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And here it is 2022!

2022, young, crisp, and full of new hope. So much is expected of this year.

My main aim is for all my friends and family to stay safe and well. They weren’t so good at that last year so I’m hoping for better in 2022.

Writing-wise I have two projects that need completing and others waiting not so patiently in the muddle that is my mind.

First of the mark will be Grumpa 4. I await the verdict next month to see if he will be going forward. The illustrator has been primed and towards the end of this month, I hope to speak to others on the team that will take this next book forward. It would be great to have him ready by September but that will take a massive effort by everyone. One step at a time through, I need the go-ahead first.

The still-untitled Blàs three requires attention. Hopefully, before everyone returns to their normal routines I can get some more words down. It sits catching my eye each time I put the PC on. Developing the story remains the main goal. No point in checking the word count. Although that is easier said than done. I can’t help hovering over the icon. It has sat stubbornly at just over 45,000 words for a wee while. I have been busy, however, checking up on a few facts needed before I move on.

I had hoped to have it out this year but for once I am going to make sure that no last-minute rush or unexpected event happens. The first Blàs, Blàs of the Highlands was due out just at the first lockdown. Not the best time to be launching a new book. Everything was cancelled.

Blàs, Roots in the Soil was out in time for the St Duthac Arts and Book Festival in 2021. It would have been nice to have the third Blàs ready for this September but that target despite now only being the beginning of January will be missed.

Gaelic Bookbug has opened up again. I am excited to get back into the libraries and meet up with new babies and families. The new packs have some books I can add to the ones I regularly use with parents and children. By the time I get back to Dingwall, it will be almost two years since everything closed down. None of the parents who came then will be there. Unless of course, they have had more babies since.

It will be like going home to finally get back into that library. I look forward to seeing the joy on the faces of children as we read, sing, and have fun together with the books.

The last goal that may influence my writing is to get organised enough to go on Instagram. I said to my editor I would and I have been promising myself this now for over a year. My latest excuse is that I have to upload a new photo of myself which needless to say I still haven’t done.

I also have a blog to complete for the Society of Authors about language and writing. I expect it will take in my Gaelic children writing as well as the little Scots I use in my English Blàs series.

This blog I think I will continue, despite the pressures on my other writing. If nothing else it is a discipline in finding the time I don’t think I have. Anyway, where else am I going to get the freedom to talk about my main love of trees, dogs, and writing? Some of this does seep into my Blàs books but not in the free way it can here.

It is only early days in 2022 but so far so good. I have got this blog out on time so that is one goal I am well on my way to achieving. Hopefully, I can keep it up for the rest of the year and beyond. Good luck to everyone in the coming year, lang may yer lum reek, agus slàinte mhath.

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