Newsletter no. 185, March 2022

The good news is that my brain fog is clearing, though not yet completely gone. I know this because I’m slower working out crossword clues than I used to be. But, onwards and upwards as they say.

I did actually manage to get MURDER BY ESTATE AGENT off in good time . . . upon which my agent said, ‘It really ought to be MURDER OF AN ESTATE AGENT,’ and not ‘BY ESTATE AGENT.’             Well, actually, the story could be presented both ways, so I’m leaving it up to my editor to decide. She also wanted a blurb – which after much thought and umpteen drafts, I managed to send her. She’ll probably re-write it, knowing her but I don’t mind that. Writing blurbs does not come easily to me.

A further bit of good news is that she managed to find a picture of exactly the sort of large red-brick London terraced house with loft conversion which I’d envisaged. The only problem is that it’s facing the wrong way round with the front door on the left instead of the right. However, I’m pretty sure that can be altered.

Meanwhile, I did happen to mention that I’ve got an idea for another book, and straight away my editor asked when I felt I could deliver it. Six month, nine months, a year? Give me a date!             I did the usual counting on my fingers and came up with November. I might make it October, but November would probably be safer. And no, I won’t give you any hint of what this one might be about but I must admit it’s occupying all my waking mind at the moment . . . which is awkward because the Methodist Recorder want another story for Easter . . .

. . . and all I can think of is Simnel Cake. I mean, how daft is that? Surely Simnel Cake is for Mothering Sunday, half way through Lent? I made one many years ago but it’s a tricky baking task because if you’re not careful, the layer of marzipan – which ought to be level centre, sinks to a bowl shape. That is NOT supposed to happen. I seem to remember hearing that two children called Sim and Nell made this cake for their mother when they visited her. One baked and the other boiled the mixture. Surely that can’t be right? I can see I will have to do some research, unless perhaps another and better story pops into my mind.

The short story from the archives this month is called STRUCTURE, and it’s about the coming of Covid and lockdown and how it affected our friends. You can access it here.

Parsley & Posy

are to be found frolicking among the early daffodils, the ones they call Tete-a-Tete. (I know I ought to be the French accents in, but I can’t remember how to do it!) There’s also an early celandine poking its head above the earth. See it here.

A blessing on all those who keep in touch with the housebound in bad weather.

Veronica Heley