Pick 'n' Mix

Look! Here I am patting myself on the back, and not just because the new physio has told me to (actually, he’s told me to do a kind of patting on the back backwards and it doesn’t half hurt. He’s also got me pumping 3kg weights which feel pretty berludy heavy to my no-muscle-tone arm). Anyway, I’m also patting myself on the back because I have finished FTT ‘Dark ‘n’ Sleek’, my third rewrite of ‘Fighting the Tide’ which takes into account the advice I’ve had from the one agent and one editor who have read the complete t/s. Hopefully this Goldilocks version will be neither too short and light nor too long and dark. I’ve retained my cast of characters because that’s the way I enjoy working, but clipped a sub-plot, to leave the focus more on my heroine. A vigorous horizontal romp (sorry, kids,) between the hero and his on-off girl friend, has also been cut, not because I had a fit of the vapours, but because it struck me that for a couple who were supposed to be on the way out, they were doing a little too much ‘on’ and not enough ‘off’. So, there we are, ‘Fighting the Tide’, one woman’s fight to save her sleepy, seedy, seaside town from the threat of redevelopment, ready to face the world again.

The winds on the west Wales coast have been strong again overnight and this morning’s run reminded me of the hell that was the last three miles of the Llanelli half marathon. Still, I’ve got to put that behind me because I’ve just entered the Cardiff half. I know it’s a bit keen, it’s not ‘til October, but I like to have a running goal to focus on and I’d really like to get a good time for this one. Mind you, I wouldn’t stand a chance if I’d let the assistant in the ‘sports’ shop where I bought my new running shoes tell me what I needed. Like most people, I guess, I find a pair of shoes I like and buy them for the cheapest price off the internet, but Asics have just upgraded the model I’m comfortable with plus there seemed to be a world shortage of 1140s in 5.5.

Anyway, I wandered into one of those horrible ‘sports’ warehouse places which is as good as it gets round here, and was stunned to see the shoes I was looking for at the right price so I asked to try them on.
‘I don’t know if we do half sizes,’ says the assistant, giving me a crushing look. ‘Will a six do? They come up small you know.’
Me: thinks, yes, I do know actually, that’s why I buy a half size bigger than I normally wear. ‘Er, no, thank you. I really need a 5.5.’
Assistant, ‘How about a five?’
Me, ‘No, I really need a 5.5. It’s 5.5 or nothing, thank you.’
Assistant clearly thinks I am a right chimp not worthy of service so he directs another assistant to search for the shoes, and, hurray, there they are, the only Asics Gel 1140s 5.5 left on the planet. Then I go to the till.
‘Ooh,’ says the girl on the till, rolling her eyes. ‘They’re a lot of money aren’t they?’
Me: thinks, yes, I bloody know. ‘Hmm. Yes, I suppose so.’
Girl, ‘I’m sure we do cheaper pairs that look similar.’
Me, ‘Uhuh, but I do want to run in them.’
Girl, with look of huge disbelief at me, ‘Oh!’

We have a very hectic couple of weeks at Hotel H, both home and away but I must find time to get my hair cut. It’s grown like billy-o and I seem to be rocking the Iggy Pop look at the moment! It’s fine on Iggy, but not so hot on me. Honestly, life’s been so busy since we moved here; we escaped to the country, but everyone else came with us. Still, it’ll be fun catching up with everyone.

Image is 'Miners'Week, Barry Island' by Tom Tomos


Edward said…
I like the sound of "Fighting The Tide" - a film treatment sounds like a good idea too (yes, I know you're busy!)

I get all my running shoes off the internet - the last pair I bought in a shop were horrible, and full price (but don't tell Milla). Good luck with Cardiff - I'll be running Stroud at about the same time (but probably in less wind!)
Fennie said…
Good luck with Cardiff, though I would have thought you would have learned something from Llanelli. Now, we've heard so much of FTT that I wonder if we couldn't have it serialised (would that count as publication?) 2000 words a day in a species of forum. Of course we might then not buy the book so perhaps it would need to be a subscription forum. Or maybe you could just throw us the bits you've cut out so they don't go to waste, as it were. They sound salacious and exciting. 'Tiding the Fight,' perhaps.
Frances said…
Hello Chris,

I am so glad that your new physio is having you try therapies that seem to be helping.

Congrats on getting the goldilocks version complete. This will be The One!

As a total non-runner, I will still congratulate you on beginning prep for yet another big run. Bet your time will amaze everyone.

I love getting a new haircut, but always push the prior clipping to its limits before calling up the salon.

Please let Tom know I like today's picture very much.

Pipany said…
I am wearing running shoes as I type Chris. They were bought for me by dear daughter in remembrance of the days when I ran long and hard. Think she thought it would get me off my arse...if only!

By the way, I promise I will write a blog about the days I spend nagging/yelling/moaning to the kids soon and then you could show yours the Reality Waltons!

Good luck with Cardiff Chris and darned well done on the re-write. xx
Tam said…
Oh, I'm wearing the unkempt look this season too.

Good luck with the running. I'm ashamed to admit I was secretly relieved when my husband picked up an injury and stopped running, because it let me off the hook too!
Cait O'Connor said…
Good luck with the marathon down in Cardiff and with the book too (and the haircut!).
Preseli Mags said…
Excellent news about Dark n' Sleek - you definitely deserve a pat on the back for that! And for entering the Cardiff half. I might be there too, if I can find the entry fee! As for hair cuts, I'm rocking the Dougal the Dog look at the moment. Not a good look! xx
PS: Three kilos? Eeek!
aha the physio sounds like he means business - n pain no gain.
FTT ark and sleek sounds good, lets hope this is IT
Pondside said…
It sounds as though physion is just the thing, Chris, because you're groaning but not complaining. I hope it does a world of good for your shoulder.
Happy Easter, and enjoy all that company.
ChrisH said…
Edward, film treatment - marvellous (although, I think it would make a rather good mini-series, but since there is definitely no role for Dawn French it will never be made). Running shoes - my lips are sealed, look away, Milla.

Fennie, now, dear heart, you have really opened a can of worms! There is currently some debate here at Hotel H about the next step for FTT. It hasn't been widely spread; less than a handful of agents, out of which came some very close working and one very near miss. After that it went to one editor, again, a very near miss. I feel that my next step is to explore the traditional paths fully, I am also mindful of the fact that if I published online I have, as I understand, used up my publishing rights. On the other hand all the waiting, just to get to this stage, has taken two years! Lots to think about.

Frances, I'm glad you liked the picture, I really like it, and I've told Tom. Thanks for all your good wishes... hair is looking much better now!

Pip, I simply don't believe that any nagging or yelling goes on at your house... (anyway, it's rather nice to think of you all wafting round your beautiful home, sewing, baking, growing food and looking wonderful whilst I'm grumbling and cursing here!).

Tam, No, I think you're another Pip! I mean, look at that gorgeous photo! Unkempt? Never!

Cait, Much appreciated, m'dear.

Mags, yes it was a bit pricey this year, Hope you can manage to find the fee as it's a great event (not the killer that the Llanelli half was!). Yes, truly, three kilos!!!! I shall look even more like the Incredible Hulk!

SBS, yep, he does mean business - and who can argue with a physio twisting your arm up your back!!

Pondside, yes, exactly! I feel there's hope - it might be tough but I feel as if I'm getting somewhere.
Flowerpot said…
Well done for the revisions on FTT - they sound excellent so fingers and toes crossed for when you send it off. Best of luck wiht cardiff too and have a great Easter!
KittyB said…
Good news on the book - well done, dying to read it so fingers crossed this time.
Madness on the running front. I am in awe and think you're fab and all but am shaking my head sadly. I shall be lying on the sofa eating Turkish delight instead.
Let's hope the back-patting works, sounds preferable to surgery no matter how uncomfortable it is!
Lane said…
You can sum up your book in one sentence (so hard) - and it sounds brill. Great big well dones for finishing it!

Hope you've had a fabby weekend Chris:-) xx
elizabethm said…
Good luck with the next stage for FTT - you have such sticking power I am truly in awe. Time for luck to run your way I think.
Annieye said…
Love the title 'Fighting the Tide' and best of luck with the running. I have a hairdresser phobia - I hate getting my hair cut!
Expat mum said…
Phew - I'm exhausted just reading that. Funny about the shoes - wanting to actually run in them that is. Who would have thunk it?
BT said…
Love the 'Miners' Week'. Barry Island, I once had a holiday there with my 14 year old son and 6 month old son!! Was quite fun exploring the countryside.

Oh gosh, another half marathon. You are certifiable you know!!

Aren't some shop staff funny? Still, at least they tried to be helpful! Sort of.
BT said…
I forgot to congratulate you on finishing the re-write. Fingers crossed for you.

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