I realise my last post on here was in 2016. A lot has happened since then.
In 2016, my dad was taken seriously ill. We’d just got him sorted out when we realised my mum was suffering from Alzheimer’s. At the same time, two of my closest friends had cancer. And my business was the most stressful it’s ever been – insanely, stupidly stressful precisely when I had the most on my plate. All these events coincided and have kept me beyond busy for the past few years.
Anyone who has a loved one with dementia will know how much hard work it is. I’ve always been close to my mum – she’s been my rock my entire life, and when she needed me, I stepped up. It was a complex, difficult time. With dementia, you are always two steps behind, always playing catchup to a new symptom that takes you by surprise. It’s like spinning plates – you run from one to another to try and keep them all spinning, but it becomes increasingly hard to stop them all from coming crashing down.
In August 2017, I sold my business. I’d run it for the past 26 years and built it up so that was a great sadness to me, but it was the right decision as I was being pulled in too many different directions. Mum declined slowly, and Dad struggled with her at home, despite help. As her needs became increasingly complex, and she suffered a number of falls, we decided she needed good residential care to improve her quality of life. I visited various care homes to find one where she would be happy. Her life had closed in, and I wanted her to enjoy activities like singing, gardening, and socialising again.
I found a lovely place and she moved in in November 2019. She was very happy there, never once missed home, and joined in all the activities. I visited her several times a week, as did other family members – there was rarely a day when she didn’t have a visitor, and she was clean, happy, smiling, and safe. It felt like the best decision we could have made, until Covid-19 happened.
Sadly, Mum passed away of Covid on 20th April 2020. I was allowed in to see her during her final few days, and read her her favourite poetry, sang her her favourite songs, and told her how loved she was. She knew that. I won’t talk here about how devastating that was for me. I’m sure it’s been a worrying time for everyone during the global pandemic; I hope you and yours are staying safe. I shielded Dad with me from March – July, and I’m prepared to do so again if the need arises.
Obviously, I’ve had little time for writing during all this. I’d completed 2 novels in a trilogy by the end of 2015, but I didn’t want to start publishing the trilogy until all the novels were completed. Sadly, that plan was interrupted by life events. However, I dug them out to look at earlier this year and plugged away at a major edit of Book One during lockdown. I edited it three times and have just sent it off to some good fandom friends to beta. I’m going to start editing Book Two shortly, and then I hope to write Book Three.
So, while I have no new writing to share with you at the moment, I do hold out the promise of three novels at some point. Typical! You wait eight years for a new Xanthe novel then three come along at once…
It won’t be soon. It’s likely to be some time next year if everything goes okay, but I do hope to now have the time to be more of a presence. Jacs and I want to update the sites with a new look, and I hope to start posting teasers and information about the novels as we get closer to publication.
I’m excited about this trilogy. I wish I could share it with you now! It’s very ‘Xanthe’ – long, angsty, slashy, and full of drama, hurt/comfort, and, of course, hot sex ;-).
I hope the past few years have treated you well. If you want to keep up to date with me more regularly, please follow me on Facebook.