Hi All,

How are you? This week has just disappeared faster than a jaguar zipping through the forest, leading me to cautiously wonder if I’m currently inhabiting some bizarre time-warp. Time flies when you’re having fun and all that jazz, but do you sometimes feel like it’s going by too quickly so that you don’t get time to enjoy life? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I like more than coming home and looking forward to the weekend after a manic week. But what happens when the weekend passes just as quickly, and then you’re back to square one? I’m convinced that’s how people get old and wind up at the age of 80 wondering where the past 40 years have gone. Do you find time is going by too quickly?

These days, I’m all about making it count. After a busy and thought-provoking few months, I recently got a new job. This writing / marketing role is more me and as a result, I’m happier within myself and don’t feel like I’m going into work with a heavy heart. I’m also making more effort to do things I enjoy. I recently organised a Derby BookCakeClub and we had our second meeting on Wednesday. It’s such great fun, because it’s a lovely group of people with common interests who have come together to connect over books and yummy, scrummy cake. I baked Lorraine Pascal’s Cookies & Cream Brownies (link here), which were addictive and flipping gorgeous (see photo above). Even The Dude said they were “very nice” – high praise indeed because he doesn’t really like sweets. I love it when people like my cooking / baking. It’s the first time I’ve baked brownies and I must say, it took time but it was worth it. A big THANK YOU to Mrs H for the heads up recipe, I got a whole bunch of brownie points (groan) for my delicious bake! We also had Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins, which also went down a treat (thank you Lucy for baking and welcome to your first meeting!).

This month’s read was I Am Pilgrim by the wonderful Terry Hayes. This is a superb read and veritable page-turner. (I’ll post the Amazon review shortly but will backlink to here soon.) The book is reminiscent of James Bond and has all the hallmarks of blockbuster franchise. The news that it has been optioned to be made into a movie thrills me, because I know the book would translate really well into a film. The book’s gist is about a former intelligence agent who goes back into the fold to solve a mysterious case and stop America from being obliterated by biological warfare. The main character is not engaging, but there is something about him that you cannot help but get drawn to. I won’t say too much, except that it’s a cracking read.

Riding this “making it count” wave, well, I am now dedicating a minimum of 2 hours each day writing. That’s in addition to my day job, which means no more TV for me during the week. I blame the likes of dastardly delectable James Spader (Blacklist), edgy but cool Kevin Bacon (The Following) and Stephen Amell (Arrow). The Arrow, for God’s sake, need I say more? The writing for these shows is just so darn tight, characters so relatable and twisty turny plots that make viewing so addictive and a blast of fun.

Onto a more thoughtful note, over the past few years, I’ve really let my day-job dictate my attitude to writing Book 2 of Screaming Snowflakes. I’m usually so tired from work that the last thing I want to do when I get home is get plugged into my netbook after having spent the best part of the previous eight hours staring at a computer screen.

But the book isn’t going to write itself. I can hear my characters bugging me to get a move on and write them. So that’s what I’m going to do. Has there been anything on your To Do List that you feel you don’t have the time for? Starting from today, promise yourself you’ll do something, anything, no matter how tiny, to achieve that goal. Here’s to making it count.