Oh I know. Not a word - on here at least - for ages. Well. It's been a hectic few years. Raising three children, I'm not quite sure what I expected... ! Also, when you write for a living, often about your own life, informing the world about the minutiae of your day can feel a little excessive. Tweeting has been a snappier way of avoiding becoming a recluse, although recently, I've neglected that too. Though I've noticed a disturbing correlation between the frequency of my tweets, and the number of followers I lose. I find a nice cat-related tweet prompts a good clear out.
Editing fiction, via the Book Clinic, has been a pleasure. I particularly had fun working with Kate LeDonne; it was so rewarding to see how my notes helped her to craft her novel into shape. Often, as an author, you're so close to the material that it's hard to see where you're going wrong. You have the ability, the story, the characters - you just need a little guidance in the fine-tuning. It's exciting to be able to help someone with that; like nurturing a butterfly out of its chrysalis....
I should also mention how pleased I was to be asked to contribute a tale to the first collection of stories to be published by Good Housekeeping on the theme of Great Lovers. My story, The Dressmaker, is set partly during World War II and its aftermath, and the late 1990s. If you've read it, I do hope you enjoyed it.
Now, as an apology for going AWOL, I thought I'd include some input from those responsible for my absence. So; some questions my boys have recently asked, and a recipe from my husband....
* (8-year old) 'Ladies don't do dirty work, do they, Mummy?
* (6-year old) 'Is this a nit on my finger?'
* (8-year old) 'Do cats mind if you see their bottom?'
* (10-year old) 'Can we have dessert?'
* (8-year old) 'When will Uncle Thomas marry?'
(I am deciphering this recipe from my husband's notebook)
Season fish with salt
batter: one part flour to one part beer. Salt. Ditch any batter older than ten minutes.
heat oil to medium hot
dry fish fillet (haddock or cod), flour and season
roll in batter and fry one at a time until golden
drizzle batter on top as it fries to create more crunch.
8 minutes per fish. (When it goes in, let it sit and cook. And if there's a breakage, flip it over and add a spoon of batter to seal.)
Serve. (Will sit and still be crunchy and hot for thirty minutes on a paper towel or wire rack.)
TARTARE SAUCE with sour cream and coriander
1/2 cup coriander, 2tsp capers, and cornichons, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, tablespoon sour cream 3-4 glugs of fish sauce, pepper. Then shoozch it up. Tip out, refrigerate.
He says, serve it with chips (OBVIOUSLY!) please can I GO ON YOUR COMPITER< excuse me, I left my desk for a second and returned to message from eldest son.
Anyway, all the best, and I'll write again soon... at least... I hope I will....!