Since I've Been Gone

Dear me, it’s been a while! The combo of ongoing concerns about Ma, moving house, a blip in my normally rude heath and a book to finish mean that I’ve only just come up for air. Thank goodness this isn’t a vlog or you’d all be reeling at the sight. The Beautiful Eyebrow Lady has, at least, restored some order (although I think she misheard ‘not too dark’ as ‘Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, please’) and tomorrow I’m off to the hairdresser's for pretty much everything they have on the menu.

I’ve written a bit about how it feels to have completed Novel 2 over at Choc Lit Author’s Corner. It’s a strange time, a combination of elation at having reached the end of the 90,000 word journey and a sense of loss that comes when you look up for the first time and have to leave the place and characters you’ve inhabited for the duration. This journey’s also been about writing as a published author, having to put aside fears about what other people’s expectations might be, sticking to the routine during times of illness or worry and simply concentrating on that tiny spark that breathes life into the whole process.

I’ve also looked up to find I’m living in a new home! Yes, I know I moved here physically in March, but I don’t feel I’ve seen very much of it yet. A bit like me, it needs some work, but the location is just wonderful. A twenty-five minute stroll takes us down to the most beautiful National Trust beach and, okay, it’s a right old slog uphill, but who cares when the hedgerows change almost daily and are currently glorious with clouds of cow parsley, pink campion, the last of the violets, the promise of foxgloves and the ferns poking their tongues out all over the place? And if you don’t fancy walking all that way there’s always the garden, here’s a few photos to give you a flavour of what’s been happening there and now I’m off to stroll round some of the blogs I’ve missed whilst I’ve been away.


Debs Carr said…
Sorry to hear you've not been too well, but I hope you and your Mum are are on the mend now.

Congratulations for finishing book #2, I can't wait to read it. I hope you now have some time to enjoy your beautiful garden.
Morton S Gray said…
Congrats on the stamina to complete book 2. I've been told that it is harder to write once you are published (hope to find out myself one day!)

Your home and its environs sound idyllic. I would love to be by the sea, but at the moment I am as far from the coast as possible to be. Still enjoy the Worcestershire countryside though. Is it me or are the colours more vivid this year?

Hope you feel well and well groomed soon. Mx
elizabethm said…
Hi and welcome back.
Oh my god, you have a flat garden. I might die of envy.
Frances said…
Chris, I can almost imagine all that you've been doing since the last "Weekly."

(I admit that as a sporadic blogger, I always admired your courage to put Weekly in the title of your posts!)

It's grand to learn that you have finished that second novel. I bet that all those folks who loved the first one will be headed towards the second when it's published.

I'll bet that you will find the publication process a bit different the second time around. And even more so, since you and Tom are now in a lovely new home.

Chris, I could go on and on, and might do so in some e-mails to you, but also just want to wish you, Tom, your Ma, and all the rest of your extended family best wishes.

Every time I go across the Park and into the Met, and walk through some galleries we visited, I think of what we might all say to each other.

Chris Stovell said…
Hi Debs, thanks for all your good wishes.

Welcome, Morton and thank you. The good thing is that I'm now really looking forwards to writing Book 3 and feel I know more about the process. Good luck with your writing.

Hi Elizabeth, no, don't worry... this is still Wales and the garden slopes to one side! We just happen to have a flat area to the rear of the house!

Hello Frances, yes 'weekly' has been a tad optimistic recently! This house has been wonderful for writing; it's quiet and sits in a lovely location so I do feel very lucky to be here. I do hope we can catch up again one day.Thank you for your good wishes which I'll pass on.
Preseli Mags said…
Congratulations on completing book two! It must really feel like coming up for air after being submerged for so long in so many different things. Enjoy your pampering and your lovely garden. xx
Flowerpot said…
Well done on Book No 2 Chris - I know just what You mean about sticking to deadlines through sickness and health! Your new home looks wonderful - hope you get teh weather to enjoy the garden.
Pauline Barclay said…
Great to see you back, but sad to hear you have not been too well...hope you are feeling much better and Ma is too!

Your garden looks fab. Congrats on completing book 2, I'm looking forward to seeing it and reading it of course. Hugs x
Posie said…
Wow to die for garden Chris...look at all those lovely colours and blossoms. What a lovely time to have finished your book, you will hopefully get to savour that lovely garden in between all of the exciting book promotions. Fantastic news that you are a published author with a second book to your name. Hope you are now feeling a lot better and that your Ma is doing well too. Best wishes
HelenMHunt said…
Beautiful photos. It looks idyllic.
I have missed you Chris.

Sounds like you have had much going on. Sorry to hear you've not been great and with Ma, and everything else, it's been a tough few weeks - although it sounds like you have been very industrious and productive despite everything!

Well done on finishing book 2, you superstar. And interesting, your points about keeping going despite everything else going on - how something inside, some desire, some determination, some inner drive keeps you going - well done you. I recognise those traits :)

Btw - Have you heard, the Shropshire/Welsh lot are possibly planning a trip to Aber in the summer? You'd better be free then for a few hours as you and I have an overdue meet!

Bye for now and enjoy the hairdressers - you deserve it.
Lins' lleisio said…
Well done Chris - on everything in your life; your book, your home, your appearance and your health. Just hope your Ma improves. You deserve this bit of 'me' time. xx
Pondside said…
I don't know how you've done it all, Chris. The move would have been enough for most of us, but you've finished #2 as well. I hope that you'll be able to spend lots of time at home now, taking walks down to that shoreline.
I think I'd better take a page out of your eyebrow/hair calendar....there's nothing like it!
Chris Stovell said…
Oh Mags, I'm so looking forwards to coming out to play! It's felt like a long haul!

Yes, Flowerpot, you certainly do know what it's like! And some. The house is in a great location, but the boilerman has given us the first reality check about how much it will cost to renovate the house!

Pauline, hello!, how are you doing? I'm ok and poor old Ma's a bit broken but in good spirits. Garden is fab!

Posie, thanks for all. Isn't it typical 'though that since I've finished it's rained every day!! Still, it's lovely being in such a great location.

Helen, thanks, on the outside it is... notice I'm not posting photos of the inside!!
Chris Stovell said…
Aw! BSM, how kind of you! I'd love to meet up with you and see the rest of the gang again. Had a brilliant (if nippy) day up at Aber before, so will look forwards to the next one.

Yes, I think all writers need that little chip of ice in the heart that enables us to detach from the rubbish stuff and keep going. Hmm, is that an attractive quality, I wonder? Anyway, it's done, hurray! Now on to next 90k journey!

Lins, thanks for everything. I'm really looking forwards to being able to thank you in person next week... and now I'm fit to meet you!

Pondside, I'm not sure how I did it either... there were a couple of times when I wondered what else was going to happen! Ah well, we're here in a blissfully quiet (fingers crossed) spot (cue brass band moving in next door). And, yes, can recommend eyebrow/hair works. Feel slightly less like desert island castaway now!
Fennie said…
Hi Chris,

Well done and really beautiful. Big hug. Fenniexx Never mind how far you are from the beach What's the new book called and when will it be out?

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