Beautiful people of the world . . . today I come to you with two bits of good news from Yardimci Towers. One is bookish and the other is personal. Although, when I really think about it, they are both bookish and they are both personal because, really, where does my private life end and my bookish life start? It's an age-old conundrum that's anyone's guess and sometimes I could really do with knowing the answer - especially when I'm busy trying to sleep / eat / parent / connect with actual humans and all I can think about is a snag in a plot line or if my latest Facebook ad is working. Why, people, why? . . .
Anyway, I digress . . .
Here are the bits of good news:
You can now get my first novel, Life Is Yours for FREE simply by signing up to my awesome readers list. Madness? Probably. Opportunity of a lifetime? But of course.
I am now FREE of my COVID isolation and not just that, but I actually feel well again. Woo hoo!
So, let's delve into that first bit of goodness.
After a squillion years of extra-hard work, I am now an author of a Trilogy (Yes, I dedicated a whole blog post to that fact because I am PROUD). That being said, I have discovered, over the past few years, that whilst writing fills me up with glee and is kinda what makes me glow, I am also suitably 'glowed-up' by connections with my readers. And those connections, my beautiful lot, are what I'm after.
As an avid reader myself, I know that people's TBR lists are long indeed. And that even though we might have the best will in the world to read a book that one of our mates has been banging on about for centuries, that we STILL may not have got round to picking it up. I know this because it took me forever and a day to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and when I finally did I could have kicked myself for not doing it sooner. That book is nothing short of incredible.
So I want to make the discovery of the Life Is Yours Trilogy as easy as possible. I want the picking-up of the first book, Life Is Yours, to be like dipping your finger in honey and licking it off like no-one is watching (ooer). So, my sweet friends, it is now free (which is about as sweet as anything gets) AND we get to connect over on my readers list which is, even if I say so myself, a lovely place to be.
I don't spam or send endless drivel. You get maybe one or two emails a month with news from Yardimci Towers, links to my latest blog posts, decent giveaways and you will ALWAYS be the first to know about new book releases. Sue, who was one of the first readers to pick up on my work says, 'Reading Abi's emails always lifts my spirits and invigorates my soul.' Fiona, who has been with the list for a while, says, 'I enjoy Abi's spiritual and inspiring approach as well as her youthful enthusiasm.' And I absolutely, 100%, categorically did not pay them to say that. It seems I am not the only one able to weave her wicked way with mere words ;)
Anyway, I'm so glad I'm in a position to offer the e-book of Life Is Yours for free. It means more glowy connections with like-minded people and lovely unexpected bookish (and lifeish) conversations popping up all over the place. Sure, social media is fab for that too, but it's on my readers list where the magic really happens. So if you're not already on it? You know what to do . . .
Right, bit of good news, number two.
As many of you know, I had the dreaded 'Vid at the back end of last year and it decided it liked me so much it simply would not get off my back (or, more accurately, my chest). After not being able to shake off its viscid hold after the ten days of isolation, or even twenty days for that matter, I was diagnosed with Long Covid and had to learn to fit illness into my everyday life. Hats off to anybody doing this in the regs, it is no mean feat.
Anyway, I was just about feeling like my normal self again - albeit with the odd vicious headache and interminable fatigue - at the end of January. So much so, that I was able to say yes to a long-ago-planned trip to Turkey to see my husband's family. And no, before you start dreaming up visions of endless white sands, parasols and sunshine, please reprogram your brain accordingly . . .
Turkey is, of course, a huge country and has several different climates on the go at once. We went to a city called Bursa, which is at the foot of a mountain an hour or two south of Istanbul. So, you can start to replace the image of those white sands with the image of white snow. I'm not kidding. When we arrived at Istanbul airport in the very early hours of the morning, we stepped into an actual winter wonderland, which my two snow-deprived children were ecstatic about. I, on the other hand, am from the North East of England where we actually invented snow, and my fancy was not quite as tickled.
Any parent will tell you that going on holiday with your kids requires an extra holiday for said parents on return. I can't say they're wrong. Our trip was a definite whirlwind of snow, minus four temperatures, language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, whiny kids, food that didn't ever seem to hit the mark, toileting debacles, ridiculously late nights and a distinct lack of dairy-free options in coffee shops. As joyful as many of the moments were, it was enough to make anybody need a good lie down in a darkened room.
And COVID obviously got wind of my fleeting thoughts of darkened rooms because when we got back to England I immediately noticed my throat was scratchy and my cough was back. Therein followed a farcical employment of multiple lateral flow tests resulting in an 'is-she-isn't-she' drama for me, an 'oh-yes-they-definitely-are' result for the Lads and an 'ain't-nothing-gonna-touch-me' conclusion for the husband.
We got ourselves into PCR mode and stocked up on Ben & Jerry's (the NHS guidelines say both are required, didn't you know? You're welcome). After the lateral flow extravaganza, there were then a million and one text messages telling us that me and the Lads were, indeed positive and ten days of isolation began.
I'm not going to lie, this time it was shit. I felt really quite poorly, as if COVID was seeping into my every blood vessel, my every sinew, bone and muscle (which, I'm guessing is its job) and I felt very, very sorry for myself.
I'd been so looking forward, during my time in Turkey, to being back home and comforting myself with simple things like walks in town, meeting with friends, using a 'normal' toilet and buying oat milk at the Co-op. It's hard to explain to anybody who hasn't experienced a cross-cultural relationship, that being suddenly immersed in your partner's culture is HARD. It requires commitment, tenacity, open-mindedness, strength and lashings of heart-deep, obdurate love. After that, I needed simple, easy things that required being outdoors and in the world. Not more quarantine and illness. No, not that.
But never mind. Those ten days are over now and I refuse to bask in them any longer than I have to. Somebody is smiling down on me from somewhere, because this time around, I felt a lift in the COVID symptoms on about day 8, and the softer, gentler, more self-loving Abi started to emerge. So that's why I've made this bit of good news Number Two. The isolation is over.
Because we all know life is changeable. We all know that quite often, as soon as we've counted our chickens before they've hatched they do, indeed, hatch and scatter in the most unexpected directions. I try, in my attempts at a mindful life, to remember that it is perilous to label anything as 'good' or 'bad' because it quite simply is what it is and it's my reaction to it that determines how it features in my life.
But come on, a free book AND the end of quarantine? I'm taking those and making them GOOD.
What good news do you have for me? Hit me with it!
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post then make sure you sign up to get ALL Abigail's bookish news as and when it happens. You'll also bag yourself a FREE copy of Life Is Yours - the first book in the Life Is Yours Trilogy. Sign up here
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