ARGH! It's the eighth! It's today!
How did I not realise? Well, it's been a long summer. My kids aren't back at school yet. Last week Thursday and Friday were Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which kind of took me by surprise because the festival usually falls about a month later. Two days of prayer and contemplation and family and friends and honey cake.
Last night I went out for a curry with Canadian author Sean Cummings (visiting London to promote his excellent new YA paranormal book Student Bodies), last week I went to a dinner for women authors and a party thrown by my agent. She compared the authors she represents to sausages. We all love her, so we took it as a compliment.
I've been watching my son play his first football match of the season this morning (they lost 3-0) but he played really well. In my opinion.) School starts tomorrow, and my daughter is going to a new college.
It's a season of new beginnings.
Tomorrow I will start writing my next book. Next week I am going to Amsterdam to research it.
My head was a bit full up with all of this and I didn't know what the date was.
How has this long hot summer been for writing? Well, I have to admit, it wasn't great. We were having the loft converted from a dark cramped space full of junk to a bright, airy room, plus a shower room. The builders were great and did the job in less than a month, but the loft-clearing, the decision-making, the dust and noise were a little distracting.
|Work in progress|
But even if I wasn't actually writing, the whole process was inspiring. First there was the decision making - to invest a huge lump of savings (gulp) in changing our house to benefit all the members of our family. In a few years time will be regret the loss of the cash? Most writers have to make a similar choice when they invest time in their books. Very few of us see much financial return for the time spent for several years - if ever.
|New loft...nearly finished|
Then the builders moved in and wove their magic and created space and light and order and beauty. And I remembered the dream that I have every now and again where I open a door in a familiar house and find a wing that I didn't know existed. Sometimes it's dilapidated and depressing, sometimes it's being decorated and improved, sometimes (not often) it's palatial. I was surprised to learn that it's not just my dream, it's a common dream about unused potential (my mum has it too). Seeing it actually happen was extraordinary.
And this is all much like the process that we go through on Jewish New Year, when we review and repent the faults and mistakes of the past, resolve to change bad habits, especially those that affect other people, and pray for a sweet, healthy and peaceful new year.
And it's like the process of writing a book, when we sort through the rubble of ideas and memories, create a hopeful plan, and set to work creating something new.
So, my humble apologies for nearly forgetting my date with ABBA. I resolve to be more organised in the year to come.