There can be few who haven't heard the unmistakable sounds of celebrations from Minx Manor these past few days. One of our own, the very lovely Maya, got THE call. SHE NOW WRITES FOR MILLS AND BOON. I'm sure the celebratory chocolate will be flowing for many weeks, to come - news like this is mega. If you haven't already, hop over to Maya's blog to learn about her call story. And I defy you to read it and remain unmoved.
Congratulations again, Maya Minx. Proud of you.
Belatedly, I'm accepting an award from Diane Fordham - a Sunshine Award. Thanks, Diane. And sorry it took so long to write this post. A condition of acceptance is to list the things that make me happy. It would be quite a long list - I'm generally a contented soul (unless someone annoys me) so I'll give you the top ten edited highlight.
1. Good news (for an example of this, see above).
2. My 15-year-old, even when she's being horrid. She picked a fight the other day because I'd allowed her out of the house in a lilac anorak when she was aged 10. It was no wonder, she told me, she had no friends. She wouldn't be friends with herself in an anorak like that. I'd thought she looked lovely - besides, the anorak incident was five years ago. I suspect the argument was a pre-emptive strike as she anticipated a suggestion she might like to spend the last few days of the Easter holidays with her nose in a book. Not an unreasonable request when she has big exams starting in two weeks. And so far she's done absolutely no revising. And I seem to be the only one panicking. She still makes me happy, though. And a bit crazy. But mostly happy.
3. Chocolate. Specifically lime or violet cremes if anyone's offering.
4. Seeing my name in print. I'm such a narcissist.
5. A writing sale (see number 4). No matter how tiny the item, a sale is always cause for happiness.
6. Thinking about what I'll do when I win the lottery. Number 34: I will never again wash dirty socks. I hate feet. I hate anything that have touched feet. I loathe dirty socks. I worry about dirty socks contaminating the rest of the laundry (even though a sock wash is always exclusively socks and I do a boil wash with bleach to clean the machine afterwards). If I was rich, everyone in the house would have a brand new pair of socks every single time - and those would be dropped straight into the bin after wear. I'm told it's something to do with OCD, but not washing socks would make me very happy indeed.
9. Reading about writing.
10. The friends I've met through writing. Some I've yet to meet in person. But these are real friends. These are the people who understand why, when a story feels like I'm pulling teeth, I keep at it until it's done. They're the ones who know exactly what I mean when I want to swing for the person who told me they fancied getting a little part-time job but weren't qualified for anything so they were going to write a little story. Most of all, they understand that writing isn't a little job, it's a compulsion, a vocation - a way of life. After writing in a vacuum for so many years, finally finding a community that offers such a level of acceptance and understanding has made a real difference.
And, Lucky 7. Huge apologies to Teresa Ashby, too, who nominated me for this ages ago. I'm supposed to go to the 77th page of my wip and copy out seven lines from it. But I'm too much of a wuss to show any of my fiction that hasn't been validated by a cheque from an editor. Soooo, I'm cheating (I know, that's so not like me) and instead I'm going to copy out seven lines from the seventh short story The Weekly News bought. This was published as Obsession Overcome in January 2011.
“I don’t think I switched off the hob.” Kate was too distressed to look at Ian, instead she kept her gaze on passing scenery.
“After making breakfast – I don’t think I switched the hob off.”
Ian took in a deep breath. “Kate, I’m positive it was off.”
“Can we go back and check?”
He laughed. “You’re kidding, right?”
Yes, the main character has OCD. I wrote about what I know.
I'm supposed to pass these awards on, but I know it's taken me so long to accept that most of you have already been nominated. But, if you haven't, then you have now...
Next time: I may well, finally, reveal my secret Facebook habit (I'm sure you can't wait for that) - and news of a terrific treat not to be missed.