As Antonia signs out...

In the words of Schwarzenegger “I”ll be back” but who exactly will be back and where?

Well Antoinia Chain will be back for sure. I”ve always been fond of my alter ego. She is much more glamorous than me (hard to believe I know… erm….) and is as cool as you like (and slimmer, natch). But she is going on an extended holiday, probably I imagine first class on the Orient Express, until, perhaps July 2011.  hen she will return, take the 50k words we have drafted together and really work at making it into the kind of novel I will get the no doubt demoralising job of hawking around to see if there is a market. At the very least I intend to turn it into the kind of draft I want to show people.

Everyone who has ever written a ditty on their Aunties birthday card believes they can write. They can”t but often we are all too nice to say so.   know I can. Arrogant or what? Whatever! I have absolutely learned through NaNo that I can write good stuff to read and I am going to really give some time, commitment and energy to developing the craft that real “authorship” is …but not yet.

Does anyone remember the Monty Python sketch – “you think you had it bad? I lived in a cardboard box and ate badgers for tea!” Funny but I hate with a passion those “oh my life was so dreadful and yet despite the beatings/drugs/lack of a footballer husband I made it” books that swamp the bestsellers so I will avoid the slippery slope here but if I write it quickly and you read it quickly maybe it wont seem too maudlin?

Writing the book was a way to make myself feel better after making an almighty calamity of another, much more important book I was writing: My Doctoral thesis. In the context of increasing physical disability over the past six years (oh gawd, here come the damn violins), and a busy full time job, I just couldn”t seem to apply myself to the writing up of my research and time moved on. I felt so utterly stupid and downhearted about making such a mess of it, and if truth be told, pretty crappy about the loss of so much of the me I used to be as the brain lesions took hold. Confidence/self esteem utterly and deeply in the toilet. The novel writing challenge success gave me courage to call it a day on the doctorate, walk out with my research Masters, let the bloody albatross hung heavy round my neck go. Yesterday I went to see my thesis supervisors.    walked out of the meeting re-registered with a plan to submit in April 2011. Looks like Dr Antonia Chain (pending) may be back as well. (not counting chickens but 90% of it is already written and I am SO going to give it the effort and energy I gave to NaNo).

What I have learned is documented in the blog. It was a lot. For anyone that might be thinking of doing it next year (do it!) Chris Baty”s book No plot, no problem is excellent and so true.

Obviously I need to do a Gwynneth Paltrow and tearfully and expansively thank people before I print off the pages as a keep sake and shut this blog down.

Firstly my lovely son who told me about the NaNo challenge in the first place. You have no idea what you gave me but it was precious and amazing and I want to give you it back! You have been known to lean on the side of procrastination yourself so do the challenge with me next year. Xx

I have had just over 2000 hits on the blog which isn”t bad for something that has been up just 23 days and only “promoted” on my own FB page. I have family/friend readers in the UK, Austria, Japan and Sweden – thanks to all for the lovely comments and support. I appreciate it more than you know.

More amazingly (and I still don”t know how) I have followers in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, The States (hi again Alaska) and Vietnam (wow, Vietnam!) - that is just so amazingly fabulous I don”t know what to say – and all of these stopped by regularly. The internet is incredible eh? Thanks so much for the interest.

Fellow NaNites from the Brighton and Hove crew. You are all magical and lovely.

Thanks to Sara (we share a love of the genre) who was in the back of my head when I was writing the gory bits – was it gory enough for her? And Sam for the inspiration for a section on knotwork.

Just to be clear, should the book ever actually make the shelves, no-one else was inspiration for nothing, nada, zilch, zero  - OK?  No one I know is a deadly psychopath, truly, it isn”t you. Honestly.

Obviously undying thanks and love and squishy cuddly soppy stuff and adoration to my glorious missus who read drafts even though they gave her nightmares. I will pay for the counselling out of my first royalties love. Cath I love you. Always and forever.  

So, was it looney tunes that signed off with “that”s all folks”?

Every best wish,

Antonia Chain