April really didn’t quite go to plan for me, at least as far as my authorly existence is concerned. You may or may not know that, for reasons entirely too complicated and uninteresting to explain here, the time I have available to be “Nicky Wells, Author” has been cut in half since the beginning of February. By and large, the implications for my readers are negligible as I am abounding with ideas for books, and I am working fast and furious when I can. Moreover, I’ve had a bit of a strategic realignment in terms of how I spend my time. I mean, come on, I was a project manager in a previous lifetime—workflow management is my specialty, and crunched agendas don’t intimidate me!
So I took a long hard look at how I should spend my author time, and I made some adjustments. As a result, the time I dedicate to actually producing product—writing books for you, my friends!—has barely been affected.
However. Every now and then, life will throw up a few wrinkles, and April was one of them. Through the entire month of April, I managed a grand total of fifteen hours of work on my books, if that. Why? Grab a chair and a cuppa and find out…
5 April—Older Son’s Birthday Party
My older son celebrated his ninth birthday in style at a local leisure centre, and the grandparents came to stay with us for advance celebrations for the weekend. Lots of fun and cake was had, my gorgeous nine year old was chuffed beyond belief by all the presents and attention, and writing didn’t seem important.
7 April—The Big Rock Concert
Monday, 7 April, was not only the first day of the Easter holidays, but also the day of The Big Rock Concert. From about nine o’clock, I was busy dealing with the excitement of my two children as they got ready for their first rock gig ever. In the early afternoon, we drove over to Nottingham for the FM, Europe and Foreigner concert. We took the opportunity to link up with some old friends for dinner beforehand, and then we launched ourselves head over heels into the rock extravaganza.
8 April—Older Son’s Actual Birthday
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that we like to party here at the Wells house. Certainly by the end of this post, you’ll be convinced of the fact. So either way, it’s no surprise that in addition to the ‘pre-party’ on Saturday, we also celebrated my son’s ninth birthday in style on the actual day.
12 April—Wedding Anniversary (Number 11)
Yup! Eleven amazing years! With all our normal babysitters literally being out of the country owing to the Easter holidays, we elected to turn our anniversary day into a family celebration. We amused ourselves cooking up a feast of home-made ravioli, filled with lobsters for the adults and four cheeses for the kids. If you’ve ever made ravioli from scratch, you’ll know that this can easily take up a day. We had cake and fizz and snacks and music in between, and it was glorious. Writing? Errr…
19 April—Unscheduled Day Trip to Bristol
The week following our wedding anniversary passed in a blur. We made Easter decorations, baked cakes, and went on outings—work can wait, right?
On Saturday, 19 April, we travelled to Bristol for the day to visit one of our children’s best friends who was in hospital with a burst appendix. We left Lincoln at seven a.m., arrived in Bristol at just after eleven a.m., and dashed to the hospital to see the patient. Our visit lasted only twenty minutes, and those were spent in shifts as the poorly patient couldn’t have more than two visitors at a time, but it was absolutely one-hundred percent worth it to see her little pale face light up.
After we said our farewells, we dropped in on some other friends, and then some other friends… and some other friends still. We turned the day into a flying-visit-bonanza of epic proportions with three rounds of tea and cake and a big dinner, and we had an absolute blast.
20 April—Easter Sunday
The traditional egg hunt took place a little later than planned owing to our very late arrival back from Bristol the previous night. Eggs duly found and gathered by the kids, we went to church, cooked lunch, watched a movie, and ate altogether too many chocolate eggs. Did you know that you can’t possibly work on a book if you’ve overdosed on chocolate?
24 April—Husband’s 40th Birthday
As if April hadn’t been eventful enough already, my husband also celebrated his fortieth birthday. The kids and I spent ages making him a special commemorative present in the week leading up to the Big Day. On the day itself, I got busy organising a surprise dinner and putting the final touches to the surprise cake party. Birthday boy himself didn’t want a fuss, of course, but you’ve got to, for your fortieth, right? I arranged for several friends and their children to creep quietly into the house while the boys and I distracted Jon in the kitchen with his steak dinner. When everybody had arrived, we allowed Jon to go into the hitherto locked up dining room, and everyone jumped out and shouted ‘surprise.’ The look on my birthday husband’s face was, as the saying goes, priceless.
26 April—110 Reasons to Celebrate
To round the month off perfectly, we had a big party in the local village hall celebrating all in one go: all recent family birthdays, our wedding anniversary, and our moving-house anniversary. Family from near and far and friends old and new came together to dance, sing and make merry—kids ‘n’ all. The Higgledy Piggledy Band took us through our paces in many a round of ceilidh dancing, and everybody had brought food to turn the buffet into a veritable feast. At one point, I was invited by Tom, the caller, to demonstrate a dance (what, who, me, with my two left feet?) and a little later in the evening, the guitarist decided to go rock and launched into a rendition of ‘Mustang Sally’, for which he summoned me to be backing singer. I accepted the challenge, although I requested backup from a friend, and it was an exhilarating if possibly slightly out-of-tune stage debut for the both of us.
The highlight of the evening, however, was to see the many smiling faces of parents dancing with their kids, of kids dancing, and of everybody having a whale of a time.
Getting my priorities right…
With all of these goings on, it is fair to say that during the month of April, I didn’t overachieve, as would usually be my wont. There are many things I wanted to do that I never got round to. However! Everything that needed to get done has been done to bring you my next book on time. Editing, proofing and cover design is all under control. Fallen For Rock will be out on 3 July. Watch out for the cover reveal in late May!
Meanwhile, the whole family is buzzing with happiness and memories right now. We had a truly outstanding month with many events we will never forget. When all is said and done, that’s what life is about. Rock on!