It’s a real pleasure having Gina Kirkham back on my blog. Her latest book, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ was published in July of this year in paperback and as an eBook by Urbane Publications. Gina has written a wonderful and touching guest post which I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I did.
SECOND TIME AROUND
“I’m sure it’ll be a lot easier second time around..” I dunked my Aldi biscuit into the mug of steaming tea, waited a millionth of a second too long and groaned as it drooped and fell onto my leg with a resounding slap. I gave my hubby a sickly grin as he raised his eyebrows, either in amusement or disgust, probably the latter. I handed him the new Publishing Contract for book 2, my excitement as fresh now as it had been when I’d signed my first book deal.
Fast forward three months and I’m now remembering that little pearl of wisdom as I sit in front of the keyboard staring into space, twisting my unbrushed hair around my fingers with my tongue hanging out. I vaguely remember cleaning my teeth this morning, but that’s about as far as my personal appearance goes, there are more pressing matters to deal with.
Here I am, 34,216 words into the sequel to Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong and I don’t know where I’m going with it, I don’t even have a title. My central character, Mavis, is not playing ball, she doesn’t want to go where I want to send her and my great idea for a fanfare finale now doesn’t seem so clever…. and the biggest blow of all, I don’t feel ‘funny’.
My heart isn’t into laughter. The giggles have gone, my sniggers have sneaked away. For a writer of humour, this is a disaster.
I am lost.
I want to scribble down all the ridiculous slapstick experiences I have had, the farces, the black humour of policing… all through Mavis’s eyes, but they just don’t want to be told. Not yesterday, not today and maybe not tomorrow.
A solitary tear slowly trickles down my cheek. I nudge it away with the heel of my hand, cursing my one rogue eye that since childhood will only cry on its own. Oh how I longed to weep buckets with both eyes like a normal person. Deep down, I know where my mojo has gone and I hope it’s only temporary. I care for my Dad who has Dementia. It’s a terrible, impactive disease that can sometimes suck out all the joy and laughter in life when it catches you off guard. Lately it’s sucked so hard it has deflated me.
I close off my PC, watching the screensaver family photo fade. I won’t write today. Today I will take Dad out for lunch.
“Don’t get me too much, I’m not hungry.” Dad harrumphed in annoyance as he sat down at his favourite table in the café.
“I know Dad, your usual, ham sandwich on brown and a cup of black coffee. Are you okay here whilst I go and queue?”
Grabbing his handkerchief he blew with gusto, inspected the contents and shoved it back in his pocket. “I’m not away with the mixer just yet, lass, stop fussing.” he barked as I ambled off to the food area, content in the knowledge he couldn’t get up to mischief in a place that was familiar to him with no sharp objects or steep steps.
Or so I thought.
Eight minutes, just eight minutes into queuing – that was all it took. Eight minutes for pandemonium to descend upon Milly Wainwright’s Wee Tea Rooms courtesy of my Dad.
“He’d moved tables, he was sitting at another table eating a complete strangers full English breakfast, can you believe it?” I dunked my biscuit, throwing it up to my mouth before it could droop. Hubby sat quietly knowing that to add conversation to my pique would not be a smart move.
“I mean, come on, WTF was I supposed to do apart from pay for another breakfast? I wouldn’t mind but all he did was take one bite out of the sausage…. and he’d taken his teeth out to do that, propped them up on the pot plant in the middle of the table! It was disgusting.”
I looked at hubby for sympathy, but instead our eyes met and we both burst out laughing.
Leaning over to kiss my forehead, he smirked. “Maybe this is something Mavis should experience, take away the taboo, find the humour in adversity, what do you think?”
One moment, just one moment to lighten your heart. That’s all it takes. I switched on my PC and waited. Mavis wouldn’t fight against me for this one. Humour in adversity, it’s how we survive….
…. and much to my delight, I now had a title for the sequel too.
About Gina Kirkham
Gina Kirkham began her career in front-line policing as a single parent in her thirties. During her time with Merseyside Police she was awarded several commendations for bravery, courage and compassion, and in 2000 she became Police Officer of the Year for her services to the people of Merseyside.
Her debut novel, the humorous HANDCUFFS, TRUNCHEON AND A POLYESTER THONG, was published in May 2017 by Urbane Publications.
In July 2018 her second book in the series, WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT The Further Adventures of Constable Mavis Upton was launched at Waterstones in Liverpool.
Gina is now retired from Policing and lives on the Wirral with her long suffering husband and two wayward, unruly dogs.
Author Page – https://urbanepublications.com/authors/gina-kirkham/
Mavis Upton’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/MavisUpton1/
‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Handcuffs-Truncheon-Polyester-Thong-adventures-ebook/dp/B06XZCV123
‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Adventures-Constable-ebook/dp/B07DFCF2NR