Keeping It Real

Pesky pigeons!
‘Why is everybody else in blogland having such a fantastic life…?'   This question from wise blogger, Friko - someone who’s not afraid to tell it like it is - set me thinking. I suppose, I’m guilty as charged for writing about and wanting to share the happy times; the photo shoots and parties, the preparations for my daughter’s wedding. And, hurray, the release of the first book my daughter, Rose, has overseen at work from start to finish in her role as Research and Development Controller.

I try to make the most of every day, because, as I’ve mentioned here before, I’m keenly aware that time runs out. On my way to publication, I was grateful for the support of the internet group, the Novel Racers. If you take a look at the blog, you’ll see quite a number of us achieved our aim of publication. But our lovely Lisa, Hesitant Scribe, didn’t live to celebrate those successes. Yet even at the very end, Lisa’s blog was funny, uplifting and an inspiration to all us to keep writing, to make the most of every second.

So, in the spirit of keeping it real, my life recently has been mostly about putting in some very long writing days at my desk against a backdrop of constant rain. Not exactly riveting blog material! I also made some summer marmalade with some cheap oranges, but made the mistake of turning my back on it whereupon it promptly decided to burn and I had to start again, doubling the price of my cheap marmalade. Our spuds are rotting in the ground with the constant deluge, the beans are shivering on their sticks in the cold wind and the pigeons have discovered our courgettes. I still can’t do any high impact sport because of on-going eye problem (on the other hand, discovering the utter joy of hula-hooping has been a revelation). Oh and last night, I had a damn good cry when it suddenly struck me that my dad wouldn’t be there to see his first granddaughter marry.

All part, as my dad would say, of life’s rich tapestry. We’re not here for a long time, so let’s make the most of the happy times!


Lane Mathias said…
Amen to that Chris.
Teresa said…
I don't think you're Polyanna.

Well, I didn't before you start bragging about hula-hooping with Justin Timberlake ahahaha yes, I'm big this way ;)...

You had us wondering how the house renewal would lead to and that was a not so rosy time. It wasn't a mad time or a sad time. It was a Real Time.

What is normal is to share what we live and if we're living a up phase why not share?!, if we are living a down phase why not enjoy a own-pity-party-that-others-wouldn't-REALLY-understand-as-the-worst-ever-lived?! ahahah

Blogging is living. Whatever you blog about... And like in Life you keep somethings and you give away something.

Take Care, Sweet Chris! I have your TTT in my TBR pile for this Summer - need to get there again and rediscover things that the first emotional reading didn't allow to notice.

Happiest Summer for you and your loved ones!
Chris Stovell said…
Lovely to see you again, Lane and to see your new work.

Aw, thanks, Teresa, for your kind comments. I think the bottom line is that blogging should be about whatever you, as the author, feel happy to share. Here's wishing you a very happy summer too!
Pondside said…
Chris, you know how I feel about this! Life is messy - and if we're lucky, full of equal amounts of good stuff and not-so-good stuff. After all the seasons we've lived, we are under no illusion that anyone lives exclusively under a sunbeam, but I sure appreciate hearing about the good times!
I wish you all the joy of your daughter's wedding. All the laughter and aggravation of the day will give you material for years to come!.....and I hope the rain eases up over your way!
Chris Stovell said…
I do indeed, Pondside, and it was reading your response too that got me thinking. Life is precious, we have to make the most of it and treasure the good times. Thanks for your good wishes - two months to go!
janice15 said…
Well I haven't been around that much but I know that alot of folks do post all the good...I made my blog an open diary to share all what is good or bad...Thinking that you never know who can Identify with your pains or who you can help even without them saying...Our goal should be to be open and tell all...I agree on taking and making the the day of everything possible...We never know when it will be taken away...I too am guilty at times of taking things for grated but as my older years come I realize that I so should not and try my best warm others hearts with God would do for us...What you choose to write or not write is your privilege! I'm sorry your Dad can't be at the wedding but just think of his spirit being there...cause in your heart you bring that....I wish your daughter much happiness...and to you too...with love Janice
Chris Stovell said…
Welcome Janice and thanks for visiting. I popped over to your blog and see that you've shared the not so good visit from mice... yep, I know that feeling too! Thanks for your good wishes.
Cara Cooper said…
Hi Chris, it IS nice to hear some of the not so jolly stuff because it's real and we're all living in this real world rather than the fantasy ones we create. Looking at the grey sky, listening to the thunder and jumping at the lightening flashes here, I feel for your poor garden. The slugs have been at my petunias day and night. All that remains are little stalks where I had pictured a display so amazing people would stop in the street. Sigh... Congrats on your impending October publication with Choclit!
Fennie said…
Best wishes to you Chris and sorry to hear about your marmalade. But the second lot will be as good if not better than the first. Good luck with the writing and I reckon everybody's vegetables are in the same pot (if you see what I mean). We are getting some splendid raspberries, though.
Frances said…
Chris, I love the way that Friko often raises very interesting and challenging topic. It's just the sort of activism that blogging can aid, and from which we bloggers can benefit.

I want my posts to convey a sort of intermittent urban diary, that expresses many things important to me, without diving way under the surface to the truly troublesome areas. I would not think that anyone would wish to read about those depths, and am very fortunate to have dear friends here on terra firma NYC with whom I engage in mutual digging and recovery.

My summer problem so far has been the contining attempt to deal with severe heat and humidity. Life goes on.

I am so happy to have actually met you and Tom, and to realize that you all will often be able to read between my typed lines.

Frances said…
continuing, I meant continuing. Well, I bet you realized that. xo
Chris Stovell said…
Hi Cara, sorry to hear that your garden is under attack too - oh, this weather! I know it's very British to talk about it, but my goodness I'd love to feel some sunshine on my face! And thanks!

Fennie, you're right - we've had lots of strawberries so that's something to be happy about! And yes, second lot of marmalade was better, mainly because it wasn't burnt!

Frances, I agree - Friko posted yesterday about being a grown-up, another post that struck a chord and made me think. I do agree with you on the subject of how much to share. I absolutely love your urban diary which brings back all the memories of our happy time in New York - and yes, I think we've all learned enough about each other to read between the lines. Cx
Gilli Allan said…
Love the post, Chris. There's a song I remember about the photographs we take. It's a similar tendency, to photograph the happy events, wait till the sun comes out, to tell everyone to smile.
Btw, I'm loving Turning the Tide. Excellent bed-time reading.

Gilli x
Liane Spicer said…
Love your comment about the verification thingy and the bottoms. Really, what's wrong with people these days?

I'm far more comfortable sharing the good stuff. When I try to share the bad I tend to find a funny angle and focus on that, which makes me feel better.

So, the keeping-it-real bit:
-Dorchester kept refusing to revert my rights. Amazon Publishing is bidding for their authors now, so by the end of August my official publisher might be AP. (Won't decide until I receive the contract and evaluate their terms.)
-Book 2 is still up in the air as I decided not to go indie with it until the Dorchester debacle gets sorted out.
-Am caring for my baby granddaughter two days a week and loving every minute.
-Mostly just hanging in there.

Sending you some of our sunshine. Hope it gets there safely and banishes the sog. :)
Chris Stovell said…
Hello and welcome, Gilli - yes, you're right about photographs! And thank you for your kind comment about Turning the Tide.

Hello Liane! Good to see you - I think we've both had lots going on. Yes - I've taken the verification thing off but - sheesh! - could do without any 'surprises'!!

Wah! How frustrating for you, all that waiting around so that you can move forward. I hope the way ahead becomes clear soon - good luck!

I've noticed that my friends with grandchildren absolutely delight in them. I bet your granddaughter loves those two days with you!

Right now, I'm looking forwards to opening that sunshine when it arrives!
Cottage Garden said…
Oh I do agree Chris.

I appreciate Friko's point of view but personally I like to hear about good things. We all know that bad stuff happens and are under no illusion that it doesn't. What I love about the blogging community is how supportive everyone is and if you do happen to mention that someone is ill or you have just lost your job or whatever, bloggers react and sympathise with such genuine kindness, BUT then you have to move on and get positive.

I love the humour that is imparted with any 'not so good' stuff emanating from HTW - marmalade and courgettes being a case in point!

Sorry to go on for so long with this comment Chris ... but I must just say how lovely and glamourous you look in your previous post!


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