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Wow, quite a lot’s happened in the past month. (For me, that is).

On the health front, the doctor’s given me tablets for the high blood pressure. The good news is that, after only two weeks, my blood pressure’s dropped significantly. I’m also working on getting more active. The place I work is about a mile from home, up an incredibly steep hill. My plan is to work up to walking home from work a couple of times a week (successful, yay me!) and walking to work a couple of times a week (still in progress, that one). I’ve also been for an eye test and will have new glasses in a couple of weeks. I’ll have to put off a couple (or more) bills, but without my eyes I can’t work, so I’ve got to have the glasses. (£400 a pair because I need varifocals instead of single vision lenses. Ouch!) My eyes have changed quite a bit and it will be nice to be able to see things without squinting again.

My passport—that one I was making all the fuss about—came. From sending the application to it landing on my doormat was only two and a half weeks. I wanted to put lots of exclamation marks, but am mindful of Terry Pratchett’s contention in one of his books that multiple exclamation marks are a clear sign of a deranged mind and thought I ought to pretend, for a little longer at least, that I’m perfectly normal. Whatever that means.

Anyway. I had to apply as if it were the first passport I’d ever had, the last one I had being so long ago that it didn’t count. I therefore expected it to take the advertised six to eight weeks. I also thought I’d have to go in for an interview with the passport office. But no. Not at all. After all my fussing and worrying and ranting, it was the easiest thing in the world.

So now I can apply for that American tax reference number. I’ve filled in my form, got a copy of the contract from the publisher, got my shiny new passport and I’ll be off to the American Embassy in London just before Easter. This sounds like a bit of overkill, no? Well, not really. It’s just that there’s an office of the IRS there and so I can submit my application in person and they’ll do a certified copy of the documentation there. Now I’ve got it, I don’t want to send the original passport off to Texas in case it gets lost in transit, and why pay through the nose for a lawyer to do the fancy type of certified copy needed when the IRS will do it for free? As a bonus I get to visit an Embassy for the first time in my life. What’s not to like?

What else has happened? I booked my trip to London; only £18.00 return fare and I even go down by train. Yay for Megabus. When I’ve done with the IRS I’ll have the afternoon free to do something fun, like an art gallery or a museum.

I’ve started getting emails from the publisher. It’s suddenly become very real. And really exciting all over again. There was a message from the department that writes the blurb, that bit that’s used to try and interest you in reading a book. They wanted me to complete a form collecting information that will help them do that. Not long after I’d done that, to the best of my ability, I got a message from the art department, asking for information they could use to start working on a cover. It’s coming home to me that this is actually happening. Sometime this summer there’s going to be a book out there with my name on. A short book, admittedly. But. A book. By me. Excuse me while I squeee again. (I’ve had a personality transplant in the last three or four years. I would never have squeee’d before, I just wasn’t brought up that way.)

And in the past week an email arrived from the person who’ll be the senior editor setting out an approximate timetable for what’s coming next. Oh my. It will be exciting and agonising all at the same time. For the first time someone else will have read it, and they’ll have comments. Probably lots of them. Soon.

Squeee. Bounce. Squeee.

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