Hello from the Warrior household, where things are going, if not going well. Of course, it goes without saying I hope you are all well and safe and not too badly affected by the horrors of this pandemic.
Writing has had to be put away for a bit as I return to work – albeit online – and my head is already all over the place planning how I am going to do all of this on the computer.
The past few weeks have been strange to say the least. I don’t know what I expected being locked in a house with my family 24/7 would be like, but I’m sure it wasn’t this.
Rob is spending his time chopping trees down in the garden. I don’t know why, it must be a man thing. I find myself keeping a sense of sanity by tidying things and cleaning them. This has helped my middle-aged rage in the past and it turns out it helps during a pandemic as well – though with fewer loo rolls.
As I mentioned in my last post Rob has been obsessing over a flower bed filled with coppice and over the last week has recreated the aftermath of the 1987 hurricane
After getting through two chain saw blades and breaking his third axe, we now have a lovely clear space ready to turn into lawn.
What I am REALLY pleased about is that after seven days of nagging and promising of favours, Rob finally agreed to make me a Game of Thrones throne. It is carved out of a ball of tree stumps. I have added a little drawing of me sitting on it so you can see how it works.
When it’s finished I shall sit on it with a crown on my head and maybe a cape, so you can see what a good Khaleesi I make.
I am coping with the children pretty well, mostly because they seem to be on a different time zone to me. Son gets up at a fairly reasonable hour, but Daughter is having a little doze from 9pm, wakes up and wanders around the house like a little ghost until about 2am and then sleeps in until 1.
I’m not sure what to do about it. I know it’s really not healthy and I should be shoving her out into the sunshine, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Her virtual lessons start in a few days and then she will be tied to her computer for God knows how long, so I am tempted to let her sleep as long as she still can.
My brother phoned me to say he went to check on his son who was supposed to be doing school work. He found him lying on his back on the trampoline in the sun playing with three juggling balls like a cat. Sounds like he’s got the right idea.
Son entertains himself by working out, playing with Dog, and eating us out of house and home. It astonishes me how much food a 14 year old boy can put away and not add a single pound. I have forgotten what his mouth looks like without food in it.
He has been helpful, doing a few chores, but only after threats of physical and mental abuse (what he calls having his phone taken away) have been issued. I like his style, though. Due to endless hours of boredom he unearthed his hover board (bought at HUGE expense Christmas before last and barely used).
He’s got pretty good on it and the absolute best thing is that he positiviely relishes taking the bins out.
I continue to be obsessed with my bird table. Rob keeps moaning about it because he says it attracts squirrels. I took down the nut feeder bit and stuck to seeds and suet in the hope it would attract birds rather than the sodding furry evil long tailed bastards who keep chewing through wires, walls and roof tiles in order to make our lives a misery with no money or wifi.
It seemed to work, and I set up an old wifi camera I had so I could watch them without them seeing me. As I write this I realise I am sounding quite mad.
The camera is operated from my phone and during the day I can check in and watch my little feathered friends without scaring them. Here is a screen shot of what I see.
There is also the added benefit that at night, from my bed, I can turn the camera around to see what Dog is up to. Last night I did this and Dog must have been alerted by the sound of the camera whirring around like an electronic owl.
As I watched, Dog’s head lifted and I could see her eyes blinking at the camera. She didn’t move an inch and I thought the webcam had frozen. But as I kept watching, she started sliding across the floor in a commando move, ending up just under the camera where she fell asleep, smug in the knowledge I could no longer spy on her. Goddammit!
Today I enjoyed the birds on my phone as I toiled away at work, watching blue tits and sparrows and the occasional woodpecker. ‘Look!’ I said to Rob, ‘No squirrels!’
Unfortunately, at this point, as Rob turned to look at my phone I realised too late that the most enormous rat had climbed up the pole and was hanging UPSIDE down from the top bar sucking seeds out of the seed dispenser!
I raced to the window where Dog was sitting on the lawn on the other side of the bird feeder to me.
‘Dog! Dog! Kill!’ I shouted.
Dog gazed back at me, her fur ruffling in the wind. She looked at me, looked at the rat, and then allowed her aloof gaze to travel on so she was looking across the garden, like a popular person ignoring me at the party.
Rob isn’t happy. I want to keep my bird feeder but I’m not sure how long that will be allowed.
I am very pleased to say I have sold some copies of my book. Admittedly most of them to friends and family but I hope some real life people will check it out soon. You can have a look here if you haven’t already done so!
If you do buy a copy and you like the book please do give it a review on Amazon! This link take you to the UK version but I think it should be fairly easy to find the one for your region.
The first week it went live I checked about oooh every three minutes to see if anyone had bought it.
At first there were quite a few sold and I got over-excited. I started planning what I would do with all the millions of pounds I would get from my best seller.
I then didn’t sell a single copy for five days, so that showed me.
The good thing has been a few of my friends have texted me to say they loved it, and hearing them talk about scenes or characters they liked is mind-blowing. It’s surreal to me that the things I made up in my head are now living and breathing in someone else’s.
I wrote a comedy thriller under an assumed name and entered it into the Comedy Women in Print prize and was devastated to realise I hadn’t been long listed. Funny how something like that sends you into a tail spin of ‘who the hell do I think I am thinking I am good enough to enter a competition like that’, or ‘everyone else is a much better and more successful person/writer than you will ever be.’
That sort of thinking is such a challenge to being able to be creative. Should I just give up on the idea and stick to the day job? Then I think, well I love writing, does it really matter if nobody buys it? Not really.
By the way, I did a great big thing on Facebook – My book is live! My book is live! I announced to all my lovely family and friends. Do share! I said. And guess what? Lots of my friends did, my lovely aunt and cousin. But what about my mother? Nothing! Brother? Nothing!
To be fair to them both they didn’t know how to do it, so I sent them a step by step slide show with a voice over of instructions and they finally worked it out. Then my brother complained that the share of my post got more liked than anything he had posted himself. Ha!
The most annoying reaction was from my friend next door. Lovely Swedish lady next door read my witch book and was very supportive. Her partner, let’s call him the Hobbit, not so impressed and fond of taking the mick put this on his Facebook
Cue MUCH hilarity from all his mates – including my bloody brother! – and, judging by the comments (most of them along the lines of ‘is this a training manual for the wife’ hurdy ha ha) they are NOT my target audience.
I did add a link to my book in the comments though, so you never know.
Now I have come out of anonymity, I have set up a new Instagram page which you can follow if you like!
I think if you click that little pink icon it will take you to it.
Stay well, all of you and I hope this picture of Dog publicising my book cheers you all up!