A new year, and a steely resolve

Another new year has rolled around, 2015 is upon us and this year, there are things I WANT TO DO. One of those things is to secure myself an agent, so first I need more feedback from those who have a copy of my manuscript (hint, hint) and I’ll also be editing it to make sure there are no clangers in there before I send it off.

There is also work for us both to do for our collaborative effort, the combined work of three years of NaNoWriMo and some extra besides. Now we have more than 160k words and several plot threads, we’ve decided to divide it into three separate, but inextricably linked, shorter novels. There are all sorts of other things that we can play with in there. It’s long, as I said, and the setting is such fun and there are any number of options open to us. At the moment, it’s undeniably a mess, but as long as we have some idea of where we’re going, we won’t get too tangled up in it.

At the end of August, I took (and passed) my fifth patterns grading, and although required by Dennis to go to a camp for further instruction, Dave showed me the exercises to do to work up to starting to learn the moves of 6th pattern, the first weapons pattern of the Fujian White Crane system, the staff. I’d used the staff before. Years back, Dave held staff classes on Monday evenings, which I used to enjoy, and we also practise moves at some of Dave’s camps, but this was the first time I had used my staff in preparation for learning a pattern. It wasn’t long before Dave showed me the first few moves of the pattern itself, including the different opening salute, made necessary by the fact you only have one hand to salute with – the other one is, of course, holding the staff.

In November, it was my birthday, and it was a special one. Yes, I am officially a proper grown-up, though whether I’ll ever actually grow up is still a matter of conjecture. In order to Mark The Day, I organised a meal at Joy King Lau off Leicester Square, though it had to be the day before so that Dave would be able to be there (my birthday itself clashed with his wedding anniversary). It was important to me that he was there, as he’s been amazing over the nearly seven years that he’s been my instructor, and so if there was anything I could do to make sure that happened, I would. So I shifted it from the Sunday to the Saturday. Dennis and Sharon were there, too, as were my parents, Laz and his mum, a couple of Plot Bunnies and several members of my kung fu family. It was a very special day that I’ll look back on with fondness in years to come.

Dennis and me (thanks to my dad for taking this)

Dennis and me (thanks to my dad for taking this)


Starter platter



The following Tuesday was a Plot Bunnies meeting, and unbeknown to me, one of the guys had organised a cake. His ex-girlfriend is a cake maker, and when he came into the room with a box, opened it and everyone started singing, I thought I might cry (as did Laz). I didn’t, but I was rendered almost speechless (almost…). As we stood outside for a few moments, Laz let me know that Joe had asked for tips on what sort of cake to get made and they all chipped in. Knowing that made it even more special. And the cake was scrummy. The best bit was that Becs had drawn the bunnies from the group logo round the sides of the cake, and there was not even a smidgen of marzipan in sight. Good man. Research gets you Brownie points. Or bunny points, in this case, I think. Anyway, here’s the cake (photos taken by Becs before she handed it over – thank you!):

Side 1 Side 2 Side 3

Thank you, Becs

Thank you, Becs

Now it’s 2015, I am resolved to at least look for an agent (thanks Joanne, for the tip on who to contact first). Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t tend to do things by halves, so watch this space.

I hope everyone had a great Yuletide season and is looking forward to good things in 2015. Bliadhna mhath ur!

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