The Deal That Never Was.

I was so close.

So damn, damn close.

So close I could smell it, breathe it …. believe it.

An unsigned contract from a top publisher in my hot little hand, copy deadline next January, first hardback out 2020. I was researching, writing …. loving it.

And then … it all fell away. Up the ladder, and down that sneaky snake that lurks around square 98 to catch the unwary. Right back to the foothills. Strong temptation to throw the whole damn board across the room and never write again.

There was a third party involved, you see.  They had a contract with the publisher too,  nothing to do with me but if that fell through, the whole deal was off. And, at the eleventh hour, it did. And so it was.

My agent has been brilliant.  The publishers have been lovely. Under no legal obligation to do so, they’ve paid me for the work I’ve done to date. It’s a source of much mirth in my family that the first money I’ve earned from writing …. is to stop writing.  A ‘kill’ fee. Even I can see the irony, the humour in that.

So there we go. Up and down and round and about we go. No one ever said it would be easy. But, now the sting’s subsided and new opportunities are opening up …. oh, the thrill of this totally unpredictable scary, frustrating, maddening, totally exhilarating magical mystery ride …

Back to the laptop.




Day 19 Without Twitter.

So, I might have cheated a little.

Just the tiniest bit.

A few days ago we were at the airport when my daughter announced she had forgotten her anti-sickness mediciation. And, boy, does my daughter get sick on flights! A quick whip round the stores and, whilst I could have had giant Toblerones and perfume and even haggis a plenty, there were absolutely no travel sickness pills. Anywhere. Even Boots came up short. Stress levels rising, I reached for my phone, re-activated Twitter and tweeted the airport help people Cue one very nice DM conversation with Laura who confirmed my fears. No anti-sickness medication at all once you’re past security. (In the end we plumped for some wrist bands with a bead in them which apparently presses on an acupuncture point and, to be fair, daughter was absolutely fine. She even polished off half a bag of chocolate fingers on the flight with no ill-effects. I ate the other half.)

It felt weird to be back on Twitter. At first I was perturbed that the act of deactivating my account seemed to have deleted all the 3,000 odd people that I follow and who follow me. I sat in the Airport Costa feeling – frankly – a bit anxious, but after about 20 minutes, they all miraculously reappeared. Then it began to feel a little excited. This was all a bit illicit. I was back!! And I couldn’t help it. I twitted a jaunty little ‘just poking my head around the door to say hello’ type of message and sat back to await the replies. The ‘we’ve missed yous’, the ‘have you been somewhere’s,’ even the ‘get off Twitter you useless lump – call this a month?’

There was nothing. Absolutely zilch, zero, nada. I refreshed a few times. Nope. Not a flutter. After about twenty minutes, some kind soul said ‘welcome to twitter’ and someone else tried to sell me their book on getting the most out of social media.

So I slunk away again.

That’ll teach me!!






Day 10? Without Twitter.

Oops – I haven’t been very good about keeping up to date with this blog, have I?

Which is mainly because …. I haven’t been thinking about Twitter very much at all.

Oh sure, there have been many times I’ve gone to log on …. there’s been an election, don’t you know? … but the urge has passed almost as quickly as it has come. It’s the funny things I miss; there was a BBC article about the fact that #hotsoundguy was trending after a fit bloke was filmed setting up Theresa May’s lectern. I was dying to go online and to look at the banter and to tweet about how appallingly sexist it all is. And to see the #dogsatpollingbooths thread. And to see the fall out about Theresa May leaving and the gallery of hopefuls jostling to take her place. I bet there were some really choice tweets.

I suppose one good thing is that instead of tweeting about the election, I signed up to be a polling clerk and spent from 6.30am to 10.30pm on Thursday in a freezing, draughty church hall, handing out ballot papers to voters. It was actually enormous fun – not least because I was allocated a polling station about ten minutes walk from where I live and I knew many of the voters. The banter matched anything on Twitter.

One thing I do very genuinely miss about Twitter is helping dear friends to celebrate their publication days. Last Thursday saw not one, but two, Sister Scribes celebrating book launches and I was very sorry not be able to tweet and RT them from the rooftops.  I hope the real life gifts went some way to make up for it and many congratulations to Susanna Bavin with A Respectable Woman and Kitty Wilson with Summer Love from the Cornish Village School series. Love you both and I hope they both fly!!

Day Seven Without Twitter.

‘I don’t understand why you would blog about not being on Twitter’, said a friend this weekend.

At the time, I’d had a couple of shandies and didn’t think anything of it.

Later, when I’d sobered up, I wondered what she’d meant. She didn’t understand why it would be difficult to leave Twitter for a month? She didn’t get why I would choose to write about my experiences? Or why I would choose to share the links on Facebook?

I don’t know.

Maybe you have to both be on Twitter and suspect that you’re spending far more much time and energy on it to understand the first. It’s seductive, it sucks you in,  leads you down rabbit holes and before you know it, an hour or more has gone by.  Or maybe it’s having a slightly addictive personality … in the same way that I can’t leave a bar of chocolate unfinished. I don’t drink, smoke or gamble, but maybe I am a Twitter-Addict. It can’t just be me … or maybe it is.

Anyone else feel the same?

As for the second, I’m a writer and I like to write about things. I like to write about my thoughts and experiences and if I can occasionally entertain, inform or educate, then so  much the better. Some things may resonate with people, most probably won’t. I don’t expect anyone to read everything  – or even anything – I write. If you don’t fancy it, don’t read it.

Back to the withdrawal symptoms … and I’m pleased to say the weekend was a doozie. I was out and about –  on the archaeological dig, at a party, at a family do  – and barely gave Twitter a thought. In fact, it was so far from my mind that I forgot to post. Today the urge came across me at the most random moment.  I saw that poor Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown over him and I really wanted to see what Twitter made of that.

How random is that?!

Anyway, instead of giving in to my urge to read about Brexit, I signed up to work in a polling station on Thursday.

Onwards and upwards and thanks for reading!



Day Four Without Twitter …

…. and the craving is strong.

Reports of my having conquered my addiction are, sadly, premature.

I’ve been working on the novel all day today and, even though the words are flowing and I’m making good progress, every time I have a break, I really, really, REALLY want to log on to Twitter.

I want to connect and shoot the breeze with writerly chums.

I want to see what trending and what I should be getting outraged about!

I want to promote this post.

And I want to share a tweet from my daughter’s school which shows her inflating an artery as part of a cardiology workshop (she sent me a photo of it, in case you’re wondering.)

But I shall resist.

I will order some plants from the nursery to replace the box in our garden which is being munched by pretty green caterpillars.

I will order a birthday present for a friend.

And I will write 500 more words.


Day Three Without Twitter.

Today I had a wonderful day with relatives who have flown over to the UK for a memorial service for a most-loved uncle at the weekend. It will be a real gathering of the clans.

I didn’t think about Twitter at all.

But then again, I didn’t do any writing either!

Methinks there may be a connection between the two.


Day Two Without Twitter

Do you remember those days when we used to come into school and discuss the programmes we had watched the night before? I loved those long conversations about the latest episode of The Six Million Dollar Man or Dallas before school started: (I know: I’m showing my age here). And I love Twitter because it lets me do the same thing. Nowadays there is so much to watch, I’ve have rarely seen the same programmes as my friends (Fly Girl and Killing Eve excepted).  However, there’s always a Twitter buddy ready to discuss the OA or whatever weird and wonderful thing I’m currently watching. And  – even better –  Twitter lets you discuss programmes while you are watching them … honestly, I love the British sense of humour and the commentary is often better than the programme!

Confession time. I love the Eurovision Song Contest (please don’t judge me) and last year I howled with laughter as the savage and hilarious tweets unfolded . Like, proper tears rolling down my face/ sliding off the sofa kind of laughter. So when I saw the semi finals were on last night – and I don’t even know how I knew this without Twitter! – I felt a pang of regret that there wouldn’t be a repeat performance this year. But I settled down to watch it without my phone and then a lovely thing happened. DD actually came to join me and I’d like to think that our banter and random comments actually put Twitter to shame. And there is nothing, nothing so precious as laughing til you cry with a teenager who is slipping through your fingers.

Random thoughts … but happy days!!

Day One Without Twitter.

Bloody hell, this is hard.

I’ve been writing on and off all day, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve absentmindedly tried to click the Twitter link. It’s like a Pavlovian response. Open the lap top, open Twitter.

It’s the ‘news’ I miss the most. I want to find out who won the #Nibbies last night, but Google still brings up the shortlists. I want to see what and who is on @RNAtweets #TuesNews this week. I want to see if Jane Ayres has brought out a new ‘episode’ of ‘Much Bickering’ on her blog. I know I could find out most of these things other ways. but just one little click and all that information would be at my fingertips.

And, is anyone talking behind my back???!!!

On the plus side, the very lovely Literary Lovelies have moved onto Facebook Messenger for me. Isn’t that wonderful! I really hadn’t expected that at all, but here we all in a new home. Thank you so much Vanessa for suggesting and Catherine for organising.

And, another plus. I have got MASSES done. I’ve written two thousand words of one WIP and edited ten pages of another.  I’ve even done the hoovering, been for a walk and visited a friend for coffee.

Superwoman, that’s me.

Onwards and upwards.

Only 30 days to go!


Life without Twitter.

I’ve left Twitter,

Just for a month … but at the moment, that feels like a lifetime.

No shot of dopamine at a new notification. No getting outraged over the ‘news’ (especially selected for me). No shooting my mouth off about Brexit. No nattering with my lovely writing friends.

Two things prompted this self-confessed Twitter addict to go cold-turkey.

Firstly, my  daughter asked my a question and, when I answered, she said ‘that’s your non-listening voice.’ I laughed, but then I thought about it. She was absolutely right. I had been distracted and I hadn’t really been listening. And, of course, parents can’t be on hand to talk to their offspring day and night but at that moment I had been composing a tweet about how proud I was to have changed the Dyson filter all by myself while hubbie is away.  Which is more important? Hearing about my 17 year old’s exam or shouting into the ether. I actually feel a little embarrassed writing this.

The other reason is the effect of Twitter on my mental health. Writing is a perilous industry and even though writers are generally the loveliest and most supportive of people, sometimes it can get to you.  Maybe it will help to step away while I am feeling vulnerable and down.

So, never being to one to do things by half, I’ve deactivated my account.

Be good while I’m away and see you in a month!

Oh, actually, there’s one more thing about leaving Twitter.

I won’t be able to publicise this post.