Well, hello to you, dear reader, as my favourite, tall comedienne Miranda Hart would say. I hope 2013 has been kind to you so far.
It’s been an eventful start to the new year for me. As some of you may know I recently struck out on my own after thirty four years in a relationship. At the grand old age of forty nine and a half I am currently living in my youngest daughter’s spare bedroom. It’s not where I imagined I would be in the months preceding my half century but hey ho, such is life. It seemed like quite an adventure at the time. There was no huge argument or anything dramatic…it was just a general feeling that things are really not right between us any more, let’s take some time out and see how it goes?
I admit, I was quite excited at the time. I have never lived on my own before and the thought of only having to please myself seemed quite thrilling. Of course, I don’t think I really thought it through. For a start, I miss my DH, even though I thought he was a giant pain in the behind when I lived with him. It’s quite extraordinary how absence makes you grow fonder…and terribly forgetful, despite the constant reminders I keep dredging up about how we have grown apart, how different we are, how little we have in common, blah blah blah.
Secondly, I hadn’t really taken into account how broke I would be. My wages are pitiful. I am severely underpaid and undervalued and bear this with great fortitude usually, but looking through the rental pages of letting agency websites is quite enough to remind me that if I’m going to find anywhere to live I’m going to have to stay put and save up for quite a while.
So here I am, living in a bedroom, surrounded by what amounts to almost fifty years of my life. And really I mean books. Seriously. I have ditched almost everything I ever owned and brought with me just a few clothes, my laptop, desk, chair, bookcases and boxes and boxes of books. Well, priorities and all that.
DH has now moved out of the marital home and found his own house. WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING! How do men do that?? Anyway, I went to see him recently and he’s settled and made himself quite at home. The house is the opposite of our old one. It’s a pocket sized house. Tiny. But I did like it. We are getting on much better at the moment and have actually booked a holiday together in September so who knows what will happen?
So, as you can see, it’s been a bit of a weird start to my year. I decided that, rather than dwelling on what I’d lost and wondering and worrying about what was going to become of me, I’d use this time in limbo to reinvent myself. Yes! This is the year that I will finally pass my driving test, lose weight and … finish that novel!
I have procrastinated and pontificated long enough. I have written and rewritten that dratted first chapter about thirty thousand times. I have changed the setting, the title, the characters’ relationships and just about every other part of the thing over and over again. I have dreamed about the story. I have deleted bits of it, added to it, chopped and changed it, cried over it, laughed at it, screamed at it and practically hurled my laptop through the window when it stubbornly refused to play the game despite my best efforts. Time to focus and get down to business.
To that end, I have become a member of the Romantic Novelists Association New Writer’s Scheme. I dithered over that, too. Right up until the last day before applications opened I was appealing for advice on Facebook where some very kind and generous souls who had been there and done that offered me their opinion, which was, universally, go for it! So I did. Clicking send at exactly two minutes past twelve and crossing my fingers that my application would arrive in time. Knowing that the chances were slim as so many apply and there are so few places.
Well, I got in! So now I’m just waiting for the funds to send the cheque off and be officially enrolled. (I do have the funds, I’m not that irresponsible! Just can’t get my hands on them till the end of the month. Agonizing wait!)
It’s a scary thing, actually. Kind of like when you’re browsing bridal shops and flicking through wedding magazines, dreaming about which dress you’d buy and which cake you’d like if anyone was ever foolish enough to propose; then suddenly you’re posting the banns and you’ve got a date and the invitations are going out and it’s all real and going to happen! Proper, grown up stuff. No more messing around.
I seem to be taking the plunge a lot lately. I am not a “taking the plunge” sort of person generally. Could this be because my fiftieth birthday is looming, do you think? Am I having a mid life crisis? Will DH and I ever get back together? Will I ever be able to move out of my daughter’s home? Will I ever own any furniture that isn’t book or writing related? Will my novel ever get finished?
Stay tuned to find out. It’s going to be an interesting year…