Had a little bit of time out from the relentless editing (actually, I do about three hours a day, usually in the mornings and then have the rest of my time free so nothing to moan about) to travel to and attend a lovely family wedding, watch Small Fry do her duty as a flower girl, have a birthday and assist in the making of a birthday cake.
I forget to turn my face away from my computer sometimes: people can be kind of nice too. We are fairly anti social, keep ourselves-to-ourselves guys in this house but the last two months have seen a steady stream of supporting, helping, celebrating visitors and my misanthropy is gradually wearing down. It is sort of nice to be in a family.
In writing related but not actually writing news, I had a tricky and troublesome chapter of Cold Light given the five star reading treatment from my fiction group, who helped me see what I needed to do to fix it (tweaks rather than rewrites, which at this stage, is reassuring) and it was brilliant to have the kind of, ‘I wonder what happens next, I want to read the next bit’ response that I’m after from my talented crack-team of beta readers. I want to write suspenseful, gripping fiction. They claimed to be gripped, so I am happy.
A Kind of Intimacy has now been published in Italy – and the parcel of Italian copies arrived on my birthday. I can now say ‘that bloody sofa!’ in Italian. As well as that, news arrived that the Italian Vanity Fair has done an in-depth feature on the novel this month, and that the German rights for Cold Light have sold, and last but not least, due to my near constant feeding of him, the McTiny has put on a stupendous amount of weight.
Now allow me to digress onto Quotes From A Health Visitor – a newly regular feature of my ranting on this blog. Took the McTiny to get weighed and measured and generally poked. The government likes to check these things now and again. We go into the waiting room, introduce ourselves but the two HVs, both older than my own mother, insist on calling us mummy and daddy, which in our sleep deprived state is nothing short of surreal. He’s bigger than he was last time. This works in our favour. So does the fact that we managed to put clothes on him – we were lavishly praised for this: oooh – you’ve got his trousers on him! Well done! all said in a pitch only slightly lower than a dog whistle.
Do I really, really look like the sort of person who is not capable of putting trousers on a baby? Is anyone not capable of putting trousers on a baby? Who are these people? Next appointment – two weeks. I will have finished my edits on Cold Light by then and will, hopefully, be in a sweeter mood.