It was my birthday last week. (Happy Birthday? Why thank you.)
I had a stupidly lovely day hanging out with friends, eating my favourite things (sea-spiced aubergine: oh my nom), watching The Artist (which is as joyous and cheery and life-affirming to the creative soul as you might hope – and still is, even if it’s now won so many Oscars people have to pretend not to like it). Then I had a weekend of watching Wales stuff England in the rugby
and doing the auntie thing with beloved small people.
I did a smidgen of work too – poking through old synopses; giving this here website a new lick of paint. (You like orange, right?) Backtracking through the archives made me do that sit-back-and-look thing you’re probably required to do, when you have a birthday.
I have two new books coming out this year. Two more the year after that – and I’m tinkering with a pitch for a new series (shhh, not telling) and brimful of ideas for another teen/YA standalone. That sit-back-and-look made me think, about where I’ve been, and all the fiddly bits we don’t tend to talk about where life gets boringly horrible.
And… I’m really happy. Things mess up, I get stuff wrong and am wonky in multiple ways – there’s the fruit pastille addiction, and needing a haircut; I always join in the talky bit of the Quantum Leap theme tune; I use too many parentheses (and ellipses, and dashes, and semi-colons); I never answer letters and you don’t like my tie – but think that’s sort of meant, somehow. I am a fundamentally British human. I expect things to be a bit rubbish, and to be terribly stiff-upper-lipped and noble about it. But here I am, having the best life ever, doing the thing I’m meant to be doing.
(Disclaimer: Dear Editor, next time I have a big whinge about copy-edits or deadlines, please don’t send me a link to this post while cackling, k?)
I suppose what I mean is – to any hopeful aspiring writers out there, or hopeful aspiring whater-it-is-es – hang in there. Keep working. I finished my first book 11 years ago, and I’m still not JK Rowling and never will be – but I’m potching along doing my thing, writing stuff I’m proud of, which other people are going to get to read, and that’s completely spectacular.
It is very un-British of me to say so, but I hope your life is spectacular too.
If all that hasn’t made you want to vom, March 1st seems to be a very Susie-flavoured day. You can also find me at Girls Heart Books, talking about World Book Day costumes, and at Bookangel’s Booktopia picking a sort-of-Welsh-if-you-know-the-story Song of the Month for St David’s Day. Happy reading.