Sunday, 1 June 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On … Writing

It’s been a crap couple of weeks, but I’ve gone a bit Rudyard Kipling and I’m not losing my head …

Well they say that bad things happen in threes.  Although at the moment, it’s four and counting.  It’s become a bit of a joke, and I remember the last time something like this happened and at least the one thing I can look forward to is the silver lining that will inevitably follow.

First of all it was the illness.  Woke up with a sore throat that wouldn’t go away.  Felt like I’d swallowed some razor blades and then downed a glass of lemon juice.  Eventually, after the hacking cough made me sound like I had plague, I gave in and went to the doctors.  Yay to the NHS, but a course of antibiotics can’t cure what happened next.

My sore throat was put into perspective when the unthinkable happened - Rusty was ill.  And I don’t mean a cute little hamster sneeze (they are adorable, shhh, don’t tell anyone in case they think I’m going soft) but a full on infection in her uterus.  After everyone got over the shock that Rusty is female, she was taken into hospital to have a hamster hysterectomy.  Yes, they can operate on hamsters and don’t ask how much it cost, it’s Rusty, for God’s sake!

But on the day that I was due to drive to Cambridge to take Rusty to hamster hospital, we got the call at work.  The inspectors were coming.  I won’t say their real name, I might invoke some sort of dark magic, but just imagine The Dementors from the Harry Potter novels, only with less charm.  Everything stops and the world stops spinning until they’ve gone, usually leaving a bloody mess behind.  But not this time.  I’ll be damned if they were going to get in the way of saving my pet’s life, so I jumped in my car and took her to the hospital anyway.  So far, Rusty’s doing fine and The Dementors can go back to the soulless hell that they came from.  So there.

By the end of the week, I was exhausted and ready for half term, but then came the last curve ball.  Someone I thought was a good friend decided to delete me from Facebook.  I wouldn’t normally care but that one was a low blow after the week I’d had and they knew it.  It just goes to show though, when the chips are down (cliché anyone?) you find out who your real friends are and mine is a hamster called Rusty and all those people who wished her well on Facebook and in real life.
Despite all that, you know what I can always rely on?  Writing, it never goes away.  No matter what is thrown at me, or who lets me down, I can open my laptop and I’m in another world.  Whether it’s creating another story, editing or making a cover page, I’m completely absorbed and nothing can touch me when I’m in writing la la land.  When I’m planning a new story, I can make all manner of things happen to anyone I like, be it good or bad.  Dump on me all you want, you will suffer an end worse than death by a thousand hamster bites in my next story.  Ohh, nippy!  So for the next few weeks, I’m not going to lose my head, I’m going to keep calm and carry on writing.

My new ghost story novella, The Book of Saint Giles, is available to download from Amazon.  It’ll be my last ghost story for a while, so enjoy!


  1. sorry to hear you're having such a rough time. At least Rusty is on the mend :) we were really worried about her! We feel your pain with inspectors - we've had the pleasure of their visit when we worked in our mum's school and it's crazy how much panic it causes. Glad to hear you're escaping through writing - it's the best way. Not long 'til the summer hols and we always need a fellow ghost hunter ...

  2. Why on earth did that person delete you on Facebook? That's so random and weird! But you're right, keep writing and I bet when you do all the stress goes away and you lose yourself completely.