It's funny sitting here at the end of the year, wondering where the time went. It passed in a flash and yet so much happened and I have so much to be grateful for. Nothing really bad happened — we've all still been sick a lot (my return to the UK seems to be made up of one endless cold for two years now), I had to be both Creative Director and Managing Director for six months of the year (actually enjoyed the stress/pressure) and we had to move home (the new place is so much better). On the good side:
(1) my son continues to grow into a delightful, happy, charming, intelligent chap. Every day is a new joy as I watch him become a person of whom I'm so proud. We had our first kickabout in the back garden, passing the ball back and forth — such a simple thing but incredibly emotional.
(2) I discovered the real joys of running outside and completed my first half-marathon. I get real pleasure from the experience and its worth getting up early to bound over the common - only the endless colds are stopping me from doing it more often.
(3) I completed my second book SWITCH/BLADE and got an agent through it - moving one step closer to my dream of being a published author.
(4) I'm well into writing the third book, provisionally entitled NATHANIEL RANE. This is a whole new experience writing with agent feedback as I go. It stands at present at 89,000 words and I'm four months into writing it. I think I'll finish the first draft now at the end of January but that in itself shows massive progression. CRY HAVOC took 2 1/2 years to write, SWITCH/BLADE a year. I'm proud of where I've come because its through hard bloody work.
(5) I'm married to an amazing woman who inspires me and supports me and gives me a good kick up the backside when I need it. It's true what they say: behind every great man is an even greater woman. To her I say thank you - 2015 will be a wonderful year.
So I passed 80,000 words today. That means I only have 40,000 to write by the end of the month if I'm going to meet my latest deadline of 31st December. It's been slow going as I've been addressing my agents feedback to the early parts of the book but already its much better than what it was. But wow, 80,000 words is still progress to be proud of. SWITCH/BLADE was only 88,000 in total for comparison.
The cold and dark mornings have driven me back into the gym to run this past week. I don't mind so much - as much as I love running outside, the cold is almost painful. And being inside has another advantage - it allows me to watch movies on my iPad as I pound the treadmill. I've been rewatching The Raid 2 and I have to say I think it's one of the most amazing action films. The original I saw in NYC and found it almost too brutal. In fact many people walked out as faces got smashed and bones broken. The sequel is if anything more violent but perhaps because there is more of a story, it seems more acceptable this time.
There's also a much better cast of characters - not just faceless thugs to be beaten or shot. I love Hammer Girl who takes on a train of thugs with just a couple of claw hammers and a pair of sunglasses. Total bad ass.
There's also a chase scene and fight within moving girls that is breath-takingly original and one I expect to be ripped off by mainstream Hollywood at some point very soon. If you love action and martial arts mayhem - this is the one for you!