Thursday, March 31, 2011

on screaming, screaming deadline...

... normal service hopefully resumed next week.

No crises here, touch wood, and the book is finally shaping up how I want it to. Just hope my ed was expecting a real weepie.

Have a nice weekend, and think of me chained to my keyboard :o)

PS is it me, or is Blogger's "compose" format playing up? It's really annoying having to put things into HTML if I want to keep paragraphs, and it seems to be ignoring the code for line breaks. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

not the 50 books...

Current work: new Riva (deadline, deadline, deadline) Listening to: Mozart Reading: Louise Allen, Vicar’s Daughter to Viscount’s Lady (enjoyed this, especially as the plot hook is a tricky one to pull off successfully, and I liked the honesty of the hero’s emotions in this one.

Up to eyes in deadline so here’s a link to an article from the Telegraph that I rather enjoyed – ‘Not the 50 books you should read before you die’. (I found this witty rather than snarky, and I agree hugely with #1, which I found unreadable and was the first time I ever gave up on a book. I might add that anyone with an English degree has probably come across the first 18 – and yes, I have read them, with the exceptions of Goethe and Mitchell, plus the fact I couldn’t finish the Joyce.)

50 books? Ah yes. Dear education secretary’s comment that children SHOULD read 50 books a year. Being prescriptive isn’t going to tempt kids into reading – but introducing them to the sheer pleasure of a page-turning book will. How you do that depends very much on the individual child and his/her tastes. ‘Story time’ doesn’t always work (my youngest is a voracious reader but loathes story time at school). Eldest went through a phase of reading only non-fiction, and it was only a chance discovery of some fiction that came alight for him (Patrick Ness’ “The Ask and the Answer”) that made him ask for more.

So how do you get your child to read? I’d say try going to a good indie bookshop, talk to the staff about your child’s likes and dislikes, and ask for recommendations. If your budget can’t stretch to books, then you can do it for free - talk to a librarian in the children’s section (or even the school librarian). Or talk on your blog, or FB, or Twitter – people love sharing books they’ve enjoyed or their children have enjoyed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

the princess and the pillows...

Current work: new Riva (resisting lure of sparky new idea – dear Muse, please give me until the day after my deadline or my editor will have something to say about this because I AM ON DEADLINE) Listening to: Mozart Reading: Sarah Morgan, Bella’s Disgrace (enjoyed this – Sarah never disappoints – and was thrilled to learn over the weekend that she’s been nominated for a Rita)

My name is Kate Hardy and I am a total princess when it comes to pillows. On Saturday, I picked up a new pillow – yep, my third since January. The Tempur one was too soft and too hot; the M&S ‘medium support’ was a total disappointment (poor finish, didn’t fit a standard pillowcase without rucking up and being uncomfortable, but didn’t have a removable cover – first time I’ve ever been let down by M&S – though they were utterly lovely about it and gave me a refund); but this one, oh joy, is the same as my beloved M&S brick, finally back in stock.

Also on the princess front, lovely Amy Andrews gave me a great film rec. An oldie, but a goodie: The Princess Bride. We all enjoyed it hugely on Saturday night (and the kids wanted to know how come I could quote things when I’d not seen the film before – um, well, it’s called not being very disciplined with the internet and chatting to your mates on the other side of the world when you should be hard at work. But I will be IMMENSELY good this week.)

Righty. Back to work. Had my five minutes’ break. Type face beckons!

Friday, March 25, 2011

ten rules for writing

Current work: new Riva (a little less curdled, but still – oh, why did I use that metaphor? Now I want lemon cake, which is a Very Bad Thing, My GP told me on Weds during the blood pressure discussion that when you’re over 40, each year your muscles decrease in efficiency by 1%, and this is why every year it gets harder and harder to maintain weight, let alone lose it -sigh)
Listening to: Chopin
Reading: next on TBR

I am still under the deadline cosh. Plus I had to do a quick shopping dash this morning to pick up midnight feast goodies (daughter’s friend is coming for a sleepover), and I’ll make some cookies tonight after school. (And we lose an hour's sleep this weekend, sob!)

So today I just have a link for you – though it’s a really good one. Ten rules for writing fiction. (I stole said link from lovely Sue Welfare, btw.) Am about to follow Neil Gaiman’s first rule, but I did skim them quickly and there’s some pure gold among this lot – Margaret Atwood made me laugh, for the right reasons. And I am SO with Elmore Leonard about ‘said’...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

how to blog…

Current work: new Riva (which is at the stage where I think it's never going to sparkle - if my lovely ed emails me today to say "how's it going?", I think I'd better fib and say it's fine. It will be fine by this time next week, but this is all part of the process... kind of like the stage in cake-making where the mixture looks curdled and you think this is going to be the worst lemon cake in the world)
Listening to: Daughtry
Reading: next on TBR

I am up to my eyes in deadline. So what am I going to talk about today? Especially as I blurted out my exciting news (well, it’s exciting for son and me, anyway) yesterday?

Actually, instead, I’m going to send you over to Talli Roland’s blog today for an excellent post about blogging itself (thank you, Talli, for putting things in perspective). You might like to wish her happy birthday, too :o)

And now I’m going back to work. Might have another cup of proper coffee first, as the one I made earlier was much too weak and isn’t waking me up. (And, as it's my one caffeinated drink of the day, I should know better!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the ravell’d sleeve of care

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Daughtry
Reading: Anne McAllister, The Virgin’s Proposition (enjoyed this very much – loved all the warmth in it and the secondary characters because it made the book feel much more ‘real’)

So I was checking out the RSC website (this was research for the book). And I discovered that there is a production I really, really, really, really, REALLY want to see at Stratford over the summer.

Littlest is really a bit too young for Shakespeare (and in any case I’d want her first production to be As You Like It or possibly Twelfth Night). DH - well, despite the fact I’ve taken him to some decent productions, he has never let me forget that I once dragged him to a production of Troilus and Cressida that was set during the Napoleonic wars. (We did stick it out. Just.) Son, however, would LOVE this. And I think it would be the perfect intro to Shakespeare for him. The right play, the right place, the right production. (If you want to know why, click on the link here and then on the yellow “watch the trailer” box. You don’t have to watch it, even, just close your eyes and listen. Gorgeous.)

Floated the idea past son. Response: 'awesome!'

Cue negotiation with DH (aka I start with an outrageous proposition; then I come out with what I really want, which seems perfectly reasonable and he says yes. Usually). So tickets are now booked. I am SO pleased. Son is thrilled, too. We have something nice to look forward to in the summer. (And, evil person that I am, I mentioned to daughter that Cadbury World is not very far... so, really, she and her dad could come with us to Stratford, drop us off, and go eat chocolate at Cadbury World while we're in the theatre...)

And now, back to work. (Dear ed, I am not really skiving off. Shakespeare is important to my heroine. And I don’t quote very much. Just the bit that makes her cry and is a turning point in the relationship. Yeah, I know, you’re going to make me take it out...)

Monday, March 21, 2011

jet pack men

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Daughtry
Reading: Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay (enjoyed very much – worked well, she was brave in how she handled the love triangle rather than taking the easy way out, and the epilogue was definitely needed. Also noted the name of the special soldier squad – a nod to Ray Bradbury, methinks.)

The book is finally behaving now I’ve changed the hero’s name – and I am very relieved.

Had a yen to go to the seaside on Saturday, as the weather was glorious (aka I needed to fill the well, and we haven't been to the seaside for weeks and weeks). DH muttered a bit about the cost of petrol, but caved in, and we had a really lovely afternoon at Cromer.

The sea was like a millpond.

Son found what he was sure was an axe head (probably not, bless him), and daughter found a really interesting stone with a hole bored through the chalky bit (and questioned whether a stick or an antler would once have been pushed through said hole so it could be used as a tool – ha, you can tell they’re the children of a history aficionado, can’t you?).

We had a wander along the pier...

...and the sun was glittering on the water. (How I managed to get it looking like moonlight on night water, I have no idea - but this was about 3.30pm.)

And just when we stopped to buy ice cream (I might point out that I opted for a latte rather than a gelato), two men came roaring past just above our heads with jet pack thingies and parachutes.

I don’t know what they’re called, but it looked like enormous fun. Son pointed out that there are weight restrictions for these things and James May was too heavy to wear a jetpack, so – ‘no offence’ – his father and I might not be able to do it. Gotta love him for trying to be tactful, LOL.

On the way home, the late spring sunlight had a very elegiac quality to it. My mood’s a bit up and down at the moment; dealing with the FC meant that I didn’t have time to grieve properly for my father, so the grief’s coming out more now. It’s the little things that are upsetting me: Easter eggs in the shops, and not being able to choose one for him. A patch of aconites (he loved the ones he could see in the fields just outside the nursing home). Even whippy ice creams eaten on the seafront, because it brings back childhood memories. I know it’ll pass and the first year’s the hardest, but I think people might need to be a bit patient with me for a while. And I will apologise in advance for any ranting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

sunset and vocabulary

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Patrick Hawes, the Highgrove Suite
Reading: next on TBR

One thing about the foggy weather we’ve been having lately is the effect on the sunsets. This is from the weekend, but it’s stunning anyway. (And a picture is worth a thousand words, which is what I need to write this morning. And then a few more. Deadline looming…)

I did, however, find a REALLY interesting site yesterday which I think most wordsmiths would love.

Basically, my daughter wanted to know what the longest word in the English language was, for homework purposes (I think it involved showing off, actually, but then again I feel I should encourage an interest in vocabulary from my baby writer-in-training.) The one I knew wasn’t in my Concise Oxford. (Antidisestablishmentarianism. OK, so her mother is a show-off as well.) I looked up the Oxford Dictionary website to see what it suggested, and discovered all kinds of wonderful things, including vocabulary questions here (fascinating stuff: such as the frequency of the letters of the alphabet in English) and word origins here. Oh, and a really fabulous blog here, which is absolutely going on my procrastination list. (Except not this morning. I am working, I am, I am, I am...)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Keith Urban
Reading: Julia Williams, The Bridesmaid Pact (finished and enjoyed very much)

You thought this was going to be another piccy of my dog, didn’t you? (He’s a snoozy Springer right now rather than a springing one.) No, it’s just that I’ve noticed the hedgerows are starting to green up (except for the blackthorn, which is gloriously white), and there’s a nice splash of colour in the back garden, viz. the forsythia – so spring is definitely on the way.

I did have a lot of bulbs in the front garden (with some truly gorgeous tulips – the frilly ones), but sadly that particular border went when we had the extension built. I had plans to put bulbs around the foot of the trees in the front garden to make up for it, but DH decided he wanted a laurel hedge, so it’s probably going to be too shady. (Or is it? Must look up chinodoxia.)

Ha, this is proof that I’m definitely middle-aged: I’m hankering to go to the garden centre. (The fancy dress place – where I need to go with daughter tonight on the way home from school, to sort out a costume for Tudor day next week – happens to be opposite the garden centre… How bad can I be?)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Xue-Fei Yang (classical guitar)
Reading: Julia Williams, The Bridesmaid Pact (really enjoying this – one of the characters behaves incredibly badly, but Julia makes us root for her by showing us why. Even though it’s all written in first person, using the POV of all four friends, it’s not the badly behaved one who lets us into the scecrets: it’s her friends. Very nicely done. And Julia gets better with every book)

You know those ridiculous emails purporting to be from a desperate rich person in Nigeria or whatever, asking you to help and promising you millions of pounds?

Well, there seems to be a new one doing the rounds, via Facebook. And I thought I’d share it almost verbatim (I decided to be nice and not share the scammer’s alleged name, but that might do nicely for a future antihero’s name).

Dear Kate,

I know this Letter will come to you as a surprise, though I do not intend to embarrass you. Let me start by formally introducing My self to you. I am [scammer name], personal attorney to Mr Robert Hardy , nationality of your country who died in tragic motor accident by running into a stationery Trailer.

I am contacting you to assist retrieve his huge deposit of US$10.2Million left in the bank before its get confiscated by the bank.l wait to hear from you and l will give you more details.

Get back to me at my private email for more details: [scammer FB link]

[scammer name]

OK. First off, why the random capitalisation and the poor grammar? OK, so emails tend to be less formal than proper letters and people don’t tend to proofread them first, just dash them off; but even so I really think that someone who’s spent three years studying for a law degree and several more years doing articles or training for the bar would have a better grasp of English. (Especially if they’re purporting to sign it with a very English name, i.e. as if English is the person's first language.)

Secondly, any lawyer would not give details of (a) what had happened to the deceased or (b) the amount of money involved. They would simply ask me to contact them regarding the estate of [person name]. They would also give a proper contact address for their firm instead of a FB link, and actually they’re more likely to send a proper letter, not an email. And, um, if it's legit money, why would a bank threaten to 'confiscate' the deposit? And who in their right mind would have that sort of money in just ONE account, with just ONE financial institution? (That'd be very poor financial advice.)

And then there’s the ‘stationery Trailer’ thing. This is really, really bad of me (obviously the guy meant ‘stationary’ and there shouldn't be a cap T there either), but I have visions of pens and notebooks scattered all over the road…

However, I must thank the scammer, because he’s given me a lightbulb moment, aka the opening of a book. (I know, I know. I’m meant to be writing something else. I will be good in a minute or two, once I’ve scribbled this idea down.)

Other than that, Jim is being tough this week and has decreed that next week he wants me to turn up and play the first half of Spanish Ballad (aka Romanze) from memory. Which is fine, until you have the bit with the full barre on the seventh fret combined with an evil stretch. I know it’s good for me to attempt something to stretch me, but right now I could really do with a nap…

(Bad Kate. Coffee and back to work for you!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

season of mists

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Crowded House
Reading: Louise Candlish, Other People’s Secrets (enjoyed this very much – I had guessed the reason why one of the characters had come to Italy, but picked the wrong person, so her red herrings were laid perfectly. Great characterisation, too, and I’ll be looking for more by her)

Very pretty school run this morning –misty on our side of the river, but when we got to the other side we found that the mist had retreated half a field’s width from the road. It looked as if someone had dropped a cloud in the middle of the field; though even if I’d had my camera with me that particular road is NOT a good place to stop and take a pic, so you’ll just have to imagine it :o)

Lovely weekend, but I succumbed to too much temptation. Even though I was very good with the main course when we took my stepmum out for a birthday lunch yesterday (carvery, i.e. plain roast meat and lots of veg, no potatoes), crème brûlée was on the menu… And then yesterday evening DH mused that toasted sandwiches were meant to be excellent on the Foreman grill, and decided to experiment. Toasted cheese sandwiches have always been a favourite of mine, and even though I know that bread affects my weight badly, I couldn’t resist. Hence bad scales this morning, and I need to get my Shred exercise programme back on track. As well as my book.

I have had a lightbulb (or maybe spring bulb) moment, though – I noticed in the cemetery that several people had planted those little tiny daffodils (I think they’re called tête-à-tête) on their loved one’s graves. My stepmum loves daffodils, so I floated the idea by her and we’re going to plant some later in the year, ready for the spring. I think some glory-of-the-snow might be nice, too. And maybe some grape hyacinths. Sadly, I can’t do the same for my mum as the churchyard has different rules, otherwise I’d have had freesias growing there for years.

Righty. I need to be strict for the rest of this month: daily quota first, no email or internet (and especially no word games) until it’s done, and schedule in exercise.

And so to work.

Friday, March 11, 2011

a p(h/l)easant visitor

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Bach
Reading: Louise Allen, Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer’s Bride (enjoyed this, especially as it’s set partly locally – loved the Norwich references)

We had a very handsome visitor on Wednesday afternoon. Here he is, balanced on top of the shed.

Dog did not get the chance to go and say hello. Dog ended up having a proper bath (and here he is, looking sheepish). And a new collar. Sigh. Stinky spaniels.

Am working, this weekend, then taking my stepmum out with DH and the kids for a birthday lunch on Sunday – we’re all looking forward to that :o)
Hope you all have a nice weekend, too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

what are you reading?

Current work: new Riva (and, um, playing with the other one to keep my muse happy)
Listening to: Gary Moore
Reading: Catherine Fox, The Benefits of Passion (is probably my favourite of hers and I really wish she would write more books in the series)

I’m over at the Pink Heart Society today – this month I’m talking about recent reads. What I haven’t confessed to is what I bought with my book tokens (birthday and Christmas).
  • ‘Catching Fire’, the second in the Hunger Games trilogy (which I read in one sitting at the weekend – very impressed with it, and I really hope that the third in the trilogy is better than the reviews suggest, because I know how I want it to end and I have a nasty feeling that it won’t work out that way)
  • One Day by David Nicholls (I like clever premises, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film of his ‘Starter for Ten’, so this is promising)
  • The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor (blurb was irresistible. He’s a new author to me but apparently has a huge backlist, which is again promising)
  • Barbara Erskine’s ‘Time’s Legacy’ (which I did enjoy but, as is often the case for me with her longer fiction, I enjoyed the historical stuff more than the present day)

Because I am nice, I usually get something for the children as well when I go into a bookshop. I happen to know daughter’s wishlist and also her reading tastes, so she’s very easy to buy for. Son is a bit harder, so I asked the very nice assistant in Waterstone’s if she could recommend something for a teen who likes Patrick Ness, Kevin Brooks and Michael Grant. She suggested ‘I Am Number Four’, and also the Mortal Engines series, so we’ll see how he goes. (NB – being an author who wants to support her industry, of course I normally shop in an indie; said tokens were actually Waterstone’s vouchers, so had to be spent there rather than in my usual shop.)

Which books have you really enjoyed recently?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

a doggy sense of timing

Current work: new Riva (and, um, playing with the other one to keep my muse happy)
Listening to: Gary Moore
Reading: Catherine Fox, The Benefits of Passion (is probably my favourite of hers and I really wish she would write more books in the series)

Doggy timing? Surely I meant ‘dodgy’? Erm – both, perhaps. We had the downstairs flooring done this week, so I had to change my schedule round a bit. This meant having my guitar lesson almost straight from school today, i.e. I was in a bit of a rush this morning. So the dog just had to pick today to roll in something disgusting – about 30 seconds before I had to take the kids to school, so I didn’t have time to deal with it before leaving the house.

Arrgh. The second I got home again, I gave the dog a very thorough scrub (probably good for the diet because I was retching the whole time) and a mini haircut. It is his own fault that his ears are now uneven – if he hadn’t rolled in something vile and got it all over one ear, I wouldn’t have had to use scissors. Then I rushed off to guitar with nails far too long to do justice to the Bach (ha, that’s my excuse), and came home to find a still-wet and rather sheepish-looking dog who smells marginally better now. The smell of wet dog isn’t pleasant, but it will vanish when he’s dry. And I am very glad that I don’t need to buy him a new collar, as I did the last time he did this!

So now I have a late weekly shop delivery, a ton of things in my head that need to be down on paper (or at least on computer screen), and hopefully I’ll be caught up with myself this afternoon…

As I said. Doggy sense of timing.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Current work: new Riva (and it would really help if another book had not decided to pop up in my head…)
Listening to: Squeeze (having a retro moment or two)
Reading: Catherine Fox, The Benefits of Passion (is probably my favourite of hers and I really wish she would write more books in the series)

The RNA Pure Passion awards were announced last night. Congratulations to Jojo Moyes, winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year; to Jill Mansell, winner of the Romantic Comedy prize; to Elizabeth Chadwick, winner of the Historical Novel Prize; to Louise Allen, winner of the Love Story of the Year; to Josephine Cox and Penny Jordan, winners of the Outstanding Achievement awards.

Congratulations also to the shortlisted authors – you’re ALL stars (and I’m not just saying that). And I hope you had a great time at the party, because you really deserved it. (I was there in spirit – toasted you all at home!)

Monday, March 07, 2011

elsewhere today

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Karine Polwart
Reading: Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire (enjoyed it so much that, cough, I spent the morning in bed reading it); Tamsyn Murray, My So-Called Haunting (enjoyed)

I’m over at the eHarlequin Medical Authors’ blog today, talking about deal-breakers in books and films. So do go over and tell me what will make you stop reading/watching – what are your deal-breakers?

Have also updated my website. (And thank you, Katie, for the heads-up that I’d forgotten to upload the new recipes – I’d been so careful to make sure I coded the pages properly, and then forgot to migrate the files!! All done now, so the strawberry tiramisu one is all there…)

Friday, March 04, 2011


Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Karine Polwart
Reading: Barbara Erskine, Time’s Legacy

My mate Julie Cohen has this fabulous post about trifle that really made me smile, for all the right reasons. (Actually, the title of her post made me smile as well – again, for all the right reasons.)

And it reminded me of a conversation in this house, the weekend just gone. DH, knowing there is a total ban on puddings here at the moment (while I am still in Food Police mode and muttering about cholesterol and saturated fat), bought himself, son and daughter some ready-made puddings as a treat for Saturday night.

DD, looking deeply disappointed: Daddy, why did you buy me tiramisu?
DH: Because you like it. (Looks uncertain.) Don’t you?
DD: No. I hate coffee puddings.
DH: You like your mother’s tiramisu.
DD: Her strawberry tiramisu. That’s different. It has proper vanilla in it, and no coffee. [Plus she helps me make it.]
DH: But it’s Italian. You like Italian puddings. (Looks perplexed.) What’s the one you like, then?
DD: Panna cotta.
DH: Isn’t that the same thing?
DD, rolling eyes: Mum, can you explain?

Bless :o)

That’s reminded me, I really need to update my website. I have two new books to add, and recipes. Both of which happen to be pudding – and one of which happens to be the infamous strawberry tiramisu. But that will have to wait until the weekend, as I’m already behind today. Was out yesterday – lunch in a foodie pub, and I was immensely good: no pudding. And was out this morning to pick up daughter’s Pokémon stuff and… well, I went to M&S to pick up a replacement for the Tempur pillow I bought (it’s just too hot and it doesn’t suit me - sigh, v expensive mistake, but at least it's confirmed that our replacement mattress is going to be the same as before, not a Tempur!). However, their stock is a bit low at the moment, owing to all the refurbishment, so they had to order one in for me. Which means picking it up on Monday (arrgh, more work time sucked out - especially as my floor man is doing some work here on Monday afternoon). But I did get some nice daffodils…

Righty. Back to the typeface for me. Much to do today before the school run.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Current work: new Riva (still having a fight with hero over his name - sigh, posh men)
Listening to: Ray Wilson
Reading: Second Chance, Kate Jackson (lovely debut – very warm characters, nicely structured, and I SO want to go to Orkney now); plus a bit more of the Erskine, which I’m starting to enjoy more now the past is seeping in (had to skip a couple of pages over the death of a parent, though – a little too raw at the mo, now I’ve taken a big step back from the FC and finally have time to grieve for my father)

Bit fidgety today. Son has his first GCSE paper this morning, as his school is doing all three science subjects over three years rather than a choice of two subjects over two years. He’s a bit anxious, bless him, as it’s his first ‘proper’ exam; but I’m sure the teachers will calm everyone down and remind them that they know their stuff, so don’t worry – remember to read the question properly, try your best, and your parents will be proud whatever grade you end up with. (That’s what I told him this morning, too.) Obviously I can’t give him a hug when I pick him up (too uncool), but as soon as we’re home there will be an extra hug.

Today: head down on book, then out this afternoon for coffee. This also counts as thinking time/refilling the well – I am not making last year’s mistake of trying to cram in too much. Older and wiser… and just a bit fidgety today. But one thing for which I am very grateful: no headache this morning :o)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Second Chance

Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Snow Patrol
Reading: Barbara Erskine, Time’s Legacy (just started – like the heroine, reserving judgement about the male lead as I’m not sure if he’s going to turn out to be the hero, but at the moment I’d like to drop him in a puddle)

Another day on paracetamol, sigh. Jim was gentle with me in guitar today and didn’t comment about the fact I clearly haven’t touched the Raimundo for a fortnight. But then I came home to find that the postie had already been… and I had something VERY nice in it, i.e. ‘Second Chance’. It’s my friend Kate Jackson’s debut novel (and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a reason I can't talk about, but please keep yours crossed, too). And it’s going to, ahem, put the current reading material on hold because I want to read it now!