There's been so much going on over the past week I've barely had time to breathe let alone blog, but just wanted to put in a quick summary of things we've been up to.
Dominating proceedings was half-term - and what a miserable one it started out to be weather wise. We had several outings over the week but most of them were indoor based. The highlight was a trip to Bicester Bowl. Now I have seen this place maligned in some quarters with people moaning that "we need a proper bowling alley" but I can't see the problem myself. We went up there on a drab and cold Friday morning and the kids had a great time. It's handy, within walking distance and cheap - I paid just £7 for the four of us to play. That compares very favourably with prices at the Kassam and others you have to drive too.
It was Ollie's second visit there in the past month as his friend Thomas had his birthday party there a few weeks ago. Now Ollie has asked if he can have a birthday party there - I don't see any reason why not - in fact it might be quite fun.
What else is happening? Well later this month I've got a film crew coming to the house to make a programme about getting the best out of the great British barbecue. We are going to have a celebrity chef here fronting the whole thing and of course it will also be featuring me in a starring role. Despite my many press and radio appearances this will be my first time properly in front of camera so I am hoping to make the most of it. I'll let you know when and where you can see the finished article when it's completed.
The book is fairly racing along and I'm certainly not being idol in making contacts to help me realise its full potential. The latest word count is 43,000 and there's only a couple more chapters to go, then I need to go over and edit it before I hand it over.
I mentioned in my last blog entry that I've been on the lookout for a proofreader, well in the past week or so I've found two. The first came from a chance encounter at my friend Jane's 40th birthday last weekend - a local lady who specialises in independent publishing. The second came through a friend of my Dad who not only does proofreading but also happens to be married to someone who works in a publishing house. So who knows where this might lead. The jury is still out on whether I'm going to be publishing it independently or not. That remains the plan at present, but if an offer came along to publish it for me, I'd be crazy not to consider it.
I still also have my other friend working on the cover for me. I have to say I've been overwhelmed by the many of you out there who've shown me support in the venture and I can see my acknowledgements page having quite a few names on it when the time comes.
Back to school for the kids tomorrow and on with the writing for me. Seeing the book take shape like it has is an extremely gratifying experience. I already have the last couple of chapters mapped out in my head, it's just a case now of getting them down on paper.
I've got ideas too for more novels, all sorts of weird and wonderful ones, some practical, some not. What will come next? It's probably too early to say, but after this novel is published I'll have all summer to think about it. The six weeks off school are going to be, as ever, dedicated to the kids. And then come September, perhaps I shall be ready for the next one - whatever it may be.