Sunday, 9 December 2018

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes."

So! It's been a hell of a while, right? I've been dark here for a while (though, as always, the best place to see what I'm up to is Facebook or Twitter), because as you may recall, earlier this year Nero was offered an amazing job in Amsterdam. After a lot of soul-searching, we decided to take the plunge. We moved at the end of July, and since then, it's been...well, there's been a lot of pancakes.

There's fruit on it, so technically speaking it's one of my five a day.

There's been a lot of other things too. We lived in a fancy hotel for a while when we first got here and were house-hunting. Luckily for us, it was a pet-friendly hotel, so Yuki was able to be a five-star luxury cat for a few weeks.

Her life is pain.

She handled it as best she could, but I'll be honest - even a five-star hotel is still a hotel, and it was a massive relief to move into our new home in mid-August. We're in a quiet neighbourhood just outside of Amsterdam, surrounded by canals, ducks, and herons, and I absolutely love it here. Miss Yuki has settled in nicely, too.

Mijn kat is buiten

While Nero started his new job pretty much straight away, I spent August and early September job-hunting before finally landing a new role in mid-September. Yay! It's with a company I really like so far, doing work I genuinely believe in and that makes a difference to people's lives. And as an added bonus, the hours are pretty flexible, and I now have a much shorter commute to and from the office, so I have more writing time! Not to mention more time to explore Amsterdam.

Classic Netherlands.

I was apprehensive about the move, in all honesty. We've both left behind good friends, beloved family, jobs we were happy in, and a city we knew well and have lots of amazing memories of. And although I do miss my people, I have fallen in love with Amsterdam. It's vibrant and interesting, and has many fine pancake houses, and I now get the pleasure of showing people around when they come to stay, which I love doing!

So, it's taken a few months, but I feel settled in now, and have finally learned which way to look when I cross the road (not that it helps).

And in between all the moving, house-hunting, job-hunting, and waffle-eating, I have been writing. I did lose my rhythm leading up to the move (honestly, part of the reason I'm so glad I love it here is because I NEVER WANT TO PUT MY LIFE INTO BOXES, PUT THE BOXES ON A FERRY, TRAVEL ACROSS AN OCEAN, PUT THE BOXES IN A HOTEL AND LIVE OUT OF THE BOXES FOR A MONTH EVER AGAIN), and I really stalled on Chaos Songs for several months.

Instead, I ended up writing an Amber Morgan book that I adore, and which should be out later this month, and collaborating on another project with Olivia R Burton, which was just tons of fun (and you should check it out). I got back to Chaos Songs in September and was determined to finish it in September... and then in October... and then in November... and then it turned out this was quite a hard book to write because I really wanted to stay true to the rules of the world I've developed since BLOOD WITCH, whilst at the same time letting my characters progress, and, well, it was hard work.

But I finally wrapped the book up this weekend. Huzzahs! I feel kinda exhausted, but fired up at the same time, because now I can start thinking seriously about the next two (and last) books in the Blood Canticles series. My goal is write them both in 2019 if I can, although the next project on my list is another Amber Morgan book. I've been pushing myself since we moved to look at ways of increasing my writing productivity and managing my writing time better, and I have some plans in place to make sure I stay focused and busy in 2019. So hopefully I can bring you more books that you guys love as much as me!

I'm probably not going to get back to a regular blogging schedule, apart from to share news, as I think time spent blogging could better be spent writing. The same goes for the newsletter (which you may have noticed hasn't exactly been happening anyway, but in my defence, I've had a lot going on). So again, Facebook and Twitter are the best places to see what's going on and I love to make friends, so come on and say hi!

Leidseplein being all festive.