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Archive for Family
In 2002 someone very close to me died of cancer. Her name was Julie and she left two daughters, Melanie and Katherine, plus a grand-daughter. When Jamie was a baby Julie and I used to give her little books to read in bed with us (she only ever looked at books with words – anything with pictures was instantly tossed aside). And I would make-up stories on-the-fly.
I think they were more for me than anyone else though. Now she is fifteen, maybe she will come across this little book and have a read. I hope Jamie enjoys it as much as we enjoyed having her in our lives.
The hardcopy edition of “Lilith” will include the following dedication to Jamie:
This is a book written for
Jamie “Jampot” Louise Shakeshaft
Here is a story not to be read in bed.
However long gone.
Past, future and now.
No distance between.
Pain of beginning,
As pain at the end.
None can deny.
Hold our head high,
For our family is forever.
Never to die,
An immortal love.
There can be no doubt that the drive and self-confidence received a huge boost simply from knowing Jamie. I wish you a long and happy life, that your troubles pass, and that our memories stay safe.
Two months have passed, the fruit trees have grown leaves, the weather has switched to summer (well, my summer – it’s still spring here), mum has been at home for two weeks without visiting hospital (whew!), my cash flow is about to stop, and my writing has stopped.
So that means I face certain choices, namely, do I stay in Adelaide, or do I return to the UK? Sounds simple, and it is, unless one begins to examine all the factors involved. I won’t go into them here (I do talk about them elsewhere… if you know where to look, under my real name), but these things tend to have a complicating influence upon the decision-making process.
Yeah, I could go the airport right now and book the next flight home. That would be a huge surprise to those with whom I have grown to know and care about, plus my mum would be suddenly left here too. Without warning. To resolve this problem I have given myself until the end of November to establish a sustainable income here in South Australia. And I won’t lie: finding a job here is proving oddly fraught with difficulty. If a job offer comes-up before the end of November I’ll take it and stay here; if there is no offer, then I book the next plane outta here.
On the issue of writing, Lilith will be published as a short novel. Hopefully, the brilliant editor I have chosen will stay with me and help me see it through (fingers crossed). Vanguard Coven is coming along nice. The story-line is developing. Unlike Rhesus A, VC is being meticulously planned! I know that when things do go to the editor Rhesus A will be going too. So my man may be snowed-under. Part of the aim of returning to Manchester in the UK (actually, Liverpool is more or less my home) is to get back to some solid writing, the sort where I can hammer-out a chapter in an afternoon. Here with mum in South Australia that is literally impossible – the environment is waaay to restimulative for me.
All this means that the next time you hear from me I may be reporting from Manchester… woohoo.
Just like The Beatles’ “Getting Better” (all the time) things here in hot-one-minute-cold-the-next-Adelaide are getting sorted. Though if one looked briefly, giving a cursory glance in the general direction of my life you may not think it, that yes, things are on track to at-least getting better.
This doesn’t mean everything here is fine. The opposite is true. My mum is back in hospital (I think this is her fourth time in less than a month) and hopefully, this time she will not be kicked-back home too quickly – even though mum and I would dearly love her to be able to live at home safely. At-least in hospital she is away from the safety hazards and hassles associated with living independently in a suburban house. For me, just living in a house all by myself is so alien that I have no idea how I would cope in the long term.
On other issues, I need to get on a financially stable footing before proceeding with the editing of Lilith (and at some stage, Rhesus A too), decide if Lilith has been completed (I’m 99% sure that the manuscript is complete), and continue with the planning of the third book, Vanguard Coven, which may also be called something else entirely along the same theme as Rhesus A. The storyline for VC is coming along nice and continues on from where Rhesus A ends. It really does just get better.
My days are occupied by study, going to the hospital, job interviews and drinking coffee. Hmm, I think I have sampled half the cafes in Adelaide and may have settled upon one which does an okay flat white and edible food… their real test will be if they can make a decent Americano. Now if only their cafe tables were just slightly larger so that my laptop would fit…
So here I am back in Christchurch, happy to get back to work and struggle on with Lilith, wishing I could be racing onwards with Vanguard Coven (now part of the Rhesus A series…), hoping to get some muscle work at the store, get fitter, and yep, you guessed it, I come down with the mighty flu’.
Not only that, which has put a real dent in my mental stability and self determination, but along comes the need for flipping surgery on my toe. It’s a toe that’s done everything to get at me over the years: anything to bring me down. Crushed by a boat; almost cut off by a misplaced shovel; devastated by a fungal infection; toe nail removal; fracture and re-fracture caused by fall in wet weather (I. Was. Not. Drunk!) and an earthquake (yep boss, it happens to me too you know); and now the god-damn need to have the toe nail partially but permanantly removed due to a whopper of an ingrown nail. The doctors says he’s gonna photograph it – I’ll have to see if he’ll give me the pic.
It’s that time of year again, so I am off to spend some time with my mom in the scorching heat of Adelaide. Mind you, last year it was pretty cool/chilly there in April.
Hopefully, I will get some quality time to work on Lilith, which is really looking good now. The plot is evolving with every story-line making great potential for follow-on books. The lives of Samantha, Ruth and Aytal are begging to be told.
It’s midnight, just got home, and going to watch “Let Me In” for the umpteenth time (the book was brilliant by the way. Very dark and pretty horrific, TBH).
“Lilith” Word count: 26279.
So, progress on Lilith is going along okay, not brilliant but okay. Yeah, the story is much better than Vanguard Newborn. That was the plan and it is so-far working out. It will also be a longer book too. Maybe up to 150K words. Considering I have barely started the story, and making sure there is action at every turn, the end product will even impress me. Try not thinking about that, I tell myself, hoping to just get on with the story. Whatever develops, develops. Come what may.
News from the Ashley Zetterburg world is that I am awaiting a proof copy of the book. Sadly I missed the holidays, and the proof will arrive in the New Year. I suppose I should be happy, but a little holiday lightener would have been nice. After I have checked it out, it will be despatched to my mom who eagerly awaits whatever I have produced. My baby, see mom!
Finally a big hello to anyone (hello, is there anyone out there?) who has made it over to my new blog (i.e. this one) in my pseudonym of Kaden Brown. Welcome, have a look around, throw me a bone and I’ll chew on it, letting you know whatever I think.
PS. Here’s the latest sentence I have written:
A shadow of doubt passed through my head, wondering what the hell was going on.