Lovely people, if you subscribe to the newsletter and you’ve already read last Sunday’s missive, you can feel free to tick done on this blog post, should that be a thing that you do (personally, I write many things on my to-do list simply for the joy of crossing them off, so no judgement here …).
The reason being, of course, is that I have shamelessly copied and pasted most of this blog from my newsletter, for those readers who have yet to sign up (and why have you not signed up? There are free stories! And rambling missives! And photos of small astronauts and duck bottoms!).
Having given such a shining example of just what you’re missing, I will obviously suggest that you click here and get yourself signed up – you’ll get to download a collection of dragonish stories straight away, then you’ll get a few more emails over the next few weeks with more free reading.
And now that I’ve tempted you sufficiently with tiny astronauts and duck bottoms …
I had this plan when I came back from my whirlwind Europe trip last year. Actually, a Plan, capital P and all. And it was absolutely going to work, because of course my plans are sensible and reasonable and don’t make the universe snort-laugh. Ahem.
This plan was that, since I came down to NZ from the UK rather unexpectedly, and therefore had two winters in a row, I should even things up by having a lovely NZ summer (such as I remembered from childhood) before heading back to France for a second summer in a row. Balance, right?
My first mistake was, of course, basing anything on the aforementioned early teen memories of summer sun that melted the tarmac on the roads, ice cream as a food group, going everywhere barefoot, and just endless, endless days of sun. My conclusion is that I have a very bad memory, and tarmac was of an exceptionally poor standard back then.
The second mistake, Terry (my late dad’s partner) reminded me, was that every time I visited them in Tonga there would either be a small cyclone or just a lot of wind and rain for my whole visit. I am the bringer of unpleasant weather (so if anyone would like to hire me to disrupt undesired social events, I’m available).
To be fair, it’s been warm. But it’s also been very, very wet, as seen in the floods that hit Auckland so hard. We were very lucky up here, and escaped the worst of it, but I’ve evidently outstayed my welcome and must move on before the whole country sinks.
Which means more plans, but I’m sticking to lower case this time. You may remember from a previous email that I went on The Longest Bus Trip (TM) to apply for my French visitor’s visa in Wellington, and discovered that the consulate staff were delightfully weird and lovely. So lovely, in fact, that I had my visa a week later (while still recovering from The Longest Bus Trip (TM)). So in six weeks I’ll be back in France!
Which I am, of course, deeply excited about. I’ve missed France and my friends there hugely since I left, and I can’t wait to be back. But because I am incapable of doing anything in a calm and orderly manner, I am also going to Australia to visit my mum in less than three weeks, then when I come back Terry and I have to move house, as she’s shifting closer to Auckland and I, of course, am France-bound. And in between I need to figure out packing up/selling/getting rid of all the various belongings I have accumulated since arriving back here almost two years ago, as well as decide how to say goodbye to a family and a home country that I both love and have reconnected with all over again.
So there will be much happening over the next couple of months, both wonderful and quietly sad, but I think the most precious things often are. Despite the rain, and the wind, and all the difficult times of the last couple of years, there has been so much joy to be found in being back here. Sometimes I think that such joy is less in spite of the difficult bits, and more because of them. It’s not just about the contrast, but about the fact that beauty and sorrow are so wonderfully, painfully intertwined in what it is to be human, and there is magic in that. There is magic in us.
I hope you can make space to find that magic, lovely people. It’s so much a part of you, just as it is for all of us beautiful, strange, and weirdly flawed little creatures. And it’s so very much worth celebrating.
So I am going to enjoy the last month or so of wild weather, and celebrate the days when the sun comes out, and treasure every moment with the people I’m going to miss so much.
And hope that I leave the bad weather behind. Sorry, NZ.
So, with the odds of things running smoothly around here over the next couple of months down to about a whisker above zero, I wanted to let you know what was happening with the blog. Which is … nothing. Ahem.
I started this blog – or the original version of it – waaay back in 2016 (how?), and while I have removed some of the older stuff (2016 Kim had even weirder writing thoughts than 2023 Kim, which is saying something) there is a lot of reading to be had here still. So I’ve decided that I’ll only be updating when there’s something I really want to share, rather than all the time. And that is going to free up some time for a Brand Shiny New Top Secret Project, that I am of course working on while I should be packing. Once more, ahem. But there shall be more on that later!
The newsletters will continue at roughly fortnightly intervals, with occasional variations due to travel, book launches, and writer confusion, and I’ll be sharing photos and travel news and all that sort of fun stuff both in there and on the social medias (which you might fancy joining if the newsletter doesn’t appeal but you want to stay updated – there’s a fantastic readers group called The Toot Hansell Auxiliary over on Facebook, as well as my Facebook Page, plus I’m on Instagram. I am not not Tik-Tok because it scares me, and you can find my account on Twitter but I am rarely there (not because it scares me, because it tends to send me down rabbitholes of distraction …)
Now, I did mention book plans, and a few people have been worried that I’ve abandoned Beaufort and the redoubtable ladies of the Toot Hansell Women’s Institute. Fear not! My plan is to continue to publish one Beaufort a year for as long as the ideas keep coming. My hope is that this schedule will keep things as fresh as possible, and also allows me to work on other things …
Speaking of other things! Thank you so much to everyone who bought, read, reviewed, talked about, and otherwise welcomed DI Adams’ first solo outing in What Happened in London. You were all amazing, and this writer is so very, very happy. And also can’t wait to write the next instalment, since the consensus seems to be that yes, we need more Adams!
However, that shall be coming next year. In the meantime we shall have:
- two final Gobbelino books in the northern summer (the first of which is with my wonderful beta readers already)
- a Beaufort in the autumn
- and that Brand Shiny New Top Secret Project!
What d’you mean, that’s not realistic when I’m moving countries and hemispheres and March is already chaos …?
Alright, fine, call it a “plan” again, and read the above as “in Kim’s reality we shall have”. But it’s good to have goals, right?
And that, lovely people, is it for now. If you fancy signing up for the newsletter, hit the link here to do so and grab your free short stories at the same time. Otherwise I shall see you on the social medias, or back here when I have news to share!
How are you with plans, lovely people? Are you realistic? Over-enthusiastic like me? What’s something you have planned for this year? Let me know in the comments!
Look after yourselves out there, lovely people, however that looks to you – cocooning or celebrating the storms or waiting for the sun. There’s magic in all these things.