Yesterday, I went to my friend M's funeral. He was only 55, had been in hospital since July 1st with a streptococcal infection that had damaged a valve in his heart and sadly, he didn't make it. He has been the partner of a close girlfriend of mine, G, for twenty-years and they have a beautiful daughter. He was a Sikh and she is half Chinese and the funeral was the first fusion funeral I have been to, incorporating M's favourite music, Bob Dylan and reggae, and Sikh prayers.
Many people got up to read tributes, there were lots of tears, yet it was joyful and uplifting, too, especially with the beautiful, moving Sikh evening prayer at the end. It lasted an hour and there were so many friends and family members there at Kensal Green Crematorium that quite a few had to stand. As a friend and I had nipped to the loo, we came in late and I would have had to stand, too, if a kind Asian gentleman hadn't offered me his chair. The end of the coffin was covered in a beautiful photo of M on a boat with a fishing rod. He had the biggest smile you've ever seen and he was smiling in the photo, as if he was bidding us all farewell.
When I got home, feeling very sombre, I switched my computer on and there was an email from my agent to tell me I'd got a two-book deal with Hachette. I thanked M, as I felt sure he'd had a hand in it. Luck like that doesn't normally happen to me and I haven't had a publishing deal for twelve whole years! I had to wait until this morning for another email giving me all the details, but my first book is to be published as an e-book at Christmas, and the second, a continuation of the same story, will come out in the new year. If they have enough downloads, the books will be published in a print version, too. So, having been glued to the keyboard for the last month, I think I am going to be there for a few months longer.Only bad news is, the arthritis in my fingers is getting worse from all the typing and I am seeing a surgeon on October 9th, and I've done something to my right hip and am hobbing around. How can you damage a hip just from sitting? I suppose it's a ligament or muscle. Hey-ho, writers' injuries. Shame I don't have insurance!
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