I haven't been about much lately, you may have noticed, possibly not. 2013 has been an odd year for me so far. it began in its usual fashion, the familiar routine of combining writing and family living doesn't alter much. But now there have been some life altering decisions, and big changes may lay ahead.
First of all, my grown up sons, 34 and 24, left home and for the first time my old fella and I are on our own. The house is quiet, the food bill has halved and the washing basket is sometimes empty. We sat back and looked at each other. 'Now what?'
But before we'd even grown used to the solitude or had time to exploit it, we had an offer on our house, and accepted it. The smallholding has been on the market for about two years now and I was beginning to think we'd never have any interest in it. Of course, in today's climate, things could still all go horribly wrong, but we can't think like that or the moving day might arrive and the removal van turn up to find lofts still full of junk, and an awful lot of 'stuff' I don't really need still to pack.
We have been here since 1996, and in that time, we have collected an awful lot of junk. My roots have gone deep, and wrenching them out and replanting them in a new home will be hard. That is why I am glad the prospective buyers seem to be as much in love with the place as we are. This was very important for, had they not shown the right level of devotion to it, I might have turned their offer down.
|The view from my present desk.|
So, now we are packing, clearing out barns, and battling with solicitors, surveyors and removal companies, and it isn't much fun. I long for the day when it is finally over and we can sit down, relax properly, and begin to sleep at night again. The new house is not much smaller, but has considerably less land. It will be much easier to maintain and will be cheaper to run. There are a few things we need to do to make it home but, most of all I am looking forward to designing my new writing space. Hopefully, it will be as creatively fertile as this one has been. It will be a bigger room, with french doors leading onto the patio, the Preseli mountains in the far distance, the sea in the other direction. I can hardly wait to get started, although my present view is difficult to beat.
Book sales have been great this year, and I was very pleased to be part of the Castles, Customs, and Kings anthology put together by the English HIstorical Authors Blog. Several of my non-ficiton essays are included. It is a sizeable book, absolutely bursting with information from all eras of British history. Available as a paperback or a kindle. The reviews are excellent. You can look at it more closely by following this link.
As well as participating in the EHFA blog, getting the Cwrtnewydd Scribblers' anthology, Take Five, together, and marketing my other books, I've also managed to finish The Kiss of the Concubine on schedule.
The Kiss of the Concubine should be out on Kindle before I move, the paperback, if fate smiles kindly, will be available shortly afterward.
It is the story of Anne Boleyn and, in the words of one of my reviewers, 'The story of Anne Boleyn has been told many times, but never quite like this ...'
To whet your appetite for The Kiss of the Concubine, I've put together this trailer on You Tube. It is very short, if you can please take time to watch, and leave a comment.
Other books by Judith Arnopp include:
The Winchester Goose
The Forest Dwellers
The Song of Heledd
Dear Henry: Confessions of the Queens
A Tapestry of Time
For more information about my books please visit my webpage