OK – it’s been a bit of a bad week – but I have prevailed.

On Monday, my laptop packed up. I walked to the shop in the driving rain and it was fixed. By the time I got home it had gone again. I rang the shop and we fixed it over the phone. That afternoon it went again. (For the more technically minded – the latest windows update had upset it.) I took it back the next day – in the even more driving rain – and it’s working again. Touch wood. And continues to do so. A small victory, I feel. Especially now I’ve dried out.

Also on Monday I had a pretty massive dental emergency. This was arising out the dental emergency the week before last. My lovely dentist managed to find me a spot. One hour later, heavily traumatised – I’m not brave – and with gouge marks in his expensive chair, things have been nailed back into place. I’m living off soup and soft white bread – just in case. But, that’s another trauma ticked off my list. I have successfully cancelled a contract with Sky – and trust me, that’s no small feat. It would appear they have no mechanism for cancelling a contract in the 14-day cooling off period. Four telephone calls and a total of three hours on the phone – at least half of which was spent listening to their dreadful music – contract cancelled. Yay me!

I’ve finished the edits for Another Time Another Place – including the tricky paragraph I had to re-write using the same number of words as the old para. It’s all detailed and ready to be sent back to Headline next week. Ditto with next year’s Christmas story which I finished yesterday. The Toast of Time will also be on its way to Headline next week. Aren’t I doing well? I’ve made a start on the next St Mary’s book – the one after Another Time Another Place – because it was burning in my brain and I couldn’t think about the book I should be writing so Saving Time is currently on the back burner while I think about the ending. I know how I want it to end – I’ve just got to get them all there. Actually, I suspect all I’ve done is clear a space ready for the edits for Long Shadows which I’m sure will be thudding on to my desk any moment now.

Administratively, I’ve paid my bills, replied to emails and sent out my last Christmas cards. I’d like to say, ‘All difficulties quietly overcome,’ but it would be much more accurate to say, ‘All difficulties overcome with a great deal of bad language, even more walking in the rain and giving up sleep at two in the morning to write down that cool bit of dialogue before I forget it. And make a cup of tea. And try to find my notes on that Egyptian bloke. And generators. And IEDs. And rams. And Tsarkoye Selo. And falling asleep just as it’s time to get up. However, I now consider I have done my duty so I have tea, I have chocolate, and I’m about to sit down with my kindle and sort out my Christmas reading. I’ve written so much this last month I feel the need to put the words back in again. If that makes sense.

It’s been a pretty shitty year for us all, I think. It’s hard to see how the next one could be any worse but I hesitate to say so in case 2021 regards that as some sort of challenge. To all my lovely readers – and you know who you are – I’d like to wish you the very best possible Christmas. And more than ever, a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year. Take care, everyone. Enjoy The Ordeal of the Haunted Room on Christmas Day and with good luck, and a following wind, we’ll see each other soon. Jodi.


  • Fiona
    Happy Christmas dear Jodi – thank you for being a light in our lives – every year, but particularly this one xx

  • Lynda Tull

    Oh no, sorry to hear you’ve needed to see your dentist again – I hope everything’s OK now. you’re braver than me, I usually have to be anaesthetised just to phone up and make an appointment.
    You’re right – 2020 has been a pretty shitty year, but discovering your books during the summer has turned it into a fantastic year nonetheless. Can’t wait to read the three new books (count them – three !!) next year – finding out there’s a new Time Police novel is about he best Christmas present I could hope for.
    I hope you have a wonderful CHristmas with lots of well-eserved wine, chocolate and peace and quiet. Thank you so much for your books.

  • Debra Ribbans
    Have a good Christmas Jodi, and all your loved ones too, I too hope that 2021 will be much better for all…can’t be worse than this one anyway !

  • Mary Howard

    Your most recent book saw me through a devastating loss last month. As soon as I begin one of your books I have a smile on my face that doesn’t leave until well after I’m done reading it. I’m wishing you very very merry Christmas and a safe, happy, healthy and peaceful upcoming year to you Jodi, you deserve nothing less.

  • Jo Adams
    Wow you’ve been incredibly busy, no wonder your laptop protests, it’s exhausted!

    I hope you manage a restful, peaceful Christmas you deserve it more than most. Cant wait for 2021 with all those lovely new stories. I’m reading/listening to Hard Time for about the 50th time. Also now gone back to Just One Damned Thing After Anorher! Happy Christmas!

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