Monday, June 30, 2008

bad puppy and exciting stuff

Current work: nonfic
Listening to: Medieval Baebes
Reading: Sharon Penman, The Sunne in Splendour (gory in places but am enjoying it, especially as she’s unashamedly pro-Yorkist *g*)

I cracked. Bad me. I just realised Kate Harrison’s new book is out… and I thoroughly enjoy her work (sharp writing, rounded characterisation). And I did promise Madam some more Jane Blonde books, as she’s just started #2 and this means she’ll be looking for #3 in a day or two. (Recommended by the brilliant children’s section Waterstone’s, Castle Street, Norwich. And they were spot on. The difference a good bookseller can make…)

While I was there, I picked up a teensy bit of research material. And… This is a hangover from the book before last, where my doctor hero plays the cello. I discovered Boris Bagger and Martin Ostertag’s gorgeous version of Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat (Op 9, no 2) on YouTube – cello and guitar. Even though I’m listening mainly to 15th-century stuff at the moment (research), this is beautiful and I needed to add it to my collection.

Am still feeling lousy. On Friday, the cough was atrocious and I actually considered going by train to the RNA conference on Friday. However, that would mean:

  • Calling in a favour from a friend at school so she’d see Madam in for me (which she would – but it also means Madam not going clingy on me. Chances of that happening = very low, because even though she’s a Daddy’s girl she’s a bit, um, possessive of me as well);
  • Trusting that I can get a ticket so I’m facing the direction of travel (if I sit with my back to the engine, especially if it’s hot, I will go very green around the gills);
  • Trusting that there will be no delays, especially as I have to…
  • … change trains at least twice each way (four times on the way home) – not to mention getting taxis from home-station, station-conference, conference-station, station-home. And that isn’t good because I will have to…
  • … lug lots of stuff about (including a very heavy bag of books needed for my talk);
  • And, the clincher – home journey involves a bus trip between London and Colchester. I don’t take buses, for the same reason that I don’t sit with my back to the engine.

So I’m sticking to Plan A and driving. (My sister and stepmum both think the infamous cough is stress-related. Even Dad noticed it. And no, I’m not blogging about why this weekend was fairly stressful, out of respect to him – all I will say is that Parkinson’s is a lot more than just a tremor.)

Madam had a major wobbly lip after Dr Who on Saturday. ‘Whoever wrote that was really nasty. David Tennant has to keep being Dr Who. He has a REALLY NICE SMILE.’ Hmm. And I’m away next Saturday so I’ll miss it.

Oh, and the exciting stuff?

Friday, June 27, 2008

the joys of field trips

Current work: nonfic
Listening to: Medieval Baebes
Reading: various research stuff

As I will be saying at my talk next weekend, you can’t beat a physical field trip to illuminate your research. I managed to sneak one in last night. We went into town to get a birthday present. DH and the kids always insist on browsing video games, which I loathe – mainly because said shops play awful music, and I’m not really into video games (except Wii Fit, which is on hold until this cough – yes, YET another one– has gone). It’s so tedious. But this time I was prepared, and they agreed that I could have half an hour to go and take some photographs while they browsed and debated the merits of Wii vs PlayStation vs X-Box 360 vs DSLite. (Yeah. It’s over my head, too.)

So off I trotted. During the day, I had been tempted by one historian’s theory about my current research, i.e. who lived in a certain building. Very tempted, especially as I know who inhabited that particular building before and after the period that interests me. But taking a walk there showed me that it doesn’t quite fit the context of the documents I’ve been studying. The street behind it, however, fits perfectly. And, although the building in question doesn’t exist any more (it was burned down in 1507 and rebuilt by the mayor), it works for my purposes. Perfectly.

(And yes, I’m aware I’m being cagey. Not in a position to talk about this project yet. But if this comes off… let’s just say it includes three of my four favourite subjects, so I will enjoy working on this. Hugely.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

really, really on a roll

Current work: nonfic
Listening to: Bach
Reading: various research stuff

So there I was, thinking (which invariably means displacement activity) and I came across a newspaper cutting in the Evening News. About Heroes, Villains and Victims of Norwich. And lovely Derek James says that hundreds (note that word – hundreds – that’s so humbling and thrilling at the same time) of people entered the local paper’s competition to win my new book.

And then the Evening News rang me (while I was in the middle of rewriting my RNA talk about local history for romance novelists) to speak about romance and the RNA award and my latest local history books. Serendipity or what? There may be new photographs involved (ah, so there WAS a good reason for me to tidy my office this week). But am doing a little happy wiggle here.

This week is turning out to be a FANTASTIC week. And I appreciate every second of it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Current work: nonfic
Listening to: Karine Polwart
Reading: various research stuff

Lovely to be back at guitar yesterday (despite still feeling rubbish – and v cross that I can’t shift the sore throat/cough/cold).

Although I haven't practised, Jim indulged me: I’m doing the prelude to Bach’s lute suite in D minor this week (at least, the first six lines of it - there are a couple of tricky stretches and it's moving from fifth to third position so I'm having to think about what I'm doing. And there are barres, which I find tough). Lovely stuff.

And the excitement? I discovered yesterday that Romantic Times gave me FOUR AND A HALF STARS for One Night, One Baby. And what did they say?

Kate Hardy's One Night, One Baby (4.5) is a terrific attraction-at-first-sight story. He's hot, sexy and vulnerable, and she's patient because, in the end, she knows he'll be worth it.

So I am noisily pleased. Thank you very much, Sandra Garcia-Myers. You made my day (especially welcome because of this lurgy).

Thank you to everyone who’s commented here or sent me an email re the pen issue. I can see a trend here :o)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

what would you pick?

Current work: admin
Listening to: Coldplay, Viva la Vida (is growing on me)
Reading: various research stuff

I can see the surface of my desk, now. After a month (or so) of chaos, this feels Very Weird Indeed. Am still full of lurgy, and getting VERY fed up with it. It’s morphed to another sore throat and cough (grr), so I’m on the honey and lemon. It'll go.

Am also at that nice planning stage: I’m almost out of promotional pens. I’m going for the same make of pen as I used the previous two times (black ink, and they last for ages) but I’m thinking about using a different colour barrel. In the past I’ve used violet or dark red frosted pens with a matte silver print. But my supplier sadly had to give up the business due to ill health, so am going direct to the manufacturer this time. Now, do I go for the ‘eco’ pen (which is 96% recycled, black barrel and coloured clip, not sure whether the print colour has to match the clip), or do I go for the same as last time, or do I go for the bright pink ones? (They’re sending samples so I can make a more informed choice. So far the vote is for eco from son, pink from daughter, and ‘you’re not serious about pink, are you?’ from DH.)

But the thing is… I write romantic fiction. And pink is the colour traditionally associated with romance. Plus it’s an eye-catching colour so people are more likely to pick them up at promo dos – of which I have a few coming up, give that I’m Norfolk’s Writer-in-Residence for the Year of Reading 2008. And my target market for fiction is largely – if not completely – female.

So this is where I ask you, dear reader: which ones do you like?

The Icy pens are here (click on the coloured pen to see a larger pic – the violet and dark red are both darker than they seem on the screen, but then again everyone’s browser is different)

The Eco pens are here (I like the pink clip – but not sure about how well pink print will show on the barrel: the light blue, green or lime green appear to show up better on screen, but then again computer all see things differently)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Truly, Radley, Deeply

Current work: Final readthrough of Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Vaughan Williams
Reading: Fiona Harper, Saying Yes to the Millionaire (plot includes two fabulous ideas I wish I'd thought of first - lovely characters, and a bit that made me cry - recommended read)

Had planned lunch out with my two best buddies from school on Friday (and to celebrate birthday) but the lurgy nixed that. The lurgy also nixed the plans for the weekend, when my best friend was coming down to stay. And of course I’m on deadline. So I was fairly down in the dumps. (Even discovering hot new hero material – which, being mean, I’m not sharing yet – didn’t cheer me up.)

But some very, VERY nice things happened this weekend. In chronological order:
1) I had a big box of lovely HC choccies delivered (courtesy of said lovely best friend, to cheer me up – and the note said expressly that I did not have to share. Though of course I did; am not *quite* that greedy)
2) Saturday’s paper showed I was #1 in the Jarrolds Local Book chart with Heroes, Villains and Victims of Norwich (so I can bask for a bit in being a bestselling author – think my publisher will be pleased)
3) DH treated me to something nice. A clue is in the title to this post (which is also the title of the gift, and very similar to the title of one of my top three all-time favourite films)

Oh, yeah. And I finished my book. So today’s plan is final readthrough of book, email said book to my editor, print out the book for Dot (while I tidy my bearpit of an office – multitasking at its best), and then… switch projects for a day or two. Post Office and library on the way home, and I might even take the evening off (unless it shocks DH too much *g*).

Winner of the book in the draw: Ellen. Please email me with your snailmail addy (kate dot hardy at btinternet dot com) and I'll put The Spanish Doctor's Love Child in the post.

Friday, June 20, 2008

the joys of research

Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis
Reading: not – am busy trying to write

I was just debating last night what sort of music my very westernised Sheik would play. In the bath. (Yeah, I know last weekend was the shower. This is my fantasy bath. With uplighters in the floor.) Now, would he play the bit of music I fell in love with earlier this month (i.e. Vaughan Williams), or would he play something from his homeland? Something like the stuff I used to dance to, some years back (Egyptian Dancing classes were way more fun than the gym - DH really loathed the music, but I quite liked it).

For the sake of my readers (and because I am in Lurgy City and needed cheering up), I went to YouTube to look up Arabic love songs. And I think I just found someone who could be the model for my sheikh. Very, very gorgeous male singer. (And with slightly long hair, he is seriously hot. This one particular video – ahhh. I’m going to have to go back and change my sheikh’s clothes.)

DH walked in while I was in mid-research and noted the headphones.

DH: I thought you were working.
Me: I am.
DH: You’re messing about on YouTube. Don’t tell me. Robert Plant, David Coverdale or Paul Rodgers?
Me: None of them. It’s work. Really, work.
DH (looking at screen) : OMG. Arabic music. Oh, no. You’ve signed up to another Egyptian Dancing class, haven’t you? And you’re going to play that awful tape again and drive me insane…
Er, would that be the tape he ‘put in a safe place’? (Along with my fingerless lace mittens from when we first met – they disappeared the week after we bought our first house, and he still claims he knows nothing about it.) Hilarious. I don’t have time to go back to a class (but I will sort my time management out next month, because I want to go back to piano lessons). As for the music – I always did like Robert Plant’s Moroccan phase. And hmm, I could always get an Egyptian dancing DVD…

The joys of research. :o)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ants 3, Kate 0

Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Alan Parsons Project, Eye In The Sky
Reading: not – am busy trying to write and smacking my head on my desk even harder than yesterday

Today, Madam is back at school… but son has her lurgy, so he’s home today. (You saw this coming, didn't you?) This may scupper my social life (so much for 'end of book socialising' plans). Sigh. Still, at least it's not my radio interview or the conference being scuppered (Kate touches wood madly).

And the ants?

They're winning.

I found the ant bait housey things. But when your children leave choc-ice wrappers on the worktops (instead of putting them in the bin) and spill drinks and forget to mop them up (or tell you)and the dog has a habit of walking around with an apple in his mouth for a while (half-eaten) and then leaving it under the breakfast bar… you don't stand a chance against the mighty ants.

Ants 3, Kate 0 - and I’m officially on strike until the ants vacate my kitchen!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Colin Blunstone, Ennismore
Reading: not – am busy trying to write and smacking my head on my desk

Good things about today:
1. My ed has given me the green light for book 2 of the duo
2. My ed likes my Dear Reader letter for The Children’s Doctor’s Special Proposal
3. My ed has given me an extension on my deadline

Bad things about today:
1. I still have a sick child at home (this is the reason for the extension – arrgh, one bug after another)
2. Said child has given man flu to DH (he has been stupid and gone into work armed with Lemsips, and spreading his germs… sigh. Take as read the rant about stupid men)
3. Said child has given me her sore throat (very bad – I’m doing a talk at the RNA conference in 2 weeks. Arrgh)

Very bad things about today:
1. Sainsburys’ computer system crashed so they lost my order and did not deliver my groceries this morning
2. Because they’re so busy, they didn’t tell me that they’re not turning up and they’re not rescheduling (I had to ring to find out what was going on – they did eventually ring me and I did feel rather sorry for the poor lad charged with the task of having to soothe ruffled feathers)
3. I do my weekly shop on a Wednesday so my fridge is empty (and my throat isn’t going to handle cheese on toast for lunch… guess it’s going to be an omelette, then).
4. I can’t get the shopping myself this morning because of sick child… which means DH is going to get it tonight. His approach to my list is ‘we don’t need this, we don’t need that’ (along with adding things that we don’t need or I normally refuse to buy, for example on the grounds that fizzy drinks are junk and taste disgusting anyway – this is why I dilute proper fruit juice with carbonated water for the kids) so – oh, actually, I’ll wait for him to come home and then do it myself. Even though it means wasting loads of time in rush-hour traffic, at least I’ll get what I want. (The alternative is letting him do it and moaning at him for not getting what I asked for – he’s particularly bad with yoghurts, deciding he’ll be helpful and buy the ‘diet’ ones stuffed with additives and gelatine which are ‘on special offer’ instead of the nice organic ones I like. And then I’ll have to go and get the stuff I wanted)

Very, very bad things about today:
1. The ants are back. In my kitchen.
2. DH has put my ant bait house thingies in a ‘safe place’ (cue rant re stupid men)

I’m beginning to think that there is a conspiracy trying to stop me writing this book.

There is however one important stock in my fridge that was replenished this weekend… Guess what it is, and I’ll put you in a draw for a signed copy of my new book, The Spanish Doctor’s Love Child - the one with the lovely cover on the lefthand sidebar. (Will do the draw on Friday lunchtime - UK time.)

Right. Enough moaning. Go and see Julie Cohen and tell her how pretty her new blog is.

Monday, June 16, 2008

the stuff of fantasies

Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Coldplay, Viva la Vida (is growing on me – the last track is fantastic, the rest I’m getting used to. DH hates it)
Reading: not – am VERY busy writing :o)

One of the things I love about writing is the setting. Most of my Modern Heats are set at least partially in London (actually, I have a feeling all of them are bar the last one), and this one is no exception.

But I have fallen in love with my hero’s flat.

Given that my dream home is a 16th-century house in Norfolk (which is the basis for the house in Sold to the Highest Bidder - sadly, last time it was on the market, it was £1m more than my house is worth, so the chances of me living there are pretty much zero), you’d think I’d run a mile from the idea of an ultra-modern place. But… I do have a thing about glass and light. I really like the Forum in Norwich (see here, top left) because it’s so light and airy, and I love the Millennium Court at the British Museum (pic taken Sept last year)

for the same reason. (Don't get me started on churches and stained/painted glass. This is my current nerd obsession. The chances of me being able to have a wall painting restorer as my next MH hero? ... ha!)

My current hero happens to live in a fantasy flat that’s all about glass and light. Floor to ceiling windows. The best room? His shower room. It’s a wet room. And I’ve had immense fun this weekend furnishing that room… (yeah, of course there’s a love scene in it). I’d dearly love a room like that, but as the shower and fittings alone (excluding the actual plumbers’ fees for putting it in) are the best part of £5,000 - and we’d need a new floor and it wouldn’t work anyway because our en-suite happens to be next door to the airing cupboard - it’s a no-no. (I did sort of mention it to DH, who loved the idea until I mentioned how much That Shower cost...)

But I can fantasise.

I think this is the bit where my ed is going to fall for the hero in a big way. (Well… if I can get my lovely nerdy science stuff through, but I’ve bound it up with his emotions so hopefully it will stay put.)

He’s a sheik. How can he be a scientist? Easy. He’s a Kate Hardy hero. Or, as my lovely former ed Tessa Shapcott put it, 'A clever man with a heart.' I'm supposed to be blogging elsewhere about the squishy side of heroes... Later. I have words to write first.

Oh yes - nearly forgot. Am at #2 in the local best-seller charts again this week with Heroes, Villains and Victims of Norwich. And Waterstone's had a really lovely display of my new book IN THEIR WINDOW yesterday. (Didn't have camera with me. Smack on head to self.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

two weeks too late!

Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Colin Blunstone
Reading: not – am busy writing :o)

I just realised that Colin Blunstone is touring. Except he played King’s Lynn (an hour away from me, and the only gig remotely near me) two weeks ago.

So I missed it. Bah.

Have been forced to go and buy music at Amazon to make up for it. Including a Greatest Hits album which is substantially the same as the one I bought – blimey, was it really fifteen years ago? – BUT this one has Miles Away, which doesn’t seem to be on any other album. (If you want to listen, it’s at I love the breathiness of his voice. It’s a quality I also like very much in Kathryn Williams.)

Bought some Alan Parsons to replace an old tape while I was there. And my mate Anna’s new book. (Waves to Anna.) Yeah, I’m bad. Profligate. But I’m working hard so I deserve a treat.

My book’s currently flowing nicely. Wrote 5k yesterday – amazing what can happen with a bit of P&Q. I’ve also worked out the missing bit in the heroine’s conflict that was bugging me, so now it works. And I’m not sitting there brooding over Sudoku. (Unlike some Aussie jurors who wasted about 3 months aka a million dollars’ worth of trial… they’re lucky they’re not being prosecuted. See )

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Guillaume Dufay

Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Hautbois
Reading: Chosen as the Sheik’s Wife, Liz Fielding – vintage Liz, with a strong, capable and gentle hero, a heroine anyone can identify with (his reaction to her family secret melted my heart), and a wedding to remember. Lovely book.

Compromised on guitar yesterday: I have a nice piece of Bach that I like, to make up for the other trickier bit that I don’t like (technically it's good for me, but the tune does nothing for me). Learned a few new words yesterday (from Jim’s very erudite book on music) while looking up mid-fifteenth century secular music (is research) and discovered what I’m probably looking for is something along the lines of Guillaume Dufay. Not much of his on Youtube, but I did discover this, which is rather nice. (OK, it's not secular. But.) I suppose Palestrina will do for the time being... but it's somewhere on my desk, which is in its mid-book less-than-tidy state.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: George Harrison
Reading: various nonfiction (research)

Radio interview went very well yesterday – Keith Travis is a very nice man and I really enjoyed my time at Radio Norwich FM. (I still want to do my radio book… Dear editor, you are very wonderful: please can I do my radio book?) Oh, and I finally made it to the post office, so anyone who’s waiting for something from me: it really IS in the post, and I apologise for being sloppy. (What day is it again?)

Am still on the hunt for the perfect pillow. The memory foam one is like a brick (I thought you were supposed to sink gently into it?), but after a week of using it I’ve discovered that my old pillows are all too soft. (Yep. I have a big pile of rejects. It drives DH crazy. He says they’re all fine. They’re NOT.) It would help if I slept in one position… but I’m a fidget and I veer between sleeping on my side and sleeping on my back. So I need a pillow that can cope with two sleeping styles. (Yup, I’m asking a lot. But I can’t be the only person who doesn’t sleep in just one position.) I did try the (expensive and completely useless) goose down one on top of the brick, and underneath it, but it wasn’t comfortable.

I’ve looked at those posh Tempur ones online and they sound good. However, I’m loath to spend that much money on a pillow if it isn’t going to suit me. (And by ‘that much’, it’s the equivalent of dinner out with DH and the kids, twice. Including wine AND pudding. And I’d have enough change to buy the new Coldplay CD later this week.) What I need is a trial. A proper one, not just pressing my hand into one in the shop. Or would I be better off with a latex pillow? I have a latex mattress and it’s brilliant. (Bed shop suggested this after several ‘Please can you come and inspect this mattress and replace it? I’m happy to pay the difference and get the next mattress up’ calls – and they’re right. Springs don’t suit me and I don’t like those little felt ‘flowers’ with a very hard bit in the middle because they always stick into the base of my spine and give me backache. You know the story of the Princess and the Pea? That’s me. Mattresses AND pillows.)

So. Anyone out there who has a latex pillow or a Tempur one (I mean the really expensive ‘deluxe’ one which is the shape and size of a normal pillow, not the small or specially shaped ones), please talk to me. Any good or not? And, most importantly, is it soft to lie on while being supportive?

Monday, June 09, 2008

fabulous review and a radio interview

Current work: Modern Heat duo book 1
Listening to: George Harrison
Reading: various nonfiction (research)

When you’ve had a slightly tricky week, it’s very gratifying at the end of it to discover a nice review of your book – especially when it’s from someone whose opinion you really respect.

Derek James from the Norwich Evening News gave me a fantastic write-up for Heroes, Villains and Victims of Norwich. ‘A cracking new book by a woman who is fast becoming one of our best-loved authors… It’s one of those books that makes you think: “Well, I never knew that.”’

Excellent. Because what I said in the intro is: ‘I hope you’ll discover tales of people new to you – tales of people who made a difference, both to Norwich and wide the wider community. People who were heroes, villains, victims – and sometimes all three because, in Norwich, we “do different”.’ Thank you, Derek.

And the radio inteview? That’s live on Radio Norwich with Keith Travis this morning at about 10.30 GMT. (99.9 FM or - there’s a link on the right-hand side of the masthead if you want to listen live online.) It’s with my Pamela Brooks hat on, so we’ll be talking history (though, as one of my HVV happens to be Amelia Opie, of course we’re going to talk about romance as well!).

Oh, and as we had a rather nice sunset last night... I caught it late, so that is indeed the moon you see in the top left:

Saturday, June 07, 2008

good news, a new cover and happy birthday

I should spread these out a bit, really. But… I’ve had a less than nice week, so am going to be greedy.

Firstly, the good news. My ed loves the revisions, and The Children’s Doctor’s Special Proposal will be out in March next year. (And now I can settle properly to the Modern Heat.)

Secondly, I’ve just seen the cover for my next Modern Heat (UK release September), which takes place in London, Bath and Naples:
And thirdly, happy birthday to my littlest. No, not Madam: the youngest member of the house (though he’s catching up rapidly if we count in canine years), who spends more time with me than anyone else does.

Byron (aka Kleptodog) is six today. And this is what he looked like on his first weekend home with us...

Friday, June 06, 2008

A surreal moment...

This is just hilarious. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

the d-word (part II)

So… I went in. Filled in the forms. Lovely receptionist was delighted with her flowers (she deserved them – and I was right, they did remember last year). Then I noticed the dentist who sat in the reception area… and my heart sank. It was the one who’d had to stop partway through the extraction last year because it was unbearably painful. Was he the emergency dentist?

Spent the next ten minutes pretending to Madam that Mummy was perfectly OK (inside, it was Panic City). And then I was called in.

Moment of doom.

To my relief, I saw this lovely, lovely, lovely man who restored my faith in male dentists (have I mentioned that I’ve been terrified of male dentists since the grumpy school dentist when I was 5, and have insisted on having a female dentist since?). He was actually the perfect M&B alpha male: reassuring, very much in control and knowing exactly what he was doing, and prepared to listen to what I had to say. I explained about last summer’s nightmare and how I had a nasty feeling that it was about to be repeated with the other side of my mouth because it was the same pattern and the same type of pain. He had a look. Checked my x-rays. Had another look and explained that he was going to very gently tap my teeth to see if the pain would localise. And he did exactly what he promised – all very gentle and considerate and kind.

That was the bit where my teeth were meant to rebel.

And they did… but not how I expected. No, they decided they didn’t hurt at all any more.

Arrgh! (Been there, done that, and six months later it was really, really bad.)

He thought it might be a small internal fracture (which won’t show up on x-ray) or an infection. Drew me some pictures to explain. Asked me if I grind my teeth in my sleep (I didn’t think I did, and DH confirmed that later) because teeth-grinding is one of the major causes of fractures. Sent me off for an x-ray – and when they were developed, he showed them to me and pointed out a tiny bit of infection at the root. (Apparently my glands are up, too.) So. Antibiotics it is… and a heavy dose, so it should clear things up within a week. Until it does, I’m back on the painkillers and drinking through a straw.

I said to the receptionist that he was utterly lovely and had restored my faith in male dentists and if I couldn’t see my normal dentist when she’s back from maternity leave, I would be happy to be moved to him. She laughed: turns out, he’s the head of the practice (and it’s a large practice with about 10 surgeries) so he’s even less available than my dentist will be when she’s back. I still say he’s lovely. And I definitely made the right choice of practice 10 years ago when I finally moved from the one I’d been to since childhood.

Plan for today: hopefully Madam will be feeling up to returning to school (if nothing else, I know she likes Thursdays because it’s the one day a week she has a hot dinner rather than a packed lunch). And I need to find the balance between ‘one painkiller, clear head but pain’ and ‘two painkillers, no pain but woolly head’.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The d-word

No, not 'Deadline'. The really scary d-word.

And after a night without sleep and an inability to cope with more than water sucked through a straw (and that's provided it doesn't go anywhere near that side of my mouth),I left a really, really pathetic message on the dentist's answering machine and then rang again as soon as the office opened. They've taken pity on me (I think they might remember last summer) and I have an appointment this afternoon. Can't take painkillers in case it messes up diagnosis, so... Grin and bear it.

My horoscope today says, 'This is the perfect day to prove your courage to the world.'

Courageous? Me? Ha. Send me down the Yellow Brick Road with the lion and let's hope the wizard has two sets of courage to give out...

Actually, I have to be brave today, because littlest is still home sick. This means she has to go to the dentist with me - and, as I don't want her to be scared of the dentist, I'm going to have to act for all I'm worth. (What I really want to do is curl up in a ball and weep quietly. It HURTS.) DH can't take over because a) he's busy and b) I may need him to pick up son from school, depending on what I have done.

Urk. Please, please, let it involve x-rays and antibiotics, because this feels like a repeat of last year. This time, I'm doing it on one night's sleep deprivation instead of four, and with the benefit (!) of experience. So with luck and the evidence in my notes, hopefully we can avoid a re-run of last summer's trauma. (I think the dental receptionist might remember me, and that's why she took pity on me. I'm taking her flowers to show that I appreciate it. I really, REALLY appreciate it.)

Oh, and the book? (Hollow laugh.) Writing about passion when all you feel is pain (and guilt at not being Supermum... actually, no, she's like me, and as I child I preferred to curl up quietly with a book when I was sick) is tricky. Very tricky.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

speaking too soon

Current work: (weeps)
Listening to: Vaughan Williams
Reading: various nonfiction (research)

So there I was yesterday morning. Settling back into routine, did some tinkering with the book, did a couple of puzzles as thinking time (which, OK, I admit I shouldn’t have done until I’d put a few more words down… but I was still very gratified to hit the #1 spot in the Puzzler website league for the codeword, as so far I’ve only ever hit #2 in the league for the crossword).

And then the phone rang.

Summons from school.

Littlest has a tummy bug - which means she’ll be off at least two days. She’s fine in herself, but I’m making sure she’s well before she goes back – it wouldn’t be fair to spread a bug (and it wouldn’t be fair to her, either).

And I have this nagging beginning of toothache – a filling I said at my last appointment I thought was starting to go, and my dentist cheerily said it’d be fine until the end of this year. I think maybe she was a little too optimistic. I don’t want repeat last summer’s hideous experience, and my dentist is on maternity leave until the end of this year. I’m going to have to be brave. Despite the fact that I’m terrified of male dentists (because they HURT me). But I think this had better wait until littlie is back at school. Sigh. Pass the codeine.

Jury still out on the new pillow – going from a soft squishy one to a very firm (memory foam) one is a bit of a leap. Still, I need to give it a full week - hopefully will not have to return to the Hunt for the Perfect Pillow.

Monday, June 02, 2008

back to routine

Current work: Mod Heat duo book 1
Listening to: Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
Reading: various nonfiction (research)

Although I love my family dearly, I am so glad to be back in routine today. Will be so nice to work in peace and quiet.

Went to see the new Indiana Jones film on Friday. Although there were a couple of paces where it could’ve been cut for pace, on the whole it was excellent and I didn’t look at my watch until ¾ of the way through, which is always a good sign. Some excellent trailers, too – we’ll be going to see Prince Caspian and the new Brendan Fraser museum. DH doesn’t seem as averse to Kung Fu Panda as I am (sorry, am just bored with a certain actor playing the same role over and over again) so methinks that might be a negotiation point in the hols for a research day.

Spent most of the weekend working on nonfiction. Have a couple more ideas buzzing…

Today: plan is to work on fiction. In peace and quiet. It was flowing nicely before Lincoln, but then revisions and half term got in the way. So I think I’m going to work on this in a slightly different way to kickstart it again: in draft, which is basically expanding my outline and just getting the bones on paper. I’ll add in the speech marks and layer in emotions and details afterwards.