Sickness and Sevens

Many thanks to my charming and entertaining guest, Toni Sands, for visiting Home Thoughts Weekly. Actually, you had quite a long stay, Toni… I hope you managed to find the coffee and biscuits whilst you were here. 

The reason I’ve been such a poor hostess is that my normally rude health took a battering from the most debilitating sinus infection and industrial-strength antibiotics, both of which have left me feeling pretty wrung out. Home Thoughts? Mainly, ‘Ooooh, I feel soooo ill.'

It’s lucky, then, that new Twitter friend @voula invited me to join in a game for writers, published and unpublished. The instructions for Lucky 7 are:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript 
  • Go to line 7 
  • Post on your blog the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating 
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same 

‘Current manuscript’, for me at the moment, could apply to the several levains fermenting on my desktop, including a novella and my third novel. I’ve mentioned before that I’m quite a secretive writer. I’m reluctant to talk about work in progress, but only because I believe that giving too much air to the mix at this stage can make it flat and stale. This is also the stage where my manuscript is subject to some pretty brutal culling as scenes and characters are taken out and thrown into a limbo file where they may languish forever or be resurrected when their proper place becomes apparent.

That said, I’ve gone to page 7 of what, hopefully, will be my third novel, Clearing the Decks. To set the scene, kind, responsible May Starling has had enough of clearing up after everyone else. Acting on impulse, she responds to a personal ad on a yachting internet site for a female cruising companion to assist with a delivery trip. May’s plans change tack the moment she arrives in Little Spitmarsh. The retired gentleman she’s expecting to sail with is far younger, twice as big and much angrier than she anticipated. In fact it’s his nephew, Bill Blythe, who meets her from the train with some unwelcome news.

May longed for the ground to swallow her. How many more double entendres had her drunken brain found amusing?
    ‘Since this boat means so much to Henry, I’m going to make sure that it’s waiting for him as soon as he’s better,’ he continued. ‘It’ll give him an incentive to get well.’
    ‘That’s kind of you.’ May was relieved Bill sounded so sure of Henry’s recovery. He might even give her a lift back to the station instead getting her charged with attempted manslaughter.

So, by page seven, I know that May’s unhappy with her old life and wants a change, but how big a change is she seeking? Will she accept that her attempt to breakaway has failed and get on the next train home? Or does Bill have something else in mind?  I guess I’ll just have to finish the book to find out.

Now the next part of the game requires me to pass it on to seven more writers, but I’m struggling to find friends who haven’t already played, so this is where I throw it over to you. Anyone out there like to join in? Come on, don’t be shy…

 The epainting's by Tom Tomos and very nice it is too.        


Preseli Mags said…
Sorry to hear you've been so poorly. I hope you're all better now (although the weather isn't exactly helpful!)

I enjoyed reading your Lucky 7 - but frustrating not to be able to read the rest! You're very readable (roll on October and MOD).

I might have a go now, since you've offered it to everyone. (And it'll give me an excuse to stay snuggled up in the warm!)
elizabethm said…
Hope you are feeling better now! That snippet of your novel is interesting. Want to know what happens next now!
Lins' lleisio said…
Oooh, what a cliff hanger, need to read what happens next now. So sorry to hear that you've been so unwell - really hope you feel much brighter.
Fennie said…
Yes, a real cliff hangar. It's a wonder you don't write in serial form and charge people for looking over your shoulder, as it were, though I suppose it means you can't ever go back and change anything. Do hope you're feeling better.
Jane Lovering said…
Ooh, sorry to hear about the sinuses, hope you're feeling better now (and off the antibiotics in time for the Summer Party Drinkathon).
Jane Lovering said…
Ooh, sorry to hear about the sinuses, hope you're feeling better now (and off the antibiotics in time for the Summer Party Drinkathon).
Frances said…
Chris, I loved having this peek at the plot of your novel in progress, and to see how you skillfully allow the characters to emerge as the story moves forward.

I do hope that you will soon be feeling totally well, and that the soon to arrive month of May will be very merry round your place.

Posie said…
So exciting to see you are up, up and away with your wonderful writing and now move in the circles of 'published' works...enjoyed the wee tease of that short extract Chris.
Hope you are feeling a bit better now, take care.
Hope you're feeling much better soon.

Love the excerpt and look forward to reading the book!

Great picture too.
Cottage Garden said…
Intriguing passage Chris ... and a cracking plot line by the looks of things.

Hope you are well on the road to recovery - keep taking the hot toddies.

Pondside said…
Nasty sinus infection - not fair at this time of year. I believe that such afflictions should come in November and January when one has time to snuggle in by the fire, guilt-free, for as long as it takes.
I enjoyed your first book and am now focused on #s two and three!
Flowerpot said…
Sinus infections make you feel so terrible don't they? HOpe you feel much better very soon Chris x
Chris Stovell said…
Mags, thank you, I'm so glad you picked up the baton and ran with it too.

Elizabeth, Lins and Fennie, you are very kind. The bug, alas is not and is still trying to get me!

Jane, I thought I'd shaken it off, so I hope I'll be an antibiotic free zone by the summer party!

Thanks Frances and Posie, both for that and the support from the early days.

Debs, Jeanne, thank you both. Still fighting back!

Pondside, thanks for taking the time to read it during what's such a very busy time for you.

FP, I'll be glad when it lets go!

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