Welcome to 2017

Well, 2017 is here at last, thank goodness. I suspect it’s going to be a tough year for many of us, but at least we’re ready for it this time round.

2016 ended very quietly for me. I’ve been struggling a little to find writing time while managing new responsibilities in my day job, but I eventually scraped through to meet my annual wordcount target right at the end of December. Christmas was protracted but delightful, with lots of time spent with family. Another highlight in December was the 2016 Rainbow Awards. I’d entered two books, Resistance and A Frost of Cares. Both were finalists, A Frost of Cares placed second in its category, and both placed in the top twenty for Best Gay Book, which left me feeling very proud.

Looking forward to 2017, my only current scheduled release is Recovery, the third Reawakening book. I’m quite enjoying the break from editing–last year, between my own redrafting and publisher edits, I edited just over 4600 pages. Most of my writing this year will be ghost-related–I’m 30k into a novel set on the Scottish borders which draws on legends about Hermitage Castle. That said, my muse is a whimsical thing and may lead me off in all sorts of directions before we’re done.

To finish up, have some slightly random pictures of Cardiff Castle, taken just before Christmas. Mum and I went up there for a couple of days to attend a family funeral in the valleys (it was for my 97 year old great aunt who had lived her whole life in the village and I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. We don’t do funerals like that down here in the home counties). We then took a day to explore Cardiff and do a bit of Christmas shopping and I dragged her round the castle (if you’re ever in Cardiff, do the same and take the guided tour, because it’s the most bonkers stately home you will ever set foot in and a lot of it, including the tower top middle eastern style roof garden, can only be seen on the tour).

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This is called ‘The Abandoned Soldier.’ It stands on the corner of the outer battlements and commemorates soldiers who have suffered the after effects of war and not been treated as heroes. There’s a website about the sculpture here: 

http://www.theabandonedsoldier.com/

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Here’s the old Norman keep with the later house behind. All of this is contained within the outer walls.

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Reflections in the moat, with glimpses of the Principality Stadium beyond. 

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The old keep. Yes, the steps up there are just as steep as they look.

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And the Christmas tree outside. 

And with that, Happy New Year all. May it be a brave and beautiful one, full of joys great and small.

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