It's been a while since I whipped up a generic, writing-related blog post. And what better time to do the honours than at 2am when, as usual, I'm painfully awake with thoughts ricocheting around my head like someone tipped a shitload of bouncy balls in there?
I have had mixed emotions lately. I've been shielding with my immunocompromised wife since the beginning of the UK lockdown, and I'm not going to lie, I miss hugs... yep, even awkward ones. I miss dragging my wife around bookshops. I miss geeking out at writing-related events. I was so looking forward to losing my Harrogate festival virginity. And there's a gaping hole in my big gay heart for Pride celebrations. But I've realised I do have a lot to be thankful for. I've got to know my neighbours a bit better. And more importantly, experienced their kindness when we needed them. I've learned to appreciate my home and my garden and understood how lucky I am to have them. I've started paying attention to wildlife that I didn't even know visited my garden. I probably phone my friends and family more often than I ever saw them in pre-Covid life. Were it not for everything going digital, I wouldn't have stumbled upon awesome online events such as Virtual Noir at the Bar. Not only for doing my own reading, but sitting back each Wednesday and watching some truly fantastic authors doing their thing (and I live for the afterparty banter).
I've relied heavily on Twitter for a large chunk of my social life, and as sad as that sounds, it's been a bit of a lifeline. And, as a socially awkward person through and through, I don't miss the pressure of social events. You know, the 'I-should-really-show-my-face-but-quite-frankly-I-would-rather-be-in-my-PJs' kind of events. You know the ones. I've had the opportunity to read several of my friends' novels, all of which were so great in their own special ways, I felt honoured to be given them to read and critique. I had a few 'pinch-me' moments, firstly when I was shortlisted for Penguin WriteNow, and then again when I was signed by David Higham Associates. I have read SO. MANY. BOOKS from my TBR pile. I finished the first draft of my second book. I don't know what's yet to come; no one does. But I desperately hope the good stuff born out of the shitstorm that is Covid-19 doesn't eventually fizzle away into nothing, leaving me bereft of the things I'm loving right now. But for now, if someone could just bottle that book-shop scent and drench me in it, I'd be a very happy woman. Roxie