To be blunt, this is the worst January I’ve can remember. The weather is okay. Cold, but you’d expect that. Minor hiccups in the house and with the car were quickly sorted, book sales are not setting the world on fire, but they’re buoyant, and recent blood tests demonstrated that despite my lack of restraint over Christmas, the diabetes is under control.
But I’m plagued with stomach trouble and have been since early December. It’s not serious, but it is uncomfortable and distracting and although I have frequent days when I’m fine, it soon comes back to haunt me and I’m not getting much done in the way of work.
Or I wasn’t.
Last weekend saw a change. The gastric problem was still there, but instead of lounging around reading and getting nothing done, I focussed and the results were better than satisfactory. I made progress on the next Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery, the next adventure for Mrs Capper and managed to potter with a couple of darker works. And on that final subject I’ll have more to tell you in a few days.
There have been times over the last six or eight weeks when I considered throwing the towel in, giving it up. To quote my good friend, Lesley Cookman, creator of the Libby Sarjeant series of whodunits, the novelist’s way of life is hard work and precarious. You’re only as good as your last book and in common with many of my peers I reckon I was earning more in 1975.
You’re lucky (or unlucky depending on your attitude to me and my work). I can’t stop writing. It’s more than a compulsion. It’s like a drug designed to combat an undiagnosed problem. I have to write.
So, manky stomach or not, it looks like you’re stuck with me for a while yet.