…You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been…
I am back and hoping to inspire (or possibly bore you) with my writerly ramblings in 2019… hopefully the former!
Something has always excited me about turning the pages of a new diary and hanging a new calendar. It’s a time for looking ahead, for goal setting, for dreaming, but also for remembering.
Last night we did something we have never done on New Year’s Eve. It’s a new tradition we have started. We walked Rosie later than usual (in the dark with her flashing collar, no less), along a peaceful Canvey sea wall. The sea was so calm, the tide was in and it softly lapped against the shoreline. I love that sound. Lights twinkled across in Kent and the occasional firework fizzed along the edges of the year. Perfect ❤ We then walked to our local church (where incidentally we get married in nineteen days’ time!) and we lit candles in the chapel. We remembered those long passed… as well as those we lost in 2018. We sat in the reflective tranquility of the church and looked at the beautiful St Nicholas Christmas tree. We listened to the soft music, with those candles burning in the chapel, and we thought about how far we have come and how much there is to look forward to.
There was a big party next door for the church in the hall (where we will also party on the night of our wedding) but there was something special about being on the outside of all of that noise. At the same time, the joy in the laughter and the singing crowned the moment and filled us with good energy as we sat in peaceful contemplation. Actually, we sat and worked out our wedding vows 🙂
We have always kind of lived on the periphery and in many ways like being a bit different. So, for us, this was perfect ❤
Then we walked home, he meditated a while, and I drank hot chocolate in bed with a book. We were both asleep by midnight. The fireworks woke us so we said Happy New Year and We get married THIS year! Then we went to sleep. Perfect end to a lovely year ❤
So…I have BIG plans this year, some short story writing to kick off the year (for some BIG competitions I’d like to win 😉 ) before I make a few changes to Chutney for Irina and start my search for a new agent. And… good news… DRUM ROLL IF YOU PLEASE…
I am finally publishing my short story collection through Bridge House this year!
Yes, you heard me correctly! These will be previously published alongside never before published ‘competition-winning stories’ alongside some new ones: OUT in JULY 2019! Since it is my 50th birthday next week (yikes!) then this will be in celebration of turning 50 this year as well as the year I get married!
It is going to be a big year and my January calendar has never looked so busy.
Excitement for me comes not from things but from plans That’s why Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year because it is a day of sparkle: a day of heightened expectation. And that for me weaves a special kind of magic. You know, when my work is out there sat on some editor’s desk awaiting its fate, that same sense of hope lives in every moment: will it get accepted? Will it win even? Is this it, the breakthrough moment? If we give ourselves things to look forward to, be it something small like that sugary treat later, a nice dinner, a book you’re enjoying, or something HUGE like a wedding, no matter how big or small it’s having things to look forward that makes life worth living, right? This year there is SO much, but let’s not forget that it has not always been that way. Maybe this year it is not that way for you, maybe it has lost its sparkle. When my Lee died in 2005, it was hard to look forward to anything, I’d say for a couple of years. And trust me I am like a child who looks forward to everything! It took something really HUGE to change that: meeting my idol Barry Manilow was what did it! I counted down the days to that trip to Vegas from 100 days to go!
So, I will leave you reflecting on what you have to look forward to and if it has been a difficult year, I promise you it will get better. Start with the small things.
I will be back and telling you all about my experiences at City Uni on their ten-week screenwriting course.
Have a beautiful day folks! Thanks for reading 🙂
Debz and Mal at St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island, New Year’s Eve 2018/2019
Ps if you wish to do something for my birthday, I have set up this Facebook fundraising page. As some of you know, I am a great supporter of The Born Free Foundation ❤ so if you wanted to help, even if only £1 it would mean a lot, thank you… LINK