Not quite warm enough to be outside – definitely not for 3 hours!
It was almost but not quite warm enough to sit outside. To me the Durham University Botanic Gardens (which if you’ve visited these pages before, you will know is a favourite place of mine) appear to exist in their very own micro climate. It’s a particularly sheltered spot, the sun shines more often here, or perhaps it’s just the way the great yew hedges trap its warmth and the glasshouses offer up the dry heat of the desert and the steamy, humidity of the tropics.
Today we sat inside in the café and enjoyed scones and gluten free brownies, coffees and teas. It’s a great place to meet friends, especially if as we did, you need to talk for at least three hours. We had a lot of catching up to do and were only finished as the café closed and even then we weren’t really done. But that’s the gift of special, long-held friendships; friends who are there for the bad times and the good. Friends who celebrate what you do.
On my way home I think how friendship is a recurring theme in my writing and how I need to be better at it.
Now after that lovely midday break, back to writing – I’m pleased to say I’m very close to finishing my current Millie and Bird collection.
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Among the many things that friends, and I mean good friends, do for you ocassionally is to give you that long overdue ‘kick up the backside.’ They do it because they are friends who are kind and true – and beacuse of this you listen.
This week I spent a rainy Friday afternoonon in a local hostelry – with first tea and then a glass of chilled white – with my lovely friends Wendy and Gillian who proceeded to give me just such a ‘kick’ – in the nicest possible way – by talking me round to getting my crime novel Blood Tide onto Kindle and out into the world.
They were right when they told me I’d been procrastinating. I had. I’m not entirely sure why but I think it had something to do with Blood Tide’s history and the disappointment I felt about it not being snapped up by a mainstream publisher – especially as at one point it looked as if that was exactly what was going to happen. It’s a long protracted story, which I’ll elaborate on in my next post. But for now let’s just say it was a tough one for both me and my agent who had also been very hopeful.
My reluctance to publish Blood Tide was also caused by my feeling that it was very different from my previous novel; being in the crime genre. Having spent a weekend with it I know that while it is a genre novel it also very much my novel, exploring the themes that I am drawn to as a writer, among which are: the lives of abused and disenfranchised women, prison and the dark side, loss and the healing power of friendship and love, our deep connection with the past and with the landscape in which we live….
When it comes down to it why can’t a writer write in more than genre? And why can’t I write poetry and crime and romantic fiction and whatever else I choose? The answer is of course that there is no reason at all – it is really only the traditional world of publishing that demands writers get into a certain groove and remain there – better for the market they say. Well in my new Indie world there are no such restrictions and I expect to have published Blood Tide within the next few days! Wish me luck…