My cats are all around me.
They’re twisting around my feet and jumping onto the desk, nudging my hand, and then dropping to the floor again. I think they do this to remind me that I’ve known them the longest- much longer than I’ve known those silly dogs in the kitchen. Groomer, bless her little soul, has acquired the unsettling habit of falling asleep behind the computer monitor. At least once a week I’ll walk in here, sit down, start answering emails or writing blogs, and half an hour later a little puzzled head will pop out from behind the monitor and give me a fright. Or worse, I’ll be writing away and I’ll suddenly sneeze, and this will freak her out completely and she will LAUNCH herself out from behind the monitor and I’ll jerk back and generally have a heart attack. Oh what fun cats are.
It was my birthday yesterday. I would get depressed, but the fact is I seem to be improving as I get older, so I really don’t mind. I also got these pictures texted to me, first thing in the morning.
I am the worst person to buy a present for, because everything I want I already own, but even so, my family managed to get me some nice surprises. My mother got me the coolest aftershave ever- for those moments when I have to be grown-up. My dad got me a bag of Wine Gums, because he knows what I like. My brother got me a DVD of a film I had loved when I was a teenager but had completely forgotten about- Vamp. And my sisters...
My sisters, and let’s be honest here, do not have the best track record for buying me presents. I think we all remember the “Fix Your Bathroom Up” fiasco, and the “Curtain Rail” debacle, and to top it all off, last Christmas’ “Bath Mat” embarrassment. So, what did they get me, you ask?
We were all sitting around the table, and my nieces were being hilariously cute as always, and my sisters gave me the present they had bought (with the assistance of their husbands, naturally). Smiling politely, I unwrapped it. I was actually holding it upside down, but even so, there was no disguising what it was.
“Ah,” I said. My sisters were looking at me eagerly. “It appears,” I continued, “and bear in mind that I could be wrong, as I haven’t turned it right-side up yet, that you have, in fact, got me some placemats for my birthday.”
They nodded, delighted with themselves. I was perplexed. Only five minutes earlier, they had assured me that they had finally found me a present I would regard as cool. But placemats? Those square things you put on your table for the plates to sit on? How on Earth would I find THAT cool?
And then I turned them over.
“Huzzah!” I cried. “Skulduggery placemats!”
And there was much merriment (yayyy) and verily, it was a good day.
So now I am 36, and a much better person than I was a few days ago. I feel that 35 was merely a rehearsal for 36- that the last 35 years were just to prepare myself for being who I am now. Finally, I am the age I was born to be.
Thank you all for your birthday wishes, you crazy lunatics. I see that you continue to ignore my calls for less comments, which is how it should be. Minions should be allowed to babble every once in a while. It’s only healthy, after all.
So, what will I be doing for the next year, I wonder? I plan to start the next Skulduggery book sometime in November, and I’m going to take the opportunity to keep you all informed about the writing process. I know there are plenty of writers out there who have been asking for tips, so all my tips will be explained over the course of writing Skulduggery 6. Wow... the sixth book. The end of the second trilogy. After that, only three more books to go. All of those plotlines and themes and stories will have to be tied up, as it all rushes towards the final, epic, conclusion.
Kinda scary, to be honest.