Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Blogging again...

Oh poor, neglected blog. I can hardly look it in the eye after all this time.
This wasn't a planned blog-break, just a complete lack of energy - even the tiny amount it takes to type.
So, where was I last? I think it was April and Chicken House had sent me my typeset pages for a few final edits and I was beginning to see how Darkmere would look as a real book. Can you spot the heart-shaped chapter headings? I love those!

I was finding it hard to concentrate on my edits, although I couldn't work out why. None of the words seemed to make sense - no matter how many times I read them. In the end I sent my editor an email saying I was going down with a bug that was making my head a bit fuzzy - and asking her to check that my edits weren't too mad.
By the time she replied, I was in hospital with suspected appendicitis and a temperature of 39C. So that explained the woolly head, but wasn't ideal in terms of last minute editing. It was another four days before I was operated on, although I can't remember much about those four days owing to the morphine drip they attached to my arm. The only clear memory I have now is that I REALLY love morphine and recommend it to everyone.
After four days, the consultants finally gave up waiting for my temperature to come down and all the signs of infection to clear up and decided to simply take out my appendix. Then of course, they found that it had perforated and been leaking inside me for a week. The infection was coming from inside my appendix - and my entire abdomen had turned into a swamp of abscesses. Apologies if you're eating!  
I had five hours of surgery and woke up full of tubes. To make matters worse, they took away my morphine and replaced it with lots of different antibiotics. Which made me feel sick -  rather than loved-up. Bleugh!

After a week of not eating they gave me this...bowl of custard. Seriously - it wasn't pudding. It was dinner...and I couldn't even finish it!

On the following day, they gave me some 'fruit puree'... Which was like eating wet, sludgy jam without the doughnut around it. Humph. The meals that come with stomach surgery are rubbish.

By the time they took my tubes out and let me go home, I was eating like The Tiger Who Came to Tea. That was pretty much all I could do, though. The doctors said I might need a week or two in bed to recover, but I thought they meant that some time in bed would be nice for me - not that I wouldn't be able to move. Blimey - just re-positioning my pillows was exhausting!

So that accounts for the lack of blog. Everyone at Chicken House was helpful and patient and my final edits did eventually get finished. Tiny changes, such as replacing all the 'forever's with 'for ever's...and 'okay's with 'OK's. And one or two sizeable changes such as the fact that I'd written a book about a curse and managed to edit out the actual curse.

Plenty of nice things happened too. Lots of people sent cards and flowers...

And Fiona Noble wrote my first ever review for the Bookseller! It's a romp -look! In spite of all the characters I murdered, it still turned out to be a fun romp. This gave me a morphine-less high!

Best of all, two lovely publicists from Chicken House (Hellooo Laura and Jazz!) came to take me out to tea - at my favourite restaurant - and brought me a proof of Darkmere. It looks, feels and smells like a BOOK. I feel a bit teary just looking at it...

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, Helen, you poor thing. Sounds like you have really been through it these last few weeks. I'm not surprised the editing was a struggle, even with the morphine! I trust you are on the mend and those around you have rallied round plumping pillows, fetching cups of tea and handing you lots of lovely books to read while you recuperated.

    I do spy the heart-shaped chapter headings, so cute and holding that book must be some of the best medicine out there! Take care xx


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