I'm back! And I've had the Belfast experience - it's an interesting city. Something of a cross between parts of Victorian Guildford (along the river) and Bloomsbury in London. You either have red brick or marble - nothing in between. Areas well worth a visit are City Hall, the Botanic Gardens, the Palm House and the Ulster Museum. And it rains. A lot. Take a brolly. No, take several.
I waved Lord H goodbye (complete with sobbing and a handkerchief - I am such a slushbucket) on Sunday night and then moved across to the Association of University Administrators (AUA) conference on Monday morning. Queen's University rooms have astonishingly frightening showers. The blast of ice-cold water pinned me to the tiles and nearly drowned me - twice. If I'd been under 5 foot tall, it might have finished me off altogether. It was amazing I had enough energy for the conference at all - some useful workshops this year and I managed to avoid the horrors of networking, hurrah. And I have enough notes on ideas/info gained to last another year. Oh, and I ate a lot of potato. Really. And it was great - particularly "champs" (blend of mash and spring onion/cabbage).
Today has been catch-up day. A morning of marketing and emails and an afternoon of looking at "The Gifting" and managing - after much tutting and playing of online Solitaire - to add another 500 words. And - oh the relief! - I think I may have thought of where to go next. Add more violence and horror and I'll be happy. It'll keep me going for a couple of pages at least ...
My signed contract for "A Dangerous Man" has arrived from Flame Books (http://www.flamebooks.com) and "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" is now available to pre-order from Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk) so it almost feels like being a real writer. Almost. Publishers are indeed like buses - you wait for years and then two come along at once. I think I've peaked now. Spoke to Bev at the Surrey Advertiser about "A Dangerous Man" and the You Write On (http://www.youwriteon.com) site, but I think I fluffed it. I was so nervous beforehand that I gabbled and filled all the silences on the phone even when I had nothing remotely interesting to say. The poor woman probably thinks I'm insane and, if she publishes the article at all, will advise the Great and the Good of Surrey to avoid me and anything I've done at all costs. Can't say I blame her. Lord, this must be post-acceptance depression. P.A.D for short. If nothing else, at least I've coined a new writing affliction.
Oh well, onward and - slowly, so slowly - upward. One hopes.