My grandmother: do you know what your problem's been? You've been living a Rolls-Royce lifestyle, with a Ford Escort income.

Me: [silence]


Reeling. Spent the morning going through bills to be paid. Car bills and vets bills account for €5000 of extra bills since december alone, reminding me once again that living in one of the richest, most expensive countries in the world means that when things go wrong, they can go wrong at an incredible speed.Going to have to work a lot to pay off some debts, which means less time to spend on marketing/ promoting The Spark, just at the time when it needs me most. But such is life. We all make our choices. 

Story of my life, the eternal question that spins inside my head at times like these - be poor with lots of free time, or richer but with less? I generally veer between the two, struggling to get the balance right. I blame Anja and Milton. They're all too quick to show me that what's most important is this moment right here, right now, and making the most of it, no matter how cold it is...there's always time to play...or take a trip...or meet my brother and some more dogs and go for a ski tour...


The earth kept turning and night still followed day, but sometime yesterday, I officially decided I can call myself a novelist. Of sorts. The Spark is now finished and ready to be distributed to the shops. The next stage of its very slow journey is about to begin. 

I did nothing all day. Just sat and smiled like an idiot.Wonderful.

And today? Another day of celebration, with a ski tour in the mountains. All play and no work made Jack a very happy boy.


I don't know why I bother. Small details that nobody else but me will ever notice are still not quite right - it's agonisingly close so a few more days and it will all be over and i'll never whine again about it. I promise. Bad start to the day meant I just had to have a good end to the day. We too a trip up into the mountains this afternoon and found the peace and calm in abundance. Getting colder, -19C, stunning to be out. Long cross-country ski. A&M loved it. Too cold to play though. 


More wrinkles, more white hairs, but finally finally, The Spark is beginning to resemble a novel. Sort of. But i still can't believe trying to produce a beautiful ebook can take so much work. In my head, it was going to be simple - produce a paperfree version of a beautifully designed and layed-out novel. How hard can that be? Pretty hard, as it turns out. There are lots of limitations on what you can and can't do in terms of the development and the ereading devices themselves, plus the guys in Texas who are producing it for me are great...and then suddenly they're not, and we have 'communication problems' and frustration on both sides. Admittedly, i do obsess about the detail and presentation of how my novel will be (but i mean, even if the story is crap, the least i can do is give the reader something that looks nice, right?).  Anyway, long, long story short: by next week, i think me and the developers will both be happy. 

For now, the only thing i'm happy with is the novel's front cover, and an inside-cover image that is designed to give a sense of the tone and feel of the novel, before the story/ writing begins. At least, that's the plan. Huge thank you here to the wonderful Anne-May Hofseth (Norway's nicest graphic designer) for her skills and patience. It wasn't quick, but we got there in the end: 



Eat well, think well, move well. That's what my chiropractor friend says we should do, and we should aim to do all three. Not even sure if i managed one today. Only thing i'm really sure about at this point is that if The Spark looks crap after all of this, then it won't be for lack of trying. The developers are confident that they can get it looking like I want it to look within a few days, but I'm not so sure. Lots of small details are still wrong and the holidays have slowed things down even more. My neck is stiff from staring at my laptop in disappointment, and then from too much time driving the last week or so. Views from the car have been incredible though so can't complain. Snow is creeping down into the valleys. Can't wait to go skiing. Can't wait to have a finished book. 



Woke up feeling good. After weeks of tweaking and altering, The Spark is now on its way across the atlantic, heading to Texas, ready to be transformed from a Word document into a proper novel. After five years of work, it  now feels rather sudden. Is it ready? Am I ready? I'm too tired to tell. Celebrated with a first run on the  newly-formed ice. Snow is falling high up. Soon it will be here. Until then, we'll enjoy the feeling of emptiness and space that comes with running on the ice. Anja and Milton in top form. A good autumn of training has prepared them for a big winter.

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