Like any good plot, I also had sub-plots, like exercising every day, finishing the throw I’ve been knitting for two winters now and de-cluttering every room in the house in preparation for a complete redecoration later in the year.
I know! This could all definitely be classed as a little over-ambitious. But somehow when you’re plotting out the year in that post-Christmassy alcohol-fuelled haze, it’s easy to cast yourself as a super-hero who can achieve ALL THE THINGS. Besides! Plots can be tweaked--are usually tweaked—because, you know: Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans…
Well, I haven’t redesigned my website, and I’m not 83k of the way through a first draft of my next book. The throw is still about seventeen squares short and the most creative idea I’ve come up with is to paint the lounge grey. A colour that was all the rage…three years ago!
See, while I was busy fine-tuning my plot for the year, my husband became seriously ill. A rush-job to A&E, followed by hours of tests, admittance and a very scary wait for diagnosis, which actually turned out to be Miller-Fisher syndrome (a rare form of Guillain-Barre), meant that he spent most of February in hospital and then a specialist neuro rehab unit. He’s home now and recovering well but it’s going to be about six months before he’s able to do all the things he used to do and return to work.
I threw my plot for the year out the window on the way home from the hospital that first night. Because when the person you care most about in the world is suffering, life very simply gets divided into: Things That Can Wait and Things That Can’t. I needed a new plot. One that was all about him. Not me.
Anything that wasn’t going to help him could wait. Anything that wasn’t going to help me help him could wait and anything that required my creative energy was going to have to wait until, well, whenever I deemed it safe to come back.
As my gorgeous man and I set about re-plotting our immediate future, what emerges is a new structure with a new set of sub-plots. I’m sure there’ll be a few more tweaks to the plot over the year but I’m surprisingly okay with that. And as soon as I felt ready to let the muse back into my life, it wrapped me in a bear-hug, and like any BFF, told me it wasn’t offended, didn’t feel neglected, and truly understood.
So I just wanted to say a huge, heartfelt thank you for your understanding while I concentrated on Life for a bit, and to also tell you all that, excitingly, while I’ve been absent, some rather lovely people have been working to get my next book ready for release.
It’s In His Kiss releases 21st April. Squee!
Also very exciting is the fact that I’ve seen the cover for it…
Watch this space, my lovelies!