Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Thursday 19 January 2012

The Proof Arriveth

Oh, my goodness, what a thrilling moment! Electronic books are all very well, but this is the moment I dreamed of, the moment when the actual, material, solid, paper-based paperback arrived through the door and I saw it in the flesh for the first time and touched it and opened it and there were my characters on actual printed pages ....

Excuse me a moment! I think it's all too much for me!

I have to go out shortly, but despite the fact it's been sitting by me on my desk all morning, I don't think I can leave it here - I have to take it with me!

Monday 16 January 2012

embedded in self-imposed depths ...

It's a beautiful if very chilly day and I'm writing lectures - four and a half done, seven and a half to go! I seem to have involved myself in slightly too many knitting projects at the moment and there's wool everywhere: there are three separate scarves, a pair of socks, a woolly hat for seafarers, a rug and a jacket, and then there's a crochet blanket and two woven wall hangings, one of which is not going as I had hoped. Most of the projects are just in their infancy, which means that actually finishing something, with all the boost to the morale that involves, is quite far off! I knitted a canary over Christmas and have the wool to knit a hen, and I have a dozen more projects I'd like to start. I normally try to restrict myself to six knitting projects at a time but somehow the needles ran away from me! More Fairisle might well be next on the list - but then there's that lovely Norwegian book, and the Australian patterns, and that semi-Aran one I downloaded from Etsy ... Some of the things I've done are for sale and some for gifts, but often I'm just tempted to keep the things myself (too many jerseys now) or they haven't quite gone as I'd planned and I'm forced to keep them myself. The sales are on and wool is irresistible, so selling some things has to happen so I can buy more wool. We have here a very good charity which collects craft stuff, sometimes used or half-used, for onward sale, and their wool is temptingly cheap and far too abundant. Oh, dear, life is too short!

Sales (of books) are going well this month: I think I'm benefitting from the post-Christmas 'Santa gave me a Kindle' rush still, which is lovely. Thanks to all of you who have bought any of the books! I'm still waiting for the proof copy of Death in a Scarlet Gown which appears to be making its own way here, possibly by raft, from America. Ironically, once it's checked I have to tell a friend in America who has sworn off electronic books for life, so I've to get her to print it on demand! There is no escape!

Plans for more visits to Edinburgh in the near future and perhaps Fife for more research. The fourth book is set in Fife, near Cupar (no doubt I'll find that Shirley McKay's is somewhere similar! It's quite alarming - I really hope she doesn't think I'm trying to copy her in some way. I wonder if we knew each other at St. Andrews? Her second book is, so far, terrific - but deals with the hero coming to terms with his father's death and consequences. Spooky, as I say.).

Best get back to the lectures while I can - it's going to be a horribly busy term!

Monday 9 January 2012

Happy New Year

A very happy New Year to all - ours was a quiet one as usual. Old age kicking in, or perhaps fumbling in in comfy slippers.

The new Sherlock (Steven Moffat's version) on the BBC is very good - clever and witty. Some weak endings, but I do like seeing poor old Watson getting a word in edgeways and the occasional revenge in this version.

Back to lecture writing for the new term though, as we abandoned the cats for the weekend to go dog-walking with N & D, Number One Cat feels that cat therapy is much more urgent. I have tentatively begun rereading the next Murray novel, as I think I said before, but have made no more progress over Christmas. Instead I've been scuttling through an Elizabeth George (I do enjoy her writing and I admire the clever way she manages to sound almost convincingly like a British author, though I still think her characters' names are sometimes a bit off) and am looking forward to P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley, as well as the second Shirley McKay Hew Cullan book, Fate and Fortune. Apparently her hero is off to Edinburgh in this one, with the first one set in St. Andrews - I'm feeling slightly spooked! It's all the stranger as hers, to me (I don't know when she wrote them but they came out recently), seem much newer than mine but are set two hundred odd years earlier. I wonder did we ever meet as students?

And speaking of students, back to the lectures. I wish I'd known, as an undergraduate, how much it means to the lecturer when a student in passing says thanks. I'd have said it much more often!