28 July, 2011

Beyond the Horizon

Just a little blog post to announce the publication of, Beyond the Horizon, the first publication of Bamboccioni Books. It is a collection of short stories on the theme of 'discovery' and available at Amazon now! I'm sure anybody in their right mind would love to receive this as a present for any occasion. (I would like to say that I'm not being paid for advertising this book, but as I'm one of the authors who contributed a story, technically I am. But that doesn't mean I'm biased. Of course not. Never.)

It was the first story I was actually commissioned to write. Being asked to write a story by a publisher makes a very nice change from begging publishers to publish things I've already written! I guess this does kind of make me a published author now, right? I am slightly bemused by the fact that it went on sale yesterday and there is one "used" copy for sale on Amazon already. The mystical world of book selling...

06 July, 2011

Things I Have Learnt in the Last Week

  1. The NHS is amazing
  2. My husband is amazing (OK, this isn't the first time I've learnt this but...)
  3. Morphine is pretty cool too
After my cheery last post about how antibiotics were getting rid of my tonsil infection, things went rapidly downhill. In a few hours, I progressed from having a bit of pain in my ear to being in the worst pain I have ever experienced, unable to open my mouth very much or swallow at all. Turned out that  I just didn't quite get on to antibiotics fast enough to stop a nice little abscess (a "quinsy") forming behind my tonsils after all, so I duly spent my weekend on an antibiotic drip in hospital. Ignoring the fact that everyone who came into the ward all weekend felt it necessary to say something along the lines of, "It's such gorgeous weather out there - best we've had this summer," I am trying to think of  my first two nights in hosptial as good research for future stories.

For instance, without this unnecessary episode I wouldn't know what it feels like to be given morphine (amazing actually - from agony to no pain at all in about 60s), or what it's like to have a doctor stick a massive needle into the soft bit at the back of your throat to withdraw a syringe-full of pus. I wouldn't have spent the early hours of Sunday morning listening to the nurses deal with patients in other rooms ("Richard, where are your trousers? No, I think it would be best if you put them on now, there are young ladies on the ward.") or known what it's like to wake up in the morning to see that while you were sleeping, someone managed to attach/detach various tubes from your arm. I'm sure one day, it will all come in useful...

I had hoped to have written more than the words "Chapter One" on my novel re-write by now, but these things happen and I certainly can't complain about the care I recieved. The first nurse we met got it into her head that I just needed to calm down and wouldn't listen to my husband (and couldn't listen to me as I couldn't speak) trying to tell her that I was actually crying because I needed some pain relief pretty urgently, but even she was very competent (and did eventually give me some drugs) and everyone else we met was brilliant. My recovery is also being helped considerably by the capable nursing of my husband who has been doing everything from catering to my every nutritional whim to using cushions to engineer the correct angle of my pillows to keep me comfortable. Even now, when I am up and about again, he is being most attentive and - ladies you'll be very impressed with this - he even thought to include my moisturiser when he brought me my wash-bag in hospital. What more could you ask?!

What experiences have you had that you can draw on for your writing (or art, or whatever...)? I don't usually find it easy to "write what I know" - do you?