April 2015

When Forrest Gump compared life to a box of chocolates he was definitely onto something. Whilst my culinary tastes fall a little lower from chocolate delights, reduced to the pick and mix the kids usually select and hand to me as the lights go down at the cinema, the twists and turns of life really can be compared to those choice treats which lie inside crackling boxes or bags. Some things in life are fabulous, some things surprise you and other things are plain bloody awful, just like those overpriced chemically-enriched chews and soft foam shapes sold in those germ-gathering plastic containers at the foyers of cinemas. March, for me, was just like munching my way through an oversized bag of pick and mix. There were some fabulous surprises, (jelly foam fangs), in the shape of an audio book deal for my first two books. Then there were gruesome moments, the black liquorice chew, where I realised that I had gone off in completely the wrong tangent throughout January during my mammoth writing sessions for Book Two. I had inadvertently turned my second book into the monstrous bastard cousin of The Two Towers, and whilst I dream Tolkien in my sleep, Tolkien I am not. But then again, who is? The outcome? 65,000 words unceremoniously put to the sword. Damn you liquorice! Then there was the moment that I found those moreish foam mushrooms nestled in the bottom of the bag, equivalent to the news that The Damned had gone to print. A moment to relish and saviour. Then followed further great news, the sherbet filled flying saucer, that several prominent persons within the literary world had read my debut novel and had really liked it!! March it seemed, and those succulent sweets within the pick and mix, was not so bad after all. And I then I found midget gems, those tiny square cubes of cow gum which always have tasted more like soap than sweets to me, and writer's block struck my world. Big time. The midget gems (aka writer's block) have stuck firmly to my gums (and hung around) ever since. I've been trying to pick them out of my teeth so that I can progress with Book Two. With every passing day, I've been picking and swearing I'll never put my hand inside a pick and mix bag again. With Book Two it's all there, all the plans and ideas and plot and characters, but can I finish it off? Not with all this soap tasting gum wedging my mouth closed I can't. I'm half way through and jammed up. But I know that writer's block is a state of mind, rather than a statement of fact. You just have to keep going, keep writing stuff, keep getting the words down on paper and the number count going up and you will eventually breakthrough. I know, I've been here before. The only difference between then and now is that I am up against a deadline - four months and counting. So it seems that with this particular pick and mix bag I am going to have to keep eating right down to the bottom. And once I've done so, I'll have finished my novel, no matter how sick I feel by the end of it!

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