look, not by the content of your mind.  It’s wrong I know, but that’s the way men are.  I can’t change them so I have to work with the system or die.

Santa, if you can’t make me beautiful, then bring me a blind man to love.  A  man with no eyes cannot judge me by my looks.

Thank you Santa

Happy Christmas, love to Rudolph.