Wednesday, 25 February 2009

When will I be Back to the Future again?

Nostalgia is my blog’s theme today.

Ever reach a stage in your life when you feel like you’re at a crossroads but you don’t know which way to turn. Feel like you’re about to get on a train to somewhere but you don’t know where that train is going to?
Am I being too obscure here? Too many analogies for you?

Sorry, but that’s the only way I can describe how I feel right now. Like it’s all out there waiting for me, but I can’t quite pick the right road, or catch the right train to get to the right destination to find what I’m looking for.

I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking is probably something I do too much of anyway, but recently I’ve been prevented from doing my usual quota of ‘keep me sane’ exercise by a recurring ankle injury that’s seeing me having to ‘rest’ from exercise far more often than do it. A situation I don’t take to well! In fact quite often even normal walking has been nigh on impossible. (I won’t dwell on all this as I’ll get off the topic of the blog, but the current state of play is, I’ve had an x-ray & I’m waiting for a physio appt.)
So as a result I’ve had lots more time than usual to think, and looking back to the past seems to be my current train of thought.

I’m a regular user of Facebook, and enjoy using it to keep up with the news and gossip on friends. I have a mix of friends on there, from people I know really well, to casual acquaintances, to people I used to go to school with, and it’s this category that recently has made me start looking back and thinking how much people can change, and also what changes them?
I have a few school friends on Facebook, but looking at their profiles they don’t look too different to the way they did at school - and if any of you are reading this I mean that in a good way, honest! I can’t vouch for their personalities because this is the Internet and you can only tell so much from photo’s etc. But they really don’t seem that different to the way they were at school.
But then the other day I was contacted by someone who was in the same Tutor group as me for 5 years at secondary school. This means you go from being 12years old – 16years old with the same group of people and the same form tutor, in our case Mrs Jane Whiter.

Here’s our group; Swavesey Village College, Class of 1987:

I'm standing 4th from the right, middle row, with the long dark curly hair.

This person when he was at school from what I can remember was always popular with teachers and pupils & was one of the ‘in crowd’ (I sadly was not!) and probably tried to act the Mr Cool as many teenage boys do. He definitely wouldn’t have been seen dead dressing up in fancy costumes, or larking about on the stage wearing make-up.
So imagine my shock when he added me as a friend, and on checking out his Facebook page I see the 16year old boy I remember as Kevin ‘Mr Cool’ Hart, has morphed into Herbie Adams – comedian, writer and musician, complete with wigs, stage outfits & make-up! When did this transformation take place?
Probably this is same degree of surprise most of my class mates would get on finding out that I became a successful fitness instructor and personal trainer, when I spent most of my school life not being able to do sport and PE lessons because of Rheumatoid Arthritis. How times have changed for both of us.... I wonder how many more of our class mates in that photo are living lives so very different from the ones our teachers and class mates might have predicated for us way back then...

For more information on ‘Herbie Adams’ check out his official Facebook page
Or, if you know the real Kevin Hart and want to catch up with him, he has his own Facebook page too. Wishing you the very best of luck with it all, Kevin :-)

Strangely at about the same time as all this was happening, I was contacted by my literary agent and asked if I would like to become one of the agency’s speaker authors on the subject of fitness. She suggested I write something about my time working as a personal trainer and fitness instructor both as a handout for potential clients and as an addition to my website. You can read what I wrote here which also covers my time having arthritis as a child.

So maybe now you can see just why I’ve lately been living in the past for while. Too many coincidences all at once? Or simply the fact that the past is a much easier place to be right now with the future seeming so unsure....

In fact saying that has just reminded me of a film that used to be one of my favourites when I was younger and I haven't seen in ages, and actually gives me a much more interesting photo to leave you with than the one I was going to.

(Apologies in advance for the really corny pun coming up!!)

Maybe next time I write instead of wallowing in the past I'll feel like being

'Back to the future' once more! ;-)

Ok if you've finally stopped groaning, on a brighter note my novel now has a new title (if still no publisher as yet!) It's now called

From Notting Hill with Love....actually.

The full Upbeat/ funny blog service will resume soon – promise! Even the bounciest of us are allowed to wallow occasionally ;-)

Until the next time

A x

Sunday, 1 February 2009

I love it when a plan comes together... and hate it when it doesn't!

A writerly based blog today

As a new month dawns so does the cold realisation that the novel I’ve been working on isn’t the novel I should be working on right now.
I’ve come to this conclusion as a result of the recent re-write I’ve just completed on my last novel, (still currently titled “You had me at Ronan Keating...” and still being decided on by the publishers, so no news there!) I realised after going back to this novel how much more I’d enjoyed writing this, and how, for many reasons, I was finding the new one I was working on much more of a struggle to complete. However, not being the type of person to give up on anything without a fight I’d struggled on thinking it would get better. Or perhaps, to write a better next book I had to find writing it more of a challenge.
The niggling doubt that perhaps I might not be doing the right thing in continuing, was not helped by lots of new ideas for plotlines and characters continually popping into my head for another future novel I'd had an inkling of an idea for recently. So, after some good advice from my agent, I have come to the conclusion that by putting this novel aside for a while, I’m not quitting and giving up on it, it’s just a novel that needs to wait a while until it’s the right time for me to write it. It will happen eventually (it had better I did an awful lot of research for it!) just not now, it’s obviously not the right time. The right time will come, and I know it will, because it’s a great idea for a novel. Well I think so anyway ;-)
So now I’m going to write what I really want to write at the moment, what seems to be calling out to me to be written, and most importantly what I know I’m going to enjoy writing.
This will take me right back to square one in an author’s creative process – the planning and researching stage of writing a book. This is one of my favourite parts, but I know some authors that hate it.
I’ve never been short of ideas – I think it comes from being an only child; I had (and still do have) a very active imagination! And quite often the research stage throws up even more ideas for characters and plotlines you’d never even considered before, and that’s what’s fantastic about it, that feeling of (to quote the late Mr George Peppard when he was in The A-Team) “loving it when a plan comes together.’
When you finally piece together all the parts of the story you’re going to write.

I won’t tell you what I’m researching, but it’s an eclectic mix that’s involving me amongst other things re-watching a 1970’s and a 1990’s BBC sitcom, and re-reading several children’s story books I read to my children when they were young...
How do I get a novel out of that? Well you’ll just have to wait and see ;-)

Other happenings since I last wrote? Well I said I was going to blog about reality TV shows but Celebrity Big Brother disappointingly failed to ignite the post Christmas TV schedules this year, and I came to Dancing on Ice as an ice skating virgin, but exited disappointed shortly after the third ‘celebrity’ had skidded precariously across the floor with their partner. So I’m down to the bare basics of Eastenders four times a week at the moment and not a lot else – but even the usual comfort and familiarity of Albert Square is leaving me feeling bereft since the departure of the lovely Robert Kazinsky as Sean Slater at New Year.

Ah well it gives me more time for catching up on my reading, and of course writing and researching that new novel...

Oh, I had a Birthday in January too.

Check out the very writerly cake I was surprised with. It tasted as good as it looked!

Till the next time,

A x