Gratuitous cute kitten photo to make you say 'ahhh'!

OK, where am I on the writing front? I promised I’d keep you updated in my blog post http://www.bloginfrance.com/2011/write-back-where-i-belong/, and, since I always enjoy seeing how other writers are progressing, here’s my contribution.

I’m 22,000 words into my living in France book and really enjoying writing it. We have come so far in our five years in France. We’ve all changed and grown (the kids literally!) and developed. In a nutshell, I think we are wiser, better adjusted and more interesting people for having gone through the various experiences moving abroad has thrown at us. And it’s thrown a lot! I’m glad I kept a blog during our early days here at Les Fragnes, and not just because it’s the main inspiration for the book. I made notes about many trivial but fascinating little incidents that I probably won’t use, but it’s wonderful to read about them again, and relive the moments. For example, when Caiti built an incubator for some lizard eggs we found (sadly they never hatched); wandering around in the sunshine in our pyjamas, just happy to be in our new home, the day after we bought it; finding a slug in Ruadhri’s welly boot that was as long as the sole; watching a wild boar piglet sprint across our lawn, and then sprint back again! I’m including an appropriate French proverb at the opening of each chapter. So I’ve done a lot of looking up and found some amazing ones! I sense another blog post there! I don’t think the book’s boring. We’ve had plenty of interesting adventures during our time here, and I’m not being too introspective. I’m slotting us into our new country and talking a lot about France and French culture. But maybe I’m just biased! Time will tell.

Caiti modelling some of the old clothes we found back in 2006

Ruadhri saying "I didn't do it!" during the early days of renovation

My fishing mystery is 75,000 words now. I’m reckoning about halfway. This is a bigbook! It’s not too technical, but fishy enough to appeal to anglers. So I’ve been researching where necessary and, the easy option, picking my resident fishing expert’s brains. (We run a carp fishery here and Chris is the fish guy. I’m the llama/alpaca/scrubbing the gite toilets gal!) There isn’t actually a great deal of fiction out there for them – I’ve been looking. I’m very fond of the main character, Marcus, who is a nice guy with a few bad habits. So far so good, but I need to rethink my original planned ending – it needs another twist. A few walks should sort that out. During the school holidays I have company on my walks, which is lovely. But it does mean I can’t think, so I’ve been doing that in bed instead, which keeps me awake half the night so I’m permanently tired. It’s exhausting being creative!

Other stories are on the back burner for the moment, but I have teenage story I’m well into and would like to finish within the next few months. And plenty of ideas tossing around in my brain that need some sorting out.

Et voila! Oh, not quite, I’m blogging every day too. Taking up the WordPress post-a-day challenge was a good move. It’s making me sit and write when otherwise apathy would prevail, or at least the washing up would get done, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Forcing my brain to crank into action so  regularly is helping with my other writing. I’m sure I’m finding it easier to generate ideas now. And I take the camera practically everywhere in case a blog opportunity suddenly arises and I can tick another day off!

Knitting has been pushed slightly into the background while all this typing is going on, but tomorrow the sewing machine comes out for some crafting. My Kindle comes out every evening, and plenty of proper work is getting done too, so all in all, I’m good and productive. Long may it last.