I seem to be at the ‘Beginnings’ stage of everything at the moment. It’s the beginning of the new year – well, still early days, anyway! I’m not quite sure how 2014 will evolve yet, but there will be plenty to keep me busy!
I’ve been working on my next book, which has the working title Dead Certain. This is Simon and Erin’s story – they appeared in Dead Heat, colleagues of Jo’s, but this book will stand alone, unconnected to the crimes of Dead Heat. It’s well underway, but not as far advanced as I’d like yet, and I don’t have an estimated publication date at this stage. The first part of a book is always the slowest part for me; getting the characters established, laying the groundwork for the plot and for the twists and turns. I think it’s all starting to come together…
I’m also in the beginning of a new relationship… no, not the romantic kind! Meet Pippin, our new border collie puppy:
Pippin came home with us on 14th December and has kept us on our toes ever since! She’s now almost 14 weeks old. Being a border collie, she’s smart, energetic, quick to learn, and eager to stay on top of everything.
That’s Skye, our three-year-old underneath. She’s been wonderfully patient with Pippin, and most of the time loves to play with her – although Pippin is definitely an Energiser Puppy, who just keeps on keeping on, and some days Skye, like us, begins looking for the ‘off’ switch! Tansy has been very good with Pippin, too, and they seem to have reached a general understanding that Tansy doesn’t play much and doesn’t like being leapt on, but if Pippin wants to lie down nearby or maybe have a little nuzzle, that’s okay. So we’re all happy and adjusting to our new ‘family’ member quickly.
Another recent beginning is on my stalled PhD candidature. Because of all the medical dramas from 2008-2010, I withdrew from candidature a few years ago, but as of late December I’m officially back on deck, with a revised research proposal that builds on what I did back in 2007-2008, but takes it in a new direction, with a focus on the creative process for authors in the rapidly changing publishing environment. I plan to write and publish two novellas as part of the research project, exploring not only the creative writing process, but the publishing and readership context which influences the choices facing Australian authors of commercial fiction. I’m hoping to do the two novellas this year – perhaps for a pre-Christmas publication date – and finish the exegesis/thesis next year. Fitting it all in around writing full-length books, of course!
Yet another beginning in recent months – I’m on my way to the new, slimmer ‘me’! Those of you who’ve met me in person know that I am short and decidedly overweight. My natural tendency to roundness wasn’t helped by four years of limited exercise because of the unexploded bomb in my head. I’ve tried Curves, I’ve tried calorie counting, but as ‘a lady of a certain age’, I’ve found it very difficult to shift any weight. In mid-November I read about the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting way of eating – often referred to as the Fast Diet. Basically, on 2 non-consecutive days of the week, you limit calorie intake to about 500 calories (600 for men). The rest of the time, you eat normally. I’ve been doing this for two months now, and 500 calories is actually not too hard. Poached eggs, smoked salmon, asparagus, lentil soup, fresh fruit – not too hard at all! Especially since it’s only two days per week. In two months, I’ve lost 6.5 kilos. This week, I wore jeans for the first time in more than three years, and as I look at my wardrobe, and look at my sewing fabrics, and browse clothing images on Pinterest, I can now imagine myself as not-so-fat. There’s still a whole lot more to lose, and it won’t happen overnight, but I’m feeling positive about it now in a way I’ve not been able to before this way of eating.
So, with all these exciting new beginnings, I’d better keep moving and get on with achieving things in 2014!