Just realised I haven’t posted anything up here since March 5 – good lord, apologies to anyone who was wondering what’s happening with me. I’m home from Italy – home a long time at this stage, it’s almost a distant memory – and After the Wedding was well and truly launched two weeks ago – pic above of the night, me in full flight in O’Mahony’s Bookshop. The good news is that After the Wedding has just entered the Irish top ten at number nine – barely in, but hopefully it’ll climb higher – and I’m catching my breath now and moving on with the next masterpiece – AHEM! This one will be accompanying me through the summer, most of which I hope to be spending at the coast in County Clare, where I’m lucky enough to own a mobile home. Fingers crossed for a summer like last one – we’re still pinching ourselves that we got several weeks of very decent sunshine….can it come again? Maybe if we’re very very good…….
Apart from writing, not much to report. My parents, both of whom are in their mid-eighties, have both been having a few health problems lately. Nothing too serious, but enough to put them out of sorts a bit, poor things. We’ve had a few trips to the A&E department of our local hospital, where the conditions are challenging to say the least, but the staff are wonderful in their efforts to be cheerful and reassuring – don’t know how they do it under the circumstances.
My poor old cat has disappeared. She went awol while I was in Italy, and when I heard, I imagined she was just lying low, out of sorts a bit maybe that I wasn’t around, and I assumed she’d reappear when I came home, but not so. She’s been gone now for well over a month, so I’m beginning to suspect that she ain’t coming back. She was an oldie, about fifteen or thereabouts, so maybe she guessed her time was up and went off somewhere quiet for the occasion….I must say I miss her about the place, although she never made much noise. I might look for a kitten or two in the autumn, when I’m finished gallivanting for another year.
Look after yourselves – I’ll try not to leave it so long next time,
Hope this finds everyone in good spirits, having survived what turned out to be a very challenging couple of months weather-wise since Christmas, in Ireland and the UK at any rate. Such storms and floods are thankfully a rarity here – albeit slightly more commonplace over the last few years – but hopefully we’ve seen the last of them now till at least next winter. Today in Limerick it’s calm and dry, and I fancy there’s an air of spring about the place. It might be wishful thinking, but I’m going to go on wishing and thinking. Certainly things are budding in the garden, which is always a sight to gladden the heart and put me in mind of the long summer days ahead. Here’s hoping. (And by the way, did the regulars notice my spring-cleaned website? I asked my designer, Annette Thompson, http://www.meldrummedia.com, to freshen it up a bit and put in some new snaps I got taken lately by the very creative Eva Birdthistle, http://www.evabirdthistle.com – isn’t the whole thing looking rather well? I loved the green vibe, but it was time for a change. I’ve warned her that in a year’s time I’ll probably look for shocking pink. She’s fine with it.)
On the books front, it’s a busy time. After the Wedding, my sequel to One Summer, is just weeks away from hitting the shelves here (April 2 is the big day) and I’m currently chasing up all my media contacts and nagging them for a mention. I’ll also be writing a few features and begging the mags and newspapers to take them, so look out for my name over the coming weeks. As Mr Tesco says, every little helps. And there’s going to be a launch in Limerick, so if you’re anywhere local do drop in to O’Mahony’s Bookshop on Wed April 9 at 6.30 to see After the Wedding being sent off into the world. Scary Mary time for an author – but I’m heartened by all the lovely messages I get from satisfied writers, and so grateful that people take the time to look me up and drop the few lines. It means so much, and it’s wonderful to think of the books making their way around the world – no idea how some of them end up in the places they do, but I’m not going to question it!
I’ll be packing my bags for Italy at the end of the week. Poor old cat will have to manage without me for a month, but she’ll be fed and watered and well looked after while I’m gone. I’m hoping to have the guts of a new book coming home with me – plot, characters and maybe even a few thousand words, all going well. Fingers crossed everyone please! I’ve been trying to learn a bit of the lingo and I have the basics, I think. To be on the safe side, I’ve also learned scusi, non capisco, which I suspect will come in mighty handy… Should be an interesting trip; will report back in due course. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed, @roisinmeaney, for on the spot feedback.
Right, time to spring clean my house – it’s looking a little worse than the wreck of the Hesperus at the moment. Now, where did I leave that bucket and mop?
Well, I do hope you’re all enjoying 2014 so far. I’ve had a busy few weeks since I hung the new calendar in the kitchen. First, I signed up for a fresh term of Pilates classes, just an hour once a week but I tell myself it’s better than no hours, right? Then a few days later, a leaflet came through the letter-box advertising Bikram yoga classes in a studio on the other side of town. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Bikram yoga is practised in near-sauna conditions: within about 5 minutes of the class you’re absolutely ROASTING, and there are 90 minutes in every class! I’d taken a few Bikram classes back in 2001 when I was living in San Francisco (where I’d gone for a year to write The Daisy Picker – happy days) and I decided to give it another go, so I signed up for a 30 day membership. So far I’ve gone to 4 classes, and boy are they tough: i crawl out of the place afterwards. I suspect I won’t be renewing this particular membership when the 30 days are up…..I’ve also registered to run a half marathon in May, despite the fact that I haven’t run since before Christmas….help! I’m planning to launch into a training programme on Feb 1 – fingers crossed I’ll summon up the willpower from somewhere!
On the writing front, I’ve just submitted a new book to a few places, and I’m waiting for the various reactions – watch this space. I’ve also written a short story set in Kenya for an e-book of travel-themed stories. The book is the second in the Sunloungers series that started last year, and like the first it’s a collection of stories by different authors, each story set in a different holiday location. Here’s some info on the first collection, in case you’re looking for holiday reading before the second comes out in June: http://www.va-va-vacation.com/sunlounger-chick-lit-stories. And I’ll shortly be starting a new novel, casting about at the moment for a suitable theme. Feel free to give a shout with your suggestions – what would you like to read about?
And my big news – I’m spending the entire month of March in Italy, by the sea! I just decided on impulse (most of my decisions are impulsive, some wiser than others) to pack up the laptop and relocate someplace beautiful for a month. I’m bringing the laptop, of course – it’ll be a working holiday, but I’ll be making the most of being in one of my favourite countries, and making time to get out and about in the (hopefully) better weather. I’ve also begun learning the language, so if I do my homework between this and then I should be able (just about) to make myself understood with the locals. Can’t wait! And maybe there’ll be a story set in Italy sometime…..
Oops, just realised it’s been a while since I wrote; am I allowed to blame pressure of enjoying myself – I mean work??? I HAVE been busy, honest! In between a trip to Italy and a few weekends in County Clare, I’ve been working on my next book – working title Helen and Sarah – and I’d say I’m on the final third now. Briefly, it concerns two women who meet in dramatic circumstances, and whose lives collide again a few years later…Better not say any more, or none of you will buy it when it comes out next May!
But in MUCH more exciting news (not that it’s news, everyone knows!) we won our first Olympic 2012 gold medal yesterday when 26 year old boxer Katie Taylor defeated her Russian opponent! The country literally went wild when it happened, and we’re still smiling, a day later! Hopefully we’ll get a few more silvers and golds today when three more (male) boxers take to the ring – fingers crossed! And the sun is shining in Ireland at the moment, which is another reason to smile!
Right, back to sunbathing – I mean work, I said work!