Days Like These

On Friday morning I open the computer to see how Move Over Darling is doing after its stint of being available free for five days. To my surprise, it seems to be doing quite nicely. Goodness knows what hubris prompts me to take a quick look at Amazon Movers and Shakers, but, hey ho, I do … and see Move Over Darling at number one! Number one!! Of course, what goes up must come down, but it’s an amazing start to the day and as fellow author Valerie-Anne Baglietto jokes to me on Twitter, I’ll always have the screenshot.

A little later Ma phones. She’s a passionate and clever gardener, as I’ve mentioned here before, and has finally decided to treat herself to a greenhouse. She’s had few sleepless nights worrying about all the practicalities of getting it fitted, but when the man turns up on Friday morning to lay the concrete base he has the same surname – quite a common name, it has to be said – as someone my dad once worked with and very much liked. ‘Are you related?’ asks Ma. ‘Yes,’ said her man, ‘he’s my dad.’ The only sad note is that Mr Man Senior has recently made a list of old pals he’d like to contact and my dad’s one of them. ‘Well,’ says Ma, with her usual sense of humour, ‘let us know if he has any success getting in touch.’ 

The same morning the postman brings me a date for a CT scan so that someone can get a better idea of what’s going on with my sinuses. A little light Googling has scared the bejeesus out of me, so getting a hospital appointment will hopefully mean information rather than speculation and at least I can stop fretting about it for now.

‘I’ve sent you some photos,’ says Tom, in the middle of all this. ‘You better have a look. I’d forgotten I’d taken them.’ Sighing, because I’m busy, I start downloading and catch my breath. The photos date from a freezing cold February about eighteen months before my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Knowing that we were planning to move to Wales, we’d booked a cottage with my parents to show them the area and here we are clambering about at Wooltack Point or looking at Jack Sound… scene of a few hair-raising sails. My dad was probably already ill then, but there we are living every moment. It’s strangely reassuring to see his face again on a day of very mixed emotions.

I wrote Move Over Darling during another difficult year when Ma had her dreadful accident and we took on a building project of a house. Second Book Syndrome nearly killed me too, but in the end I was proud of what I’d achieved. I’m nearly at the end of Book Three, Clearing the Decks, which – after a slow start – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing. It’s been great fun returning to Little Spitmarsh and working with my new heroine and hero. I’ll miss these characters when I’ve finished, but equally, I’m looking forwards to coming up for air. See you soon!


Jane Lovering said…
What a lovely picture! Looks as though your dad was enjoying himself (well, as much as possible on a February day..)'Move Over Darling' shows no sign of Second Book Syndrome - it's a fantastic read, and well deserves its place, moving and shaking indeed!
Well done for Move over Darling - that's fantastic! I loved it. Looking forward to book three now. It is amazing really how we keep going through the hard times. We have had a hideous couple of years but here we are, still smiling, still drinking the wine and walking up the hill!
Excellent news about MOD! So looking forward to the next one (hoping it will be out in time for my summer holliers, like the last one was – perfect poolside read). Delighted to be revisiting Little Spitmarsh again.
Hope you get to the bottom of your sinus problem - now NO MORE GOOGLING! I've never known anyone find an accurate diagnosis on Google, and known many thrown into needless hours of unfounded anxiety.

Fennie said…
So pleased that MOD is doing so well; long may it continue to move and shake.

Very best of luck with the CT scan. Maybe you could put the googling to good use if you have a truculent character that you want to waylay with some obscure malady! You're an expert now!
Jean Bull said…
Lovely seeing your dad too in your congregation blog:)
Pondside said…
Good for you with the second and third! I enjoyed Move Over Darling when I was at Jane's in September. I'll look for #3 when it eventually comes out.
mountainear said…
Well done! I'm another fan of MOD.

Re Little Spitmarsh - you painted such a good picture that I have a very clear picture of it in my mind's eye - and look forward to another visit in book number 3.
Maggie Christie said…
What a wonderful surprise in the form of photographic 'buried treasure'. You've got that forever, like the fact that you've had a number one - you can never not have a number one now (if that makes any sense!) Well done MOD. Can't wait for CtheD - I'm looking forwards to a return visit to Little Spitmarsh.
Chanpreet said…
Yay! I'm so glad Move Over Darling has done so well.

I'm so glad to hear that your third book is almost finished. I'll love reading about Little Spitmarsh again and I wonder who will be in the starring roles?

And please don't google. Rarely are any presentations textbook, so chances are that whatever you've seen online is not what the problem is. And unnecessary worrying never helps.

Finding the photograph of your father is definitely a wonderful surprise. It's another deposit to add the bank of memories you already have.
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks, Jane - yes, both of them really went for it, clambering over rocks and hills! And thanks for your kind comment.

Thank you, Elizabeth - isn't just?!

LBD, how lovely to see you here. I do miss your blogs. Mmm, yes, googling didn't do me any good! x

Thank you, Fennie.. the trouble is, I wouldn't even wish this on my worst character. It may appear in a blog though!

Hello Jean, thank you so much for reading my blog and commenting. Yes, compare and contrast in the two photos!

Pondside, that's kind of you, thank you.

Many thanks, Mountainear for a lovely compliment. We have some sunshine here this morning, at last. I hope it reaches you.

Hi Mags, thank you - I'll keep you posted on progress so we can catch up soon. I do hope you're on the mend now.

Chanpreet, thank you. I've really enjoyed these two main characters - they've really got some chemistry going between them without me having to bang their heads together too much. A couple of familiar names appear too!

I realise, I was daft to start looking up my symptoms...especially when Google offered me some really gruesome answers. Thank you for your advice and reassurance, it's much appreciated!

And yes, it was such a lovely surprise when that photo appeared.
Frances said…
Chris, bravo to you dear author on the continued success of Move Over Darling! I am thinking of all the pleasure you've brought to folks (like me) who've read your novels. It's a grand accomplishment.

I am also looking forward to getting caught up on the goings on in Little Spitmarsh.

Tom took a fine photo of you and your folks. It's clear that you all were having a fine time together that day.

Let me also send along best wishes to you on that scan, Chris. xo
Sarah Tranter said…
A lovely lovely post, Chris. I'm so sorry I'm so late to it. A strange and highly emotional day by the sounds of it and one you are not likely to forget in a hurry. The photo of your dad is lovely. And you know what I think of Move Over Darling - I love it and it thoroughly deserves the success it's acheiving. Can't wait for book 3 now. Hugs. SXXX
Margaret James said…
I'm so looking forward to returning to Little Spitmarsh - hopefully very soon!
Flowerpot said…
Great news on the movers and shakers Chris - what a lot in one post! And lovely to find that pic of yhour Dad. Hope ou get success with sorting the sinuses, horrible thing xxx

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