Bad news, not so bad news, bloody great news!!

It’s been two years since I stopped by. Maybe more, actually who am I kidding? Definitely more. Well I’ve got the best excuse cos here comes the bad news. The old cancer reared its head again. What can I say, it missed me.  Aw. I’m not doing the long haul recall, so in a microscopic flash fiction style nutshell… it started as a kiss. No, not really, but it did start off near my mouth, a little humtpy-bumpy spot on my chin that grew into a fecking volcano in a matter of weeks.  There was a missed diagnosis and crap initial care, but loved ones came to the rescue and I ended up in the right hands and the volcano is now just a wee scar. I nearly went down the radical face changing surgery route but the  second opinion doc offered radiotherapy (the not so bad news) and I was saved that trauma. Head and neck radiotherapy brought it’s own bag of spanners but I’m a year and a half post treatment now and I’m doing fine. Being closely monitored and scanned and getting very well looked after. When the NHS works well it is divine. So that’s good news, isn’t it? Great news in fact, but I got something else to share that’s even better news. This is the bloody great news. The news I thought I might never get to share. My long wait to be published is over. My debut novel, that started life as The Dangerous Sun and is now entitled His Dark Sun, is to be published Feb 11th 2019 and I have taken an oath to never dismiss the size, shape, quality of any other author’s published work because it took such a lot of freakin effort. I know my stamina is reduced but the self coercion, the self bribery, the self inflected threats to discipline myself to sit and face yet more edits, yet more rewriting, yet more changes, was soooooo difficult, almost undoable. All I had to do was get my bum on the seat and sort out the words in front of me, as per Stephen King’s advice, but some days it felt as if I was having to sit in the dentist’s chair and have each of my teeth root canaled without any anaesthetic. What a fecking wuss I was. How I moaned. How I lost faith. And then I remembered how I handled my radiotherapy treatment. I imagined it as a gruelling pregnancy. And when it got tough, sometimes so tough I thought about stopping, I’d remind myself of my due date aka end of treatment date, and the knowledge that there was a definite end in sight really helped. The treatment would finish after six weeks and then I would begin to recover. So I would remind myself to stay in the present and deal with each day, and at the end of each day’s treatment tell myself that was one day nearer no treatment. I used this technique for the editing. Broke it down into small manageable parts, some parts were harder than others, but if I set weekly goals and stuck to them I would chip away at the mountain until it was such a small microscopic thing it disappeared!  It’s about not getting overwhelmed. It sounds simple but it’s hard not too sometimes and the overwhelmingness can be  paralysing. Small steps, as they say. I think that’s life in a microscopic nutshell.

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